Jamaica upgrading aviation system

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KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Jamaica government says it is advancing plans to upgrade the island’s aviation system with a satellite-based navigation platform to boost earnings from aircraft flying through the country’s airspace.

Transport and Mining Minister, Robert Montague, said that Jamaica averages earnings of six billion dollars (One Jamaica dollar =US$0.008cents) annually from the approximately 11,000 aircraft currently utilizing its airspace.

He said, however, that the current land-based system is limited “because planes have to be kept 40 miles apart as they pass through our airspace.

“They don’t land here. They fly through our airspace, and we earn from it. So we earn more money from the flights going through our airspace than those that land in Jamaica,” Montague said, adding that the proposed new satellite-based navigation system will allow for aircraft to be kept five miles apart “as we route more planes through our airspace and earn much more money.”

Montague also advised that upgrading of Jamaica’s three international airports is ongoing, with resources being programmed for expansion, among other engagements, to reposition them to meet the growing travel demands, while further advising that several aerodromes have also been renovated.

He said the Vernamfield Aerotropolis Development Project, which aims to provide international air cargo and logistics, remains pivotal for Jamaica to maximize the anticipated derivable benefits from port expansions in Panama and Nicaragua.

Montague also reported that Jamaica is now one of the significant players for seafarers, pointing out that, since March 2019, the country has “stepped up” when there were few points for ships to dock and for their crew to board and disembark.

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