Airport operator MBJ Airports Limited (MBJ) has officially opened its newly expanded departures area at Sangster International Airport (SIA) in Jamaica.
Planning for the departures expansion commenced in 2017 with the hiring of consultants Pragma – to provide expertise in airport space and category mix planning – and The Design Solution (TDS) to provide support the airport’s commercial planning strategy and design services for airport retail.
The new design for the departure terminal blends creative architectural design with commercial drivers by enhancing natural light and providing more circulation space and seating for passengers.
The redevelopment of the 4,000m22 departures area includes a 1,300m2 walk-through duty free operated by global travel retailer Dufry at the entrance to the departures retail area. A 12m-high rotunda double-height space, with a floor-to-ceiling curtain wall creates the focal point of the newly developed food court. Highlighting the food court is a palm tree-inspired bar with wrap-around LED screens and the Bob Marley – One Love Restaurant, currently exclusive to Sangster International with a scheduled opening date of February 2023.
Audley Shaw, Minister of Transport and Mining, said, “MBJ Airports have been consistently raising the bar for airports in the region. It serves as a true representation of the vision to bring Jamaica’s aviation into the 21st century and well beyond. Congratulations to the MBJ Airports and the team at SIA on this new milestone.”
Shane Munroe, CEO, MBJ, said, “Airports worldwide have been forced to assess their strategic outlook given the impact of the global pandemic. Early lessons taught us at MBJ that we needed to continue responding to the crisis with agility, innovation and a passenger-centric focus into the future. I am truly proud of the entire team that has worked to make this vision a reality and we will be pursuing transformational changes that are equally passenger focused and operationally impactful, futureproofing MBJ’s continued recovery. The completion of this work is one step as we work towards our vision of being a leading tourism destination airport, exceeding the expectations of our passengers, while being uniquely Jamaican.”
Robbie Gill, managing director, TDS, added, “Early in 2017, and with many of the retail leases after duty free coming up for renewal, the team from Sangster approached us to see if we could find any further opportunities. Little did we know how ambitious the airport was. As it turned out, their vision was to create a gateway that would challenge any other airport in the Caribbean and to both welcome visitors but also to bid them a fond farewell before their next visit. This is the first step towards the airport team’s ultimate ambition. We are so proud to have been part of the journey so far and look forward to the incredible future evolving.”