The Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ) is currently implementing a project to rehabilitate one of the runways at Vernamfield in Clarendon, in a bid to develop a small operable domestic aerodrome at the facility.
In an interview with JIS News, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the AAJ, Audley Deidrick, explained that this directive of the Government would have been a first step in a longer-term development plan for the aerodrome.
“The long-term planning, as has been announced in several places, is to develop a mega airport there to facilitate aviation activities, such as a maintenance and repair organisation (MRO), cargo, major cargo logistics, transshipment facility, aircraft maintenance and training,” he said.
Mr. Deidrick added that a part of the facility is to be utilised for certain aspects of the Jamaica Defence Force Air Wing activities, among other things.
The President and CEO further explained that in regard to the Vernamfield development, the AAJ will be employing the same approach to the development and buildout of the Norman Manley and Sangster Airports by the route of public-private partnership.
“This is where the power of private capital and private know-how, skills, connection and reach is applied,” he said.
“So, the shortcut of that is, it will not be a situation where the Government with its own limitations in terms of resources, is going to be spearheading the major investment to build out these facilities,” he added.
The President and CEO pointed out that as the longer-term mega plans for Vernamfield have been brought to the table for consideration, the Government will assess the proposals and that more will be announced as the information becomes available.