The Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, Jamaica is in the midst of a full-scale modernization project.
The plan, officials say, is to transform the busy airport into a “world-class facility.”
That includes a $70 million runway expansion, the opening of the first-ever Bob Marley-branded restaurant, the expansion of the immigration hall and departure lounge and the upgrade of outbound security.
It follows an already-completed revamp of the airport’s duty free offering.
“When the dust is settled on all of these projects, we are talking about [comparisons with] Heathrow, Atlanta, JFK, Qatar, Dubai… you name the airport,” says Delano Seiveright, senior strategist and advisor in the Ministry of Tourism. “When guests fly [into Jamaica] from wherever they are coming, there will be that ‘wow’ factor. MBJ Airports Limited must be commended for the tireless work and the vision to make this possible. That Bob Marley One Love restaurant and the runway extension will be something else.”
Jamaica is seeing sizzling tourism numbers this year, as Montego Bay hopes to eclipse the record 4.7 million passengers that used the airport back in 2019, before the pandemic.
“There are other works being undertaken to modernize the Sangster International Airport and provide a seamless experience for passengers,” said Shane Munroe, chief executive officer of the airport.
Another project will see the construction of a lounge for air-to-sea cruise passengers, providing a dedicated arrivals space for landing and then a coach transfer to the cruise ship pier.
The runway expansion project is on schedule for completion by June of this year, Munroe said.
Sangster Airport is also getting greener, with the installation of an MWac solar plant that has reduced the airport’s reliance on the national grid by 11 percent.
Even better? There are also plans for new biometric projects.
That would mean “passengers can check in off-site, tag their bags, and use their identity to pass through checkpoints seamlessly and efficiently,” said Sharon Hislop-Holt, commercial business development and marketing manager at the airport. “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.”