Jamaica on Wednesday, January 12, 2011 welcomed its third international airport when the Ian Fleming International Airportwas opened in Boscobel, St. Mary.
In declaring the facility opened, Prime Minister Bruce Golding said the decision to transform the Boscobel Aerodrome, now expanded and re-named the Ian Fleming Airport, was a strategic decision taken to upgrade it to handle small jets, international arrivals and to attract the high end of the tourist market.
Continuing, Prime Minister Golding lauded the various stakeholders who were instrumental in the expansion and opening of the airport. He urged local investors to recognise the new opportunities being created for them as the airport expansion was a significant investment of confidence in Jamaica’s future.
The PM noted that while Jamaica did extremely well in the mass end of the market, which has formed the backbone of the tourist industry for a long time, it was recognised that there were other elements of the market that could bring added value, ifJamaica were able to entice them to the country.
Against that background, he explained that the kind of visitors being targeted through the opening of the airport are persons who “…invest, they buy, they build and they create that added energy in the economy that we need so badly.”
In defending the naming of the airport after Ian Fleming, the world famous creator of the James Bond fictional character, the Prime Minister said that he (Fleming) gave Jamaica an image that was world renowned. This he did by virtue of writing thirteen James Bond novels while domiciled in that particular location of Jamaica. He told the large audience gathered that, “we also considered that the market to which we are appealing is a market to which the name Ian Fleming would have some resonance. We genuinely wanted to honour the memory of Ian Fleming because of all he has achieved and the extent to which he brought Jamaica into that achievement.”
Also speaking at the opening was Minister Mike Henry who expressed happiness at being associated with the new facility. Said he, “this evening, we are opening a new facility that represents the third international port of entry by air, with both customs and immigration services in place. Additionally, there is a longer runway, an apron for parking aircraft, a new terminal building, new runway lighting, and a number of other facilities.” The Minister noted that the new facility will not be in competition with either of the two existing international airports but will instead offer a critical international connection on the north central coastline, with special emphasis on filling an important niche requirement in the local tourism sector.
The new airport boasts: Immigration and Customs Officers now based on location to handle local and international passengers; re-surfaced/extended runway – able to facilitate large private aircrafts – DASH 8; new parking apron; those to come on stream include: Passenger’s Lounge, Pilot Briefing Room, Gifts/Souvenir shops, Taxi service, Restaurant and Bar. From January 12, 2011-January 12, 2012 there is a special 50% discount on all international fees (landing, parking and passenger processing).