Oracabessa, Jamaica – Reported by Elite Traveler, the Private Jet Lifestyle Magazie
With two new airport openings it will now be more glamorous – and easier than ever – to flit in, out and about Jamaica. In conjunction with Island Outpost’s Jakes in Treasure Beach, Lionel Densham Aerodrome opened on December 16th with an event hosted by Jamaica’s Prime Minister, Bruce Golding; and Ian Fleming International Airport, Jamaica’s third international entry point, is set to launch on January 12th, just 10 minutes away from the newly-reopened GoldenEye Hotel & Resort in Oracabessa.
Ian Fleming International Airport
Jamaica opened its first international airport in February, 1947. At the time Montego Bay Airport (today known as Sangster International) was the lively hub for island-hopping glitterati. Now, a month shy of that airport’s 64th anniversary, the best-loved bolt hole of the Caribbean will receive its third international airport with the launch of Ian Fleming International. The airport will be officially opened by Prime Minister Bruce Golding with a 4pm launch event on January 12th, and will be attended by Fleming’s nieces, Lucy and Kate, as well as Island Outpost founder and music mogul, Chris Blackwell.
The airport formerly known as Boscobel Aerodrome has been updated and expanded to accommodate private jets and other small commercial aircraft. It has also received a fitting name change – Ian Fleming was not only a fixture of the area (his Jamaica home is the idyllic GoldenEye Hotel & Resort) but he also helped put Jamaica on the map during the glamorous 50s and 60s. He and good friend Noel Coward would host everyone from heads of state to Hollywood royalty between his own estate and Coward’s nearby cliff-top home, Firefly.
Providing quick and easy access to Jamaica’s beautiful North Coast, the launch of Ian Fleming International means that the phrase “Let’s pop down to GoldenEye for lunch and a swim,” is no longer simply wishful thinking! The airport will be able to park six international aircraft with a maximum wingspan of 55 feet (16.8 meters) and maximum length of 65 feet (20 meters), plus three small domestic planes. Also available will be JetA1 and AvGas fuel. Initially, international flights will be limited to private aircraft, with a domestic shuttle service between Jamaica’s other airports set to launch at a future date.
Lionel Densham Aerodrome
For guests wishing to fly to Jakes, Lionel Densham Aerodrome is a new private airstrip located 10 minutes away from the resort. Exclusively for Jakes guests, it is the first aerodrome in Jamaica to be wholly owned by a resort property, to be used as an amenity for guests. The grass-surfaced strip is 2,300 feet long (701 meters) and is ideal for single-engine light aircraft. Four- and six-seater Cessnas will be available to transfer guests between Jakes and other Island Outpost properties, as well as to and from the main airports at Montego Bay and Kingston.
All flights will be private charters and part of a VIP package, which will include a complimentary bottle of champagne and spa treatments. But with rates starting at US$275/night for VIP flight and stay packages, this luxe add-on won’t break the bank! Reservations can be booked through Jakes, or Island Outpost’s central reservations. Guests wishing to land their own planes at Lionel Densham should request permission prior to their stay.
The eponymous airstrip pays homage to Jamaica’s first aviator, Lionel Densham – the great uncle of Jakes’ owner Jason Henzell. He was a local eccentric who first came to Jamaica in 1929 while navigating a yacht for some wealthy Americans. When the stock market crashed, so did the yachting job, and Lionel returned to Jamaica with his only sibling, Basil. Lionel was the first person living in Jamaica to own his own plane, but was perhaps a little more famous for his eccentricities. When a friend stopped to find out if he was having engine trouble he said: “Oh no old boy, just frying an egg,” and sure enough that is just what he was doing, with his frying pan balanced precariously on his engine block.