Fri | Oct 19, 2018

Sangster starts runway rehabilitation project

Published:Friday | November 24, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Sangster International Airport


MBJ Airports Limited, operator of Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, broke ground this month on a US$12-million taxiway rehabilitation project.

MBJ awarded the project to S&G Road Surfacing Materials in June 2017. The Mandeville-based company is responsible for the removal and reconstruction of parts of the taxiway as well as the redesign, resurfacing and widening of other sections, according to standards established by the International Civil Aviation Organization.

"The project is progressing smoothly and on track to be completed within the contracted 10-month construction period," said S&G Project Commercial Director Marlon Symister in a press release.

S&G has 150 employees working on the taxiway rehabilitation project. The work is being carried out at night to avoid interrupting normal operations at the airport.

The taxiway rehabilitation project forms part of a structured airport maintenance programme being carried out in accordance with the terms of MBJ Airports' 30-year operating concession with the Government of Jamaica. MBJ has a US$40-million budget for the five-year period ending 2020 to carry out maintenance and improvement works under the programme.

Sangster International connects Jamaica to more than 50 international destinations and welcomed a record 3.9 million travellers in 2016. MBJ has operated the airport since 2003 and employs more than 150 Jamaicans.

The ongoing rehabilitation is separate from the runway extension which has an estimated price tag of US$60 million. Plans for the project have been in the news, on and off, since at least 2013. The extension would increase the runway from 2.9 kilometres to about three kilometres to increase safety for aircraft, while also allowing the Sangster airport to attract heavier-laden aircraft from Europe. It requires land acquisition and realignment of the roadway in the vicinity of the runway.

The Airport Improvement Fund, which charges fees to passengers, will finance the runway development.