Airport Authority incurring $150 million to subsidise aerodromes
Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter
The Airports Authority of Jamaica is subsidising aerodromes on the island to the tune of $150 million per year.
Earl Richards, president of the Airport Authority, says given the situation, consideration is being given for the divestment of the aerodromes.
While addressing a meeting of the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) of Parliament today, Richards said the decline in domestic air travel has affected the viability of the aerodromes.
Meanwhile, Richards said failed airlines and the inability of concessionaires operating at the airports to pay fees are vastly responsible for its $4.5 million in bad debt.
Another $1.5 billion is recorded on the Airport books as receivables.
Richards disagreed with West St Mary Member of Parliament Jolyan Silvera that the Ian Fleming airport at Boscobel in the parish is a white elephant.
"The airport, even as it is now has the potential to receive many more jets," said Richards, while adding that companies that rent jets on a time share basis are reluctant to use the airport more frequently.
He said a designated approach is needed and that the airport, which costs over $400 million to expand, would require a significant amount of money for its expansion.
This expansion would require a realignment of the road.
Annual losses at the airport are $75 million and it would require US$3 million for expansion.
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