Grupo Aeroportuario del PacÌfico S.A.B. de C.V. (GAP), an airport operator headquartered in Guadalajara, Mexico, that operates 12 airports in that country yesterday signed a concession agreement giving it operational control of the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston.
GAP has been managing the Sangster International Airport, in Montego Bay, St James, since 2003, with Minister of Transport Robert Montague hailing the latest signing as the extension of a mutually beneficial partnership.
He told the signing ceremony at Jamaica House yesterday that transferring the responsibility to finance and operate the Kingston-based airport to GAP would now free up the Airports Authority of Jamaica to focus its resources on managing the concessions at Norman Manley and Donald Sangster International as well as the other airports and aerodromes.
“The way I see it, everyone wins,” he declared.
“This route presents the right mix of strategies to achieve our objective of an even greater contribution by the sector to national development while affording a reasonable return on investment to our partners in this venture.”
Under the terms of the agreement, the Government will receive a percentage of the gross revenues earned at Norman Manley International. GAP will be responsible for operating and maintaining the airport, improving the efficiency of both landside and airside operations, and financing and completing the planned modernisation programme.
This will include an agreed capital-works programme – to be completed within the first 36 months of the concession agreement – aimed at expanding and upgrading the facilities of the airport. These mandatory works are estimated to cost US$110 million at minimum and are outlined in the concession agreement.
Underscoring the critical role of the aviation sector to tourism and the services sectors, Montague explained that the decision to privatise the airports was based on a thorough analysis of the options for achieving modernisation and development of such national assets.
“I am pleased with the successful outcome of this public-private partnership and commend the executors for the transparency and equity of the process. They did so with the utmost professionalism, accountability, and integrity,” Montague said.