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NEWS Last modified on February 21, 2013

Jamaica to privatise Norman Manley International Airport

The Jamaican government is planning to privatise Kingston's Norman Manley International Airport.

The Jamaican government is planning to privatise Kingston's Norman Manley International Airport.

It is said to favour a Public Private Partnership (PPP) deal with the airport's new owners/management team being in place by the second quarter of 2014.

A Cabinet-approved Enterprise Team has been appointed to oversee the process, while World Bank subsidiary, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) has been brought onboard to help seal the deal.

The IFC's input is expected to include the engagement of financial, legal and technical consultants; reviewing market conditions; analysing, structuring and concluding the transaction process; and facilitating a competitive bidding process.

The new owners will be required to extend and widen the existing runway of Jamaica's capital city gateway.

Norman Manley is the island nation's second busiest gateway handing around 1.5 million passengers yearly and 70% of the country’s air freight.

Jamaica's largest gateway, Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, has certainly flourished since MBJ Airports Limited was awarded a 30-year concession to operate and develop it in 2003.

MBJ Airports Limited – which counts Spain's Abertis Infraestructuras SA and Canada's Vantage Airport Group as its main shareholders – has more than doubled the size of the airport's terminal building, introduced a host of new commercial facilities and upgraded the airfield during the first decade of the concession.

Sangster currently handles around 3.3 million passengers annually, including around 70% of all international visitors to Jamaica.

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