Airports Authority of Jamaica celebrates with cocktail reception
The Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ) climaxed its 40th anniversary celebrations with a grand cocktail reception at Secrets Resort and Spa on Saturday.
Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Glendon Harris, in welcoming the AAJ and guests to the city, said it was fitting that the authority's principals had chosen Montego Bay to close out its celebrations.
"It is quite fitting that this event is held here in Montego Bay. Your major task is here in this city, the largest airport in the island is here, and if you get MBJ (Sangter International Airport) right then you have the airports authority in good stead."
Chairman of the Norman Manley International Airport, Joseph Matalon, in giving the official welcome, said it was not a night for long speeches, citing that the AAJ was pleased that the divestment of the operations of the Sangster International Airport to a concessionaire, 12 years ago, was in fact an excellent decision.
"The Sangster International Airport has been modernised to the point that, today, it is the most outstanding airport in the Caribbean, and we commend them on that achievement and are proud of their contribution to Jamaica."
Anthony Alecastro, chief executive officer, MBJ, is pleased with the professional operations of the AAJ, and the excellent staff, with whom they have had to work with for the last 12 years.
"The organisation is a very strong and technically competent one and we congratulate you for that."
He said the public-private partnership has been a major success, resulting in the airport winning many awards, but would not have been possible without the AAJ's vision.
Minister of Transport and Works Dr Omar Davies, in giving his remarks, commended the AAJ for its 40 years of service to Jamaica, hailing President Earl Richards, who served in that capacity for 17 years.
He also indicated that the most significant change to have taken place within the 40-year history of the AAJ was the public-private sector partnership of the operation of the Sangster International Airport.
stability of management
"It speaks to the stability of the management of the AAJ under the astute leadership of Earl (Richards). And we are pleased for the designation of Sangster International, naming it as the best airport in the Caribbean.
Marie Sterling, administrative coordinator at MBJ, was awarded by the AAJ for 17 years of service to the organisation. Valerie Simpson, a director of the AAJ board, was also awarded for 12 years of service. With speeches aside, Richards invited guests to enjoy the evening.
Guests, which included custos rotulorum of St James, Ewen Corrodus; Nathan Robb, president, Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry; American Airline country manager in Jamaica, Yvonne Pearson, feasted on scrumptious dishes, which included smoked marlin, shrimp and lobster, beef and chicken.