Jamaica’s International Airports’ Response to Global Health Alert – Novel Corona Virus

In the wake of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ) and the management and stakeholders of Jamaica’s airports have taken a number of preventative and proactive measures to protect their passengers and workers.

The international gateways to Jamaica – Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA), Sangster International Airport (SIA), and the Ian Fleming International Airport (IFIA) continue to work closely with and facilitate on site activities of the Ministry of Health & Wellness (MoHW) to alleviate the spread of the virus. The safety and security of all passengers, airport workers and users are always of paramount importance to the airport operators.

Further to the restrictions now placed on travel from some countries by the Government of Jamaica, the following specific proactive and precautionary measures have been implemented at the country’s international airports:

  • Passengers are screened on arrival by heat sensing scanner for high body temperature prior to entering the Immigration Hall.
  • Increased stock levels of personal sanitizing items and personal protective equipment (PPE);
  • Quarantine Stations (located in the Incoming Immigration Hall) which facilitates a constant presence of Public Health Nurses. As per the Aerodrome Emergency Response Plan (AERP) regarding communicable diseases, passengers that meet criteria#1 (signs or symptoms) or criteria#2 (travel history) will be quarantined and transported to an off-site Ministry of Health facility by the Public Health Nurse/MoHW and given requisite provisions;
  • Bolstering of the Airport Emergency Response outfit with Fire Fighters that are also certified Emergency Medical Technicians; and
  • Joint inspection of the designated isolation surveillance areas of the airports with the Port Health team to ensure readiness;

Additionally, a number of communication and sensitization initiatives are being undertaken including:

  • Sensitization sessions, facilitated by the Director of International Health Regulations (IHR) with front line employees, first responders, Passport Immigration & Citizenship Agency (PICA), Customs, Jamaica Hotel & Tourism Association (JHTA) and other key airport stakeholders;
  • Dissemination /re-communication and reinforcement of international procedures in responding to communicable diseases;

The AAJ also remains committed to providing relevant information to all stakeholders. These will include:

  • The placement of special features on the new COVID-19 in monthly airport newsletters (distributed to entire airport community);
  • Dissemination of Airport Operations/Human Resources Bulletins on COVID-19 prevention and to encourage necessary behaviour change in employees and stakeholders;
  • Banners with general information on COVID-19 for strategic placement throughout the main terminals of the international airports; and
  • Links for online information regarding the COVID-19, including measures that travelers may take to protect themselves are posted on all corporate social media platforms.

The AAJ has been kept abreast of relevant information from the MoHW, as well as information from the World Health Organization (WHO) through the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the Airports Council International (ACI) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) on existing guidance measures aimed at mitigating the spread of communicable diseases across borders and in particular, updated information on reducing the spread of the COVID-19.

Jamaica’s airports continue to be vigilant and unrelenting in its efforts to mitigate the spread of communicable diseases across borders and remind our airline partners of their fiduciary responsibility to ensure the strict implementation of related airline specific procedures as promulgated by the International Air Transport Association.

Construction of Fencing at Vernamfield Aerodrome – Clarendon

Invitation for Bids


The Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ) now invites sealed Bids from eligible Bidders for the construction of chain-link fencing at Vernamfield Aerodrome in Clarendon.


SCOPE OF WORK: The construction of concrete toe wall, erection of PVC chain-link mesh fencing 2.4m high, inclusive of (7) double leaf chain-link gates.
Construction period is three (3) months.

ELIGIBILITY: (i) Valid Public Procurement Commission Certificate (PPC) registered in the category of FENCING OR BUILDING CONSTRUCTION – Grade 2 or higher; (ii) Valid Tax Compliance Certificate(TCC) indicating compliance at the time of the submission of Bid; and (iii) Bid Security in the amount of J$150,000.00


Airports Authority of Jamaica
Norman Manley International Airport
Palisadoes, Kingston

CONTACT INFORMATION: Project Procurement Officer

EMAIL ADDRESS: csmith@aaj.com.jm

TELEPHONE NO: 876-924-8122 or 876-428-2002

COLLECTION DATE: Wednesday February 5, 2020 through to March 16, 2020 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. EST at the Front Desk of the AAJ Administration Building located at the address above. The Bidding Documents will be available on the Collection Date at a non-refundable cost of J$5,000.00, which must be paid for in cash or manager’s cheque.

CLOSING DATE: Bids shall be placed in a sealed envelope labelled Construction of Fencing at the Vernamfield Aerodrome – IFB No. AAJ-VAFENCING-PH-001.

Bids shall be deposited in the Tender Box located in the Administration Building at the address above no later than Tuesday, March 17, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. Late bids will be rejected.

BID OPENING: Tuesday, March 17, 2020 at 11:15 a.m. Bids will be opened at the address of the Procuring Entity in Main Conference Room located at the AAJ Administration Building.

Bidders and their representatives are invited to attend the opening.

The Airports Authority of Jamaica is not obliged to accept the lowest or any Bid and reserves the right to terminate the bid process at any point prior to the award of contract without incurring any liability to any of the participants.

President’s End of Year Message 2019

Audley H. Deidrick
Audley H. Deidrick
President, Airports Authority of Jamaica

The reflective nature of the Holiday Season; the close of a remarkable decade and year, and the symbolism of the fast approaching New Year have provided me the perfect opportunity to pause and recognize our achievements as an organization, while embracing the future with even greater expectations.

The year 2019 can be characterized as one, when it all happened, a year of major accomplishments and change!

  • Firstly, the two scheduled gateways Sangster International Airport (SIA) and Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA) completed their second regulatory quinquennial aeronautical rate review, following the first review which was done in 2015 for a 12-year period.
  • Secondly, after several false starts at obtaining airport certification in safety and security for NMIA, since this requirement was mandated by the ICAO in 2003, certification was finally achieved in October 2019.
  • Thirdly, the Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ) marked its 45th anniversary, showing no signs of wrinkling but rather an impressive record of performance and renewed purpose in forging ahead with the broad scale development of the national airport system. Furthermore, with the successful execution of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) of two of the island’s airport, AAJ has uniquely positioned Jamaica as the regional leader and reference point for PPP models which is now the preferred method worldwide to unlocking private investment for optimal operational levels of vital national infrastructure assets.
  • Fourthly, after over 10 years of embarking on the mission to privatize NMIA in similar fashion to SIA, that transaction was successfully completed in October 2019, with the Mexican airport company Grupo Aeroportuario Del Pacifico (GAP) through PAC Kingston Airport Limited (PACKAL) now operating NMIA. The smooth handover belies the rigorous process (simultaneous maneuvering of numerous preconditions to be satisfied, legislative and ministerial orders that impact the operation of the NMIA/AAJ, joint agreement executions, capital works continuation, organizational de-merger and restructuring, redundancy – to name a few) that preceded, which could be likened to the surgical diligence reserved for the separation of Siamese twins.
  • Fifthly, after another round of infrastructure improvements at the Ian Fleming International Airport (IFIA) and the three Domestic Aerodromes (Tinson Pen, Ken Jones, and Negril), scheduled domestic service was reintroduced in ALL our airports via JamAir in July 2019.
  • Finally, turning to the Sangster International Airport (SIA), they copped their 11th successive award as Leading Caribbean Airport awarded by the prestigious World Travel Awards. This was supported by major refurbishments of their ticketing concourse, taxi-way and apron rehabilitation, and immigration ABM kiosks added in the arrivals concourse to improve processing time and reduce congestion. To top things off, ground was broken on December 12, 2019 for the Phase 3 (Runway Extension) programme to commence. WE DID IT! YES, WE DID IT ALL TOGETHER!


With both major airports now privatized, the AAJ has completely revamped the organization structure and processes to better represent the new roles and function of the organization going forward. This year therefore represents an epoch changing period in the life of the organization. It also represents a platform from which to chart new courses for the future and to take Jamaica’s aviation to new horizons.

Our organization’s achievements over the past year would not have been possible without the support and direction of our Minister and the leadership at the Ministry of Transport & Mining, and our Boards of Directors, so to them we extend sincere gratitude.

We also wish to specially recognize the contribution of our airport stakeholders to our achievements viz: the airlines, concessionaires, Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority, Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency, Jamaica Customs, Port Security Corps, Jamaica Defence Force, Jamaica Constabulary Force, and of course the other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) that have provided valuable services to the organization and our airports.

As we are still in the Yuletide Season let me use this occasion to extend best wishes to you and your families for a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous 2020 and beyond!

Investors Being Sought For New Domestic Carrier

Transport & Mining Minister Robert Montague says the Government, through the Airports Authority of Jamaica, wants to woo a private investor into starting a new domestic airline.

“In today’s Jamaica, we need scheduled internal flights, so the call is for persons in the private sector to come forward and let the negotiations begin,” said Montague in an address to Parliament on Wednesday.

The carrier would effectively compete against Jamaica-based International Airlink Express, whose fleet includes a 17-seater Cessna Grand Caravan and Bahamian carrier InterCaribbean Airlines which has offered flights from Kingston to Montego Bay since 2014, and whose fleet includes a 30-seat Embraer aircraft. There are also small aircraft owners that operate charter trips between both cities.

Historically, most airlines offering domestic flights have cited major challenges of fuel, devaluation and wages. But the improved road network poses a new challenge, as commuters may opt to drive or use the bus service operated by Knutsford Express.

Still, the boss of the bus company believes the idea for a new carrier has merit.

“The cost of operations will be a factor. It will be a high price for a small market,” said Knutsford Express CEO Oliver Townsend in response to Financial Gleaner queries. It costs roughly US$60 ($7,500) each way to fly 40 minutes between cities. A one-way trip for a four-hour journey on Knutsford Express is around $3,000.

“A deep-pocket, private-sector company can give it a shot,” added Townsend, even while acknowledging that there is a lack of information on market demand.

A number of internal airlines have come and gone over the decades, with the most recent being Jamaica Air Shuttle. That airline, which operated two 12-seater Beech 99 aircraft, started service in 2009 and suspended operations in 2013. Other airlines in the past included Trans Jamaica and Air Jamaica Express.

There are also barriers to market entry from a regulatory and financial perspective. The largest start-up costs pertain to the acquisition or leasing of turboprop planes. One of the most popular aircrafts, a Beechcraft 35-seater, can cost US$500,000. These costs result in airlines operating with a thin break-even margin which, optimally, requires near-to-full seats on each flight.

AAJ Wants Risk And Growth Study On Kingston Airport

Restarting the Norman Manley International Airport, NMIA, after a major accident, or the threat of rival airports pinching away passengers are concerns that the Airports Authority of Jamaica, AAJ, wants quantified and studied prior to divestment.

The authority is looking for a consultant to outline the growth prospects and the risk associated with the airport, and from there, devising plans of action for NMIA’s recovery from a variety of risk scenarios.

The Business Continuity Management Study, expected to be conducted between January and July 2019, forms part of the privatisation plan for the airport. Until then, the AAJ remains its operator through NMIA Airports Limited.

“The continuity report has a number of uses for us,” Alfred McDonald, AAJ director of commercial planning and development, told the Financial Gleaner in an interview on Monday.

“It will assess the risk of the airport and also access its growth prospects. At the AAJ/NMIA, we want to ensure that risk is mitigated, whether the airport is divested or not,” he said.

The report will also serve as a guide to the private operator that wins the concession to operate the airport, and it will become a tool for the AAJ as well in monitoring the performance of the concessionaire, McDonald noted. The concessionaire is expected to own and operate NMIA for about 30 years.

Eight groups are vying for the airport on which bids are due at the end of June.

On Monday, McDonald indicated that current data on revenues and other particulars on NMIA would remain undisclosed until presented to Parliament.

Data promised on passenger arrivals and departures for 2017 was not forthcoming, but passenger movements in 2016 totalled 1.59 million, according to information on NMIA’s website.

The current arrangement with NMIA Airports Limited is also structured as a 30-year concession agreement signed in 2003. The AAJ has invested some US$136 million in its 20-year Master Plan, to upgrade the existing infrastructure, according to the expression of interest on the study.

The deliverables of the continuity study include a comprehensive review of air services and to provide recommendations that will support the development of the NMIA in passenger and cargo services.

In relation to the continuity study, the authority wants the report to determine NMIA’s competitiveness and potential to grow air services; recommend new routes, including target markets and air carriers; determine air cargo potential and possibilities for NMIA, including target markets, products and air carriers; determine the market potential for NMIA as a hub for passenger and cargo traffic; and recommend market and air carriers and provide preliminary recommendation on how NMIA can attract transit flights for technical stops.

The consultant must also identify ways to create a risk register ranking in order of most severe to least severe, methods for NMIA to create partnerships to protect its interest, and devise procedures aimed at managing “all critical services” in emergency events.

Costs associated with the divestment of NMIA are backed by a loan to the AAJ from the European Investment Bank, and a “subsidy” for technical assistance and studies related to the planned privatisation of the airport, according to the invitation for bids.