Airport Construction & Development
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April 2003 marked the beginning of a new era in the development and progress of the airport. This period saw the Government of Jamaica granting MBJ Airports Limited a 30-year concession agreement to operate and manage Sangster International Airport.
The consortium of companies that formed MBJ Airports Limited at the time of privatization: YVR Airport Services (Canada), Agunsa (Chile), Ashtrom (Israel), and Dragados (Spain).
MBJ Airports limited’s mandate when the concessionary agreement was signed was to demonstrate leadership in implementing safe, friendly, clean, efficient, and profitable programs to develop and operate Montego Bay’s airport in a manner that reflects Jamaican culture and philosophy. To date, the company has lived true to this mandate.
Shares in MBJ Airports Limited were transferred to two key principals:
DESARROLLO de CONCESIONES AEROPORTUARIAS, S.L., (DCA) is a holding company, which operates airports through its subsidiaries. DCA has 74.5% of MBJ’s shareholding and is 100% owned and controlled by Grupo Aeroportuario Del Pacífico, S.A.B. de C.V or "GAP". GAP operates 12 airports in the Pacific region of Mexico, which include:
- Guadalajara and Tijuana serve the main metropolitan areas.
- Mexicali, Hermosillo, Los Mochis, Aguascalientes, Guanajuato and Morelia, serving médium-size cities.
- La Paz, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, and Manzanillo, serving the main tourist destinations.
GAP is traded on the Mexican and New York Stock Exchanges.
VANTAGE AIRPORT GROUP (formerly, Vancouver Airport Services [YVRAS]) — Manages and develops a global network of airports. Vantage Airport Group is ranked among the world’s premier airport operators and provides a full range of management and investment services to its clients. Vantage Airport Group’s shareholding in MBJ is valued at 25.5%.
New Retail Programme
The phased expansion and redevelopment of SIA’s retail programme commenced in March 2020 with the US$12 million construction of 2,700sq m of newly built retail space, including a 12m high Rotunda double-height space, with a floor-to-ceiling curtain wall. The works also include the renovation of over 4,000sq m of space to create 15 retail units.
The expansion provides an increase in passenger circulation and orientation areas while the increased terminal space will primarily accommodate the relocation of the primary food & beverage offer. Dufry will operate the main duty-free concession offering liquor, tobacco, fragrances and cosmetics, and other core items.
The most exciting addition, is Bob Marley’s, a “one-of-a-kind” Jamaican restaurant. The new brand draws inspiration from Jamaica’s vibrant culture, food, music, and spirit of generosity.
The new retail program also comprises an array of concessions creating a Sense of Place and provide passengers with a memorable experience to indulge in their last moments in Jamaica.
Visit our photo gallery for renderings of our new retail development. Link to images of New Retail Development - Retail Development & Stores
Recent Development Works
Sangster International Airport is operated by MBJ Airports Limited ("MBJ"). Over the years, MBJ has undertaken numerous infrastructure developments at SIA that caters to passenger needs and comfort, while meeting international regulatory standards. Some of the major infrastructure projects completed in the last three years include the following;
Resurface of Taxiway
MBJ invested $26 million to resurface the taxiways, shoulders, and ramps at SIA, in some areas using concrete rather than asphalt to ensure greater durability.
The extension of the airport's Runway is part of the Airport Capital Improvement Plan. The extension of the runway will allow for the establishment of Runway End Safety Areas (RESAs) at each runway end, meeting the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and improving the runway's safety.
To execute the runway extension, necessary enabling works such as shoreline protection, realignment of the roadway, and the widening of taxiway 'Echo' & jet blast screen are well advanced.
The extension of the runway pavement by 408m and establishment of RESA and relocation of thresholds and navigational aids commenced in Q1 2022 with an estimated completion date of Q2 2023. This major development work will increase the take-off run available (TORA) for the primary runway from 2,662 meters to 3,060 meters. The contract is valued at US$ 34 million with the total Runway Expansion Project valued at US$70 million.
The widening of Taxiway Echo; the installation of the Jet Blast Screen, will improve airside efficiency.
In 2019, MBJ embarked on a solar project with the goal of reducing MBJ's reliance on power from the national energy grid, reducing its operating costs and its carbon footprint in a sustainable manner. Given that the airport’s peak electricity demand coincides with solar peak output, 100% of production will be utilized by the airport. An initial one (1) MWac solar system has been installed and will reduce the airport's reliance on the national energy grid by approximately 11%, with ongoing works in the existing parking areas, will increase solar production to three (3) MWac (representing a 33% reduction in reliance on the national energy grid).
Eventually, the goal is for Sangster International Airport to be 100% powered by renewables, with major investments in solar energy already underway to reduce Jamaica’s dependence on fossil fuels.
Upgrade of Check-in Area & Passenger Processing Systems
The passenger check-in area was upgraded to replace existing flooring and ceilings, and public restrooms were expanded and remodeled.
The check-in area now houses 60 upgraded Common Use Self Service Kiosks as part of the passenger processing systems used by airlines at check-in counters to reduce processing times and wait times.
Replacement and Upgrade of Common-Use Passenger Processing System, Flight Information Systems, and Common Use Self Service (CUSS) Kiosks cost USD 4.2 Million.
In addition to the full replacement of the passenger processing systems at the check-in counters, MBJ will be implementing much more self-service technology. There are some exciting pilot projects in the area of biometrics, ensuring passengers can check in off-site, tag their own bags, and use their identity to pass through checkpoints seamlessly and efficiently. The goal is that passengers spend the least possible amount of time in queues so that they can enjoy our facilities with the least stress possible.
Link to images of developments - Airport Developments - Marketing Brief