ST JAMES, Jamaica — Chief communications strategist and advisor in the Ministry of Tourism, Delano Seiveright, says ongoing development of the Ian Fleming International Airport in Boscobel, St Mary, will greatly enhance the tourism fortunes for the parish and neighbouring St Ann.
He told JIS News that the airport, formerly known as the Boscobel Aerodrome, will ensure easier access to hotels, villas and guest houses in both parishes and further boost the growing popularity of Jamaica's northeastern region, among visitors.
“We have visitors who come in and are exhausted from long flights and who would rather book into a resort that is close to the airport. Whether it is a direct or a connecting flight, the Ian Fleming International Airport now gives hotel operators in both St. Ann and St. Mary a better opportunity to increase their room count,” Seiveright pointed out.
He further noted that the long-term plan is for the airport to be fully expanded where the bigger aircrafts, “carrying loads of passengers, can be accommodated”.
“The big planes and super jets that fly into the Montego Bay Sangster International Airport cannot fly into Ian Fleming. The Lear Jets and the ATR types are, however, excellent fits that we want to get here on a consistent basis,” Seiveright added.
Meanwhile, Labour and Social Security Minister Shahine Robinson said she is eagerly awaiting the completion of work at the Ian Fleming Airport, noting that the facility's potential benefit for St Ann and St Mary, and as far east as Portland “cannot be overstated”.
Robinson, who is the Member of Parliament for north-east St Ann where the resort town of Ocho Rios is located, stated “without any fear of contradiction that there are few places in the country more beautiful than the north-east region”.
The Ian Fleming International Airport development project, which commenced in March 2018, will include expansion of the existing terminal building and runway.
The facility, which is owned and operated by the Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ), provides flight services to the United States and the Caribbean, and direct landing arrangements for private jet owners.
The airport facilitated the movement of some 2,059 passengers and accommodated 2,338 aircraft between 2015 and 2016.