Government hands over management of NMIA to Mexican firm today

The Government will officially hand over the management of the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA) in Kingston to Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacifico S.A.B. de C.V. (GAP) today.

Last October, the Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ), which owns the NMIA, signed a 25-year concession agreement with the Mexican firm and its local subsidiary, PAC Kingston, for the operation of the facility.

Under the agreement, GAP, which operates Sangster International in Montego Bay, will be responsible for improving the airport’s land and air operational efficiency, and financing. The entity will also complete a modernisation programme at an estimated cost of more than US$110 million.

Government, on the other hand, will receive a guaranteed percentage of the airport’s gross revenues. The operators have the option to extend the arrangement by an additional five years.

Transport Robert Montague, emphasised that the airport is not being sold.

“We went through a very serious international bidding process overseen by the IFC (International Finance Corporation), a subsidiary of the World Bank, and they were quite pleased with the way we handled the divestment,” he noted.

Montague was addressing a ceremony for the presentation of an Aerodrome Operator Certificate to NMIA yesterday.

NMIA Airports Limited Chairman, Neil Seaton, for his part, noted that “since 2004, much has been talked about with the privatisation of the NMIA. Finally, we are going to see the fruition of it on the ninth of October – tomorrow”.

“We are going to be seeing the divestment of the services and I hope people don’t get it wrong that we’re divesting the airport; we’re going to see the divestment of the services of the airport,” he added.

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