At the end of 2022 Montego Bay (MBJ) Airports opened its expanded departures area at Sangster Airport. The expanded facility, which spans 68 outlets, has been well received by passengers travelling through the Jamaican gateway during the first few weeks of 2023.
Planning for the departures area expansion began in 2017, with the airport operator appointing various partners including Pragma to provide expertise in airport space and category mix planning and The Design Solution (TDS) to provide support for the airport’s commercial planning strategy and design services for the airport retail. The redevelopment of the airport’s retail programme was designed to transform the retail experience for passengers.
The redevelopment of the 4,000m2 terminal seamlessly blends creative architectural design with commercial drivers by enhancing natural light, more circulation space and seating for passengers. Meanwhile well-appointed concessions help create a sense of place, providing departing passengers with a lasting memory of their time in Jamaica. A 1,300m2 walk through duty free store operated by Dufry offers a functional and effective layout providing clear sightlines and footfall to the broader retail offering.
A focal point of the new food court is a 12m high Rotunda double-height space with a floor-to-ceiling curtain wall. The food and beverage offering is further enhanced with a palm-tree inspired bar with wrap around LED screens and the Bob Marley – One Love restaurant, which is scheduled to open in February 2023.
Commenting on the investment in the airport’s departure offering, Shane Munroe, MBJ’s CEO said clear vision and decisive leadership have guided the execution of this project.
“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 will be pursuing transformational changes that are equally passenger focused and operationally impactful, future-proofing MBJ’s continued recovery.”
He added that “every step of the customer journey on arrival and departure is an opportunity to win the heart of a visitor so that they will choose to visit Jamaica over and over again. We want our passengers to develop an emotional connection to our country and by extension, Sangster Airport, crating wow experiences such as this departures area.”
The Design Solution’s Managing Director, Robbie Gill added: “The airport’s 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.”