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Jimmy Pilots Inaugural Flight Into New Jamaica Airport

May 8th, 2010

On Friday Jimmy Buffett flew the first flight into the new Boscobel Aerodrome in Jamaica. He was greeted warmly (no shots fired) by Sports Minister Olivia Grange, Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ) chairman Mark Hart, and Island Records founder Chris Blackwell:

“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.

“It’s the ease with which you come in and go out, which this airport – which I hope will be named Ian Fleming Airport – allows,” said Buffett.

Hart later responded in the affirmative when a reporter asked him if the facility would indeed be named Ian Flemming Airport.

Grange tried to hide the revelation, butting in: “Well, we have to … we’re not going to pre-empt anything this morning. Sufficient to say we will have a name, and it will have a famous name.”

Blackwell referred to the Anguilla airport as being one that facilitates easy access by private aircraft and even smaller commercial planes, and suggested that such a model could be followed.

“When you establish something with ease to come in, it will attract people; it has a big effect on business. Any place that takes the pressure off Manley and Sangster (airports) is going to help,” Buffett said.

Grange thanked Buffett and had special commendation for Blackwell, saying:

“I want to use the opportunity to thank Chris Blackwell. He really must be commended because I remember the very first discussion about expanding the facility here and the opportunity that it will create, and in record time, it’s been a success.”

Listen to a short audio interview with Buffett here.

An interesting sidenote… the aircraft in the picture is a Pilatus PC-12. In the photo caption in the article it says the airplane is “Buffett’s private plane.” If it is indeed his plane, then this is a recent addition to Jimmy’s fleet.

The PC-12 pictured is a 2010 model registered to Pilatus so it’s possible that Jimmy recently bought it or was demoing it. Or it could be neither and he was just chartering it. If you know anything about Jimmy owning a PC-12, please drop us an email.

(Photos by Carl Gilchrist (top) and Alesia Edwards)

Tagged in Aviation, Personal/Family