Sangster International Airport (SIA) in Montego Bay, Jamaica, was named the “Caribbean’s Leading Airport” at the 2022 World Travel Awards (WTA) at a ceremony at Sandals Montego Bay. This is the 15th time Sangster International has received the award, first winning in 2005, again in 2009, and every year since then.
The airport responded to the award with a release stating that it was honored to win in 2022 for the 14th consecutive year. The release noted that SIA was among 12 Caribbean airports competing for the award.
According to Graham Cooke, the founder of the WTA, the organization has the privilege of recognizing the driving forces in the travel industry from the leading countries in the region of the Caribbean and the Americas, stating that the winners provided examples of excellence in the industry and helped the WTA raise the industry benchmark again.
Shane Monroe, the CEO of MBJ Airports Limited, which operates Sangster International Airport, said he was “thrilled” that Jamaica’s chief international gateway was again named the leading airport in the Caribbean by the WTA. He went on to congratulate the management, staff, and stakeholders of Sangster who contributed to its achievement since 2009. Their commitment to service excellence continues to be noticed, Monroe said, adding that SIA and MBJ Airports will continue their efforts to provide the highest standards to their customers.
Sangster International Airport, which is named for the former Jamaican Prime Minister Sir Donald Sangster, is located just east of Montego Bay in St. James Parish. It can handle nine million passengers every year. It is the most popular airport for tourists who visit Jamaica’s north coast. The site for the airport was identified in 1936, and construction for the runway began in 1940 and was completed in 1947. The first international airline to make flights to what was then called the Montego Bay Airport was Pan American Airways. Pan American operated the airport until 1949 when Jamaica’s government took over control of the facility. To accommodate rapid growth, a new terminal was built in 1959 and could handle 500 passengers per hour.
In 2021, the airport handled a total of 2,589,259 passengers, an increase of over 59 percent from the previous year.