Activities at airport in central Jamaica to be reactivated

Reactivation of aviation activities at the airport at Vernamfield in the central Jamaican parish of Clarendon is expected to begin by the middle of 2019.

Vernamfield Development Project

According to the project manager for the Vernamfield Development Project, Colonel Oscar Derby, this is to be done under phase one of the US$2.5-billion Vernamfield Development project, dubbed ‘Aerotropolis Jamaica’, which is now under way.

Darby, speaking at a Kiwanis Club meeting in the Corporate Area last week said it  is anticipated that “we’ll be flying out of this airport” following rehabilitation of the property’s existing runway.

Aerotropolis Jamaica is intended to transform the Vernamfield property, which was previously an army base, into an aerodrome to provide international air cargo and logistics services; maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services; and an aeronautical training school.

Phase one

Phase one entails the development of the first 170 acres of lands designated for the project by the Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ).

This includes de-bushing, which. Derby said is to be completed in another five days, and clearing of the existing north-south runway to accommodate aircraft up to a specified size. The phase is to run over a nine-month period.

“(We will) then start with the planning and getting the investors in. We are already working on that to build out the major airport and the aerotropolis.”

The first phase of the project will also see hands-on flight training; initial MRO activities; crop dusting; and the establishment of hangers to accommodate aeronautical activities, which would be transferred from the Tinson Pen Aerodrome (in the Corporate Area) to Vernamfield.

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