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Jamaica Signs 15 Air Transport Agreements

by Amanda Banks,, London

12 July 2010

The Jamaican government has announced that it signed a total of fifteen Air Services Agreements at an International Civil Aviation Organization conference which ended on July 2.

The conference, which was held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, Montego Bay, Jamaica, between June 28 and July 2, was attended by over 150 delegates from 40 member states, who participated in over 200 meetings. Over 60 Air Services agreements and arrangements were signed during the dedicated conference.

In a statement at the conference, Jamaica’s Minister of Transport and Works, Mike Henry said that the signing of the agreements was part of the government’s efforts to build the island’s aviation sector, with the aim of establishing Jamaica as a transportation hub for the region. Jamaica has recently enhanced its airport’s facilities to accommodate an additional 10 million passengers annually.

Speaking ahead of the conference, the Director of the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority, Oscar Derby said: “Jamaica's involvement in the [conference] comes at a crucial time, as the government is shifting its focus to a more liberalised approach to air transport by adopting an open skies policy that provides for the interest of the passengers and the economy, while the interest of the airlines and airports are assured within the framework of a more competitive market-driven regime.”

“While Jamaica may not have the capacity to take advantage of the reciprocity allowed under these [air services] agreements, at this time, the opportunities will be created for potential investors who wish to establish airlines and other air commerce activities in the future,” Derby added.

According to the government, the agreements will have positive ramifications for the island, reducing travel costs and opening up new opportunities for the local economy.

TAGS: aviation | Jamaica

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