Ian Fleming International Airport began international flight operations in January 2011. Credit: The Scientific Research Council (Jamaica).
Terminal expansion works at Ian Fleming International Airport were commenced in March 2018. Credit: Donald De La Haye.
The phase one expansion is estimated to cost $65m. Credit: Yhomo Hutchinson.

Jamaica’s third international airport Ian Fleming International Airport, formerly known as Boscobel Aerodrome, is undergoing an expansion to accommodate the growing number of tourists and business passengers.

Owned and operated by the Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ), the airport plays a vital role in Jamaica’s air transport network. It offers flight services to the US and Caribbean islands and provides direct landing facilities for private jet owners.

Strategically located in Boscobel, Saint Mary Parish in the town of Ocho Rios on the north coast of Jamaica, the airport attracts tourists to destinations of St Ann Parish and Portland Parish.

The airport witnessed a total of 2,059 passengers and 2,338 aircraft movements during 2015 and 2016.

Ian Fleming international airport history and existing facilities

The 1,047.95m² airport was originally developed as a general aviation airport with a limited-service facility. It now features one passenger terminal building and one cargo facility.

Designed to handle approximately 20,000 passengers a year, the terminal building features amenities, including a passenger lounge, customs and immigration offices, and pilot briefing rooms.

The airport also features X-ray, baggage scanner, and other security scanning equipment, as well as CCTV cameras for remote surveillance.

Cargo facilities at the airport provide light aviation cargo handling operations across the island.

Details of the ongoing expansion at Ian Fleming international airport

The ground-breaking ceremony for the latest airport expansion project was held in March 2018. Expansion works will be carried out in two phases.

The first phase will take six months to complete at a cost of $65m, including a 157.9m² expansion of the existing terminal building at the western end to increase capacity.

Phase two will cover the expansion of the existing runway by 1.5m on each side to accommodate larger aircraft, the creation of a turning circle at the ends of runway, and removal of a mound at the west end of the runway.

“The first phase will take six months to complete at a cost of $65m, including a 157.9m² expansion of the existing terminal building at the western end to increase capacity.”

AAJ plans to invest between $20m to $30m for the runway expansion.

Past expansions at Ian Fleming airport

The airport was previously renovated at a cost of $310.9m to cater small jets and international arrivals under a capital improvement plan. It was upgraded to the international standard as part of the project and renamed after British author Ian Fleming.

Work began in early 2009 and the renovated airport was inaugurated in January 2011. The project was funded by the Jamaica Ministry of Tourism through the Tourism Enhancement Fund and the JAA.

Upgrades included construction of a new terminal building, an apron for aircraft parking and taxiway, customs and immigration areas, installation of new runway lighting, lengthening the existing 914.4m-long runway by 540m, expansion and upgrade of the existing runway strip, and development of other ancillary facilities.

Works also included relocation and upgrades to the fire truck garage, airside markings and visual aids, installation of perimeter fencing and communication systems, and updates to the aviation security systems.

Runway and fuelling facilities

Ian Fleming International Airport has one 1,453m-long, 24m-wide asphalt runway (9/27). It can handle private jets, chartered flights and small commercial aircraft such as Cessna Citation Excel. The runway is accompanied by an 18m-wide taxiway.

The runway length will be increased to 1,670m upon completion of the ongoing expansion.

The airport can handle up to six international aircraft and three small aircraft simultaneously.

Fuelling facilities at the airport include a 6,000-gallon aviation gas farm and a 13,000-gallon Jet A1 fuel facility.