Full Access to Jamaica’s Airspace Today

Photo: Donald De La Haye Chairman, Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA), Phillip Henriques (right), responds to questions during today’s (September 13) post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House. At left is Aviation Advisor to the Minister of Transport and Mining, Leroy Lindsay.

Story Highlights

  • Chairman of the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA), Phillip Henriques, says the Authority is working to restore full access to the country’s airspace.
  • Speaking at yesterday’s (September 13) post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House, he said the aim is to be able to facilitate landing and departure of all flights between yesterday and today.
  • Meanwhile, Mr. Henriques said the JCAA is in the process of changing over to a new air traffic control system – TopSky Air Traffic Management (ATM).

Chairman of the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA), Phillip Henriques, says the Authority is working to restore full access to the country’s airspace.

Speaking at yesterday’s (September 13) post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House, he said the aim was to be able to facilitate landing and departure of all flights between yesterday and today.

Major damage to the JCAA’s radar communication system due to a lightning strike last Friday (September 8), has resulted in limited access to the country’s airspace.

Mr. Henriques said the JCAA “has made rearrangements, brought in contingency teams and is pulling in lots of different crew to maintain the airspace”.

He noted that the inclement weather over the weekend further delayed the process of repairing the communication system.

Meanwhile, Mr. Henriques said the JCAA is in the process of changing over to a new air traffic control system – TopSky Air Traffic Management (ATM).

He noted that the air traffic controllers are undergoing training, which will better enable them to fully utilise the new system.

“The older system, we still are getting parts for that as quickly as possible, but we are also in the middle of a transition period from the old system to the new system, and all our air traffic controllers are not fully trained,” he said.

“When the lightning hit, it did not damage the new system as much as the old one, because the fibre-optic lines are more capable of handling that and, as such, we were able to get back the TopSky system very quickly,” Mr. Henriques informed.

He said the two systems are housed in separate buildings.

Mr. Henriques commended the staff for all the work they have done over the period.

In the meantime, Aviation Advisor to the Minister of Transport and Mining, Leroy Lindsay, said that all the proper channels and protocols were followed.

“There are no penalties. Everything that is being done at the JCAA since Friday has been coordinated with the International Civil Aviation Organization, and everything has been done within the standards of the aviation industry,” he noted.

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