Jamaican gov’t hands over management of airport to Mexican firm

The Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston (Photo: Flickr)

The Jamaican government officially handed over management of the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA) in Kingston to Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacifico S.A.B. de C.V. (GAP) yesterday.

The Airports Authority of Jamaica 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 a year ago.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness (left, standing); and Transport and Mining Minister Robert Montague (2nd left, standing), observe as Raul Revuelta Musalem (2nd right, seated), CEO of Mexican firm Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacifico S.A.B. De C.V. (GAP), signs the 25-year Norman Manley International Airport concession agreement in October 2018. The signing took place at the Office of the Prime Minister in Kingston. Also observing (from left, seated) are: President and CEO, Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ), Audley Deidrick; AAJ Chairman, William Shagoury; and Head of GAP subsidiary, PAC Kingston Airport, Saul Villarreal Garcia. At right (standing) is NMIA Enterprise Team Chairman, Paul B. Scott. (Photo: Michael Sloley, JIS)

Under the agreement, GAP, which already 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 (J$14.8 billion).

In return, the Government 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.

The departures lobby (Photo: Entro.com)

Transport Minister 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 said.

Montague was speaking at a ceremony for the presentation of an Aerodrome Operator Certificate to NMIA at the Mining Ministry in Kingston on Tuesday.