Most people are puzzled when they learn that an airport in Jamaica is named after Ian Fleming.
The airport, formerly known as Boscobel Aerodrome, is located in the parish of St. Mary where Fleming, a Naval Intelligence Officer lived and created the British spy, James Bond.
Fleming fell in love with Jamaica on his first visit in 1943. The Jamaica of Fleming’s time was the playground for the rich and famous. Katharine Hepburn, Noël Coward, Errol Flynn and others were regular visitors to the island. Coward, Fleming’s neighbor was best man at his marriage to Anne, at the town hall in Port Maria, St. Mary.
Fleming loved Jamaica and for nearly twenty years, retreated to the island where he wrote the 12 novels and short stories that feature Bond. The island became the backdrop in several of his books – Dr. No, The Man With the Golden Gun, Live and Let Die and Octopussy are largely or partly set in Jamaica.
He might have also borrowed the name of his fictional character from a famous ornithologist, James Bond, on whose family estate in Jamaica he was allowed to write.
Two of the Bond movies, Dr. No and Live and Let Die were also filmed in Jamaica. The car chase in Dr. No was filmed on the Palisados road that links the Norman Manley International Airport to Kingston. Ursula Andress (Honey Ryder) emerged from the sea at Laughing Waters Beach in St. Ann, and other scenes were shot at the aptly named James Bond Beach, in the same parish.
Bond returned to St. Ann where several locations including the Green Grotto Caves were featured in Live and Let Die.
Speaking at the opening at the Ian Fleming International Airport on January 12, 2011, former Prime Minister Bruce Golding addressed critics who thought the airport should have been named for a prominent Jamaican noting that Fleming gave the island “an image much larger than it otherwise would have had.”
Ian Fleming died in England on August 12, 1964 and was buried in Kent.