The Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston Jamaica is to be divested to a private owner by 2-19. Norman Manley AirportThe divestment of Jamaica’s premier airport, the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA) is scheduled to be completed by June 2019. This was conveyed by the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Airports Authority of Jamaica and NMIA Airports Ltd, Audley Deidrick.Five potential biddersOutlining the stages that have been completed to date, he informed that, “earlier this year, eight bidders were pre-qualified for the transaction, and the bidding stage was launched in June. Since that time, we had a major bidders’ conference in September, where five of the eight bidders showed”.Deidrick explained that the bidders went through a series of presentations, and the enterprise team fielded questions from them and heard concerns and issues that they wanted to see contemplated in the transaction.Processing applications“Since then, they have submitted their formal requests for these matters to be considered. We are currently going through the process of assessing those requests to see what we will accept and what we will reject. Suffice it to say that they remain very actively and positively engaged,” he noted.Deidrick says the final draft of the concession agreement is being vetted by the enterprise team, to be sent back to the bidders after review by the team, the lenders and the Cabinet.Bid launch in February 2018 “We expect after this process that the bid launch will take place in February of 2018, and given a 30-day turnaround for the bids, by March they should have been returned. Within a month, the winning bidder will be announced by the Government. Based on this timeline, we expect to have commercial close by June of 2018,” he explained.He said that the chosen operator should be able to fulfil three critical requirements for qualification – financial strength to expand and operate the facility, technical competence to do the required construction and expansion, as well as airport operating competence and expertise.