Buffett Lands First International Flight into new Jamaica Airport

Update: More photos are available in an article at Jamaica Information Service: “Jimmy Buffet, Boscobel Aerodrome’s First Passenger

The Jamaica Gleaner has a story on Jimmy Buffett’s inaugural flight into the new Boscobel Aerodrome airport in Jamaica: “Boscobel welcomes first flight

The Boscobel Aerodrome, on course to becoming the island’s third international airport, welcomed its first international flight on Friday when Jimmy Buffett of Margaritaville fame touched down in his single-engine aircraft around 10:30 a.m.

A welcoming party headed by Sports Minister Olivia Grange and including Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ) chairman Mark Hart, and Chris Blackwell, was on hand to mark the occasion.

The flight came ahead of the July deadline when the facility, which is still in its expansion phase, commences full operation, and an official opening planned for December to coincide with the start of the 2010-2011 winter tourist season.

Buffett, who flew in from The Bahamas, gave a thumbs-up to the facility, saying it saved time.

“I just got to say what a thrill it is to come directly into Boscobel; this just makes things so much easier,” Buffett said.

He also commended the processing by immigration officials who were brought in just for the occasion, saying the experience was “lovely”.

But Buffett might have inadvertently disclosed that the expanded facility would be named Ian Fleming Airport – in memory of the creator of the famed James Bond series – who lived and penned several of the James Bond stories just a few miles away at Golden Eye in Oracabessa, now owned by Blackwell.

Buffett Considers New Goose Seaplane

An article at BusinessNC.com mentions Jimmy Buffett has interest in the new Goose Seaplane that will be built by Antilles Seaplanes.

To expedite production, the first planes will hew to the original design, though later models might incorporate carbon fiber and other advanced materials. Buyers can customize cockpits and instruments, sticking with the original layouts or opting for such high-tech gear as global positioning systems and radar. Their choices might hold some surprises. When Jimmy Buffett visited the plant, Manuel assumed he would order one with turbines. The original engines were known for being smoky, cranky — though reliable — and loud, with an unmistakable guttural roar. “Jimmy shook his head,” Manuel says. “He said, ‘Naw, man. I want to hear that thing go grrrrrrrrrrrr.’”

More from Antillesseaplanes.com: With the purchase of the McKinnon lot, Antilles now essentially had FAA approval for all its Goose designs -a major score, given that cost of FAA type certificates for new planes cost from $20 million to $320 million. (He has reserved the possibility ofbuilding special-order Gooses for those customers, such as Jimmy Buffett, who have insisted on a radial.)