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Five shortlisted for Norman Manley International airport

Published:Thursday | April 23, 2015 | 4:00 AM
The Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston. The Government is pushing to privatise the facility.

FIVE POTENTIAL bidders have been shortlisted by an enterprise team to participate in the bidding for the modernisation and expansion of the Norman Manley International Airport.

The entities, according to Dr Omar Davies, minister of transport, works and housing, are drawn from Europe, Asia, and South America.

"We take particular pleasure in the fact that two of the shortlisted consortiums include Jamaican partners. I have also been informed that a third is actively seeking collaboration with Jamaican firms involved in the aviation industry," Davies said as he contributed to the Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

Davies said bidding documents will be issued at the beginning of June, and it is anticipated that the transaction will be completed by early 2016.

The public-private partnership model is being utilised in identifying and selecting a partner for the modernisation and expansion of the airport.

In the meantime, the minister said Albertis Airports, the Spanish entity which held 75 per cent of the shares in MBJ Airports - the company which operates the Sangster International Airport - has taken the decision to exit the airport management business.

Albertis Airports has sold its shares to a Mexican firm, Grup Aeroportuario del Pacifico (GAP).

The remaining 25 per cent of MBJ shares continue to be owned by Vantage Airport Services, a Canadian airport operator.

"GAP is the largest privately owned airport operator in Mexico. Their willingness to make a significant investment in MBJ is yet another testament to the positive investment climate perceived by the international investment programme at the Sangster airport," Davies said.

The minister said that the Airports Authority of Jamaica and MBJ will be moving rapidly to conclude the arrangements to get the additional capital works under way for the expansion of the Sangster International Airport.