Jamaica is expected to earn increased revenues from overflight services as a result of the recent $17 million upgrade to the Kingston Air Traffic Control Centre (KATCC).
Speaking at the recent opening of the center, Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness explained that aviation contributes billions of dollars to the country’s economy, both directly and indirectly.
“Simply by flying over our airspace, revenue is earned and we have to find ways of improving the technology and at the same time offering that service, by virtue of Jamaica’s scale, to other countries in the region that may not have what we have, so we can leverage civil aviation as an industry,” Holness said.
Meanwhile, Nari Williams-Singh, director general of the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA), said the additional revenue would come from accommodating more aircraft in the Jamaican airspace as a result of more efficient movement of aircraft through the country’s Flight Information Region (FIR), which is many times the size of Jamaica.
He pointed out that the upgrade at the KATCC is part of a larger air navigation services modernization program, which includes two new air traffic control towers at the Norman Manley and Sangster International Airports, an instrument landing system at the Sangster International Airport (SIA), an upgrade from Aeronautical Information Systems (AIS) to Aeronautical Information Management (AIM), and implementation of navigation aids — Doppler Variable Omni Range (DVORs) — which provide signals to aircraft to navigate to a particular point at the Norman Manley and Sangster airports.
“It’s really part of a process, and with aviation technology consistently changing, we have to be at least at the cutting edge, if not ahead of the curve, to ensure that we can continue to provide a safe and reliable service,” Williams-Singh said.