Opposition MPs Press Govt to Shelve Plans for Vernamfield Aerodrome


Two Members of Parliament are advising against further expenditure on the Vernamfield Aerodrome in Clarendon until it’s proper utilization as part of Jamaica’s air transport can be rationalized.

Speaking at Wednesday’s sitting of Parliament’s Public Administration and Appropriations Committee, PAAC, East Kingston and Port Royal MP, Phillip Paulwell, and South St. Catherine MP, Fitz Jackson, both argued the airport could become wasted expenditure.

Mr. Paulwell cautioned that pursuing cargo transport at Vernamfield will directly clash with the expansion of the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston.

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As MP for East Kingston, the NMIA falls directly in Mr. Paulwell’s constituency. The government finalized the divestment of the NMIA just last month.

Mr. Paulwell says he doesn’t wish to see the development hampered by poor focus from the government.

However, Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Audrey Sewell, says the current phase of development at the Vernamfield Aerodrome doesn’t have cargo as its focus. But, Mr. Paulwell challenged the notion that Vernamfield can be a hub for airport repairs.

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And, South St. Catherine MP, Fitz Jackson, went further and urged the government to cease all expenditure on the Vernamfield Aerodrome at this time. He’s concerned that the expected increase in utilization envisioned from expanding the aerodrome will not materialize.

He pointed to the Ian Fleming Airport in Boscobel, which he says has seen no benefit from the millions expended on it.

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