ST JAMES, Jamaica (JIS) – The runway at the Ian Fleming International Airport in Boscobel, St Mary, is to be expanded to accommodate larger planes, making it easier for visitors wishing to go to the neighbouring parishes of St Ann and Portland.
“Air connectivity is the essence of building visitor arrival. The Ian Fleming expansion will open up new opportunities for a different type of aircraft to come in. The big superjets that fly into the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay cannot fly into Ian Fleming, but the Lear jets and the ATR types are good fits that can be accommodated,” Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, said.
Speaking at the Island Routes Caribbean Adventures Certified Partner Conference 2016 at the Sandals Ochi Beach Resort in Ocho Rios, St Ann, recently, Bartlett pointed out that the expansion will also open up opportunities for villas and small hotel operators in Ocho Rios, St Mary and Port Antonio who can now use the connectivity access as a major marketing tool.
He added that for too long the smaller properties in those areas have been unable to have the kind of access that would give them a slice of the tourism business and that his Ministry is happy to put things in place where they can now effectively compete.
The minister said the Ian Fleming International Airport can now be properly utilised to spread some of the business into the eastern end of the island.
“It will not only enable Port Antonio to come alive, but it will also give new life to Ocho Rios and also the Boscobel and Tower Isle areas in St Mary. It will now bring the
villa and apartments subsector to the fore and where they will now have more than a fighting chance of securing a bigger piece of the tourism pie,” Bartlett said.
Previously known as the Boscobel Aerodrome, the Ian Flemming International airport is named after the famed James Bond British novelist Ian Fleming, who had written some of his most famous novels while residing in St Mary.
The airport was originally a limited service facility that processed about 20,000 passengers annually. Renovations began in early 2009 and the total cost of construction was $300 million. It welcomed its first international flight on May 7, 2010.