Major Improvements for Aviation Sector


The aviation sector will benefit from several major improvements this fiscal year as the Government moves to modernize and boost the air transport system.
As contained in a report on the aviation sector, which was tabled by Minister of Housing, Transport, Water and Works, Robert Pickersgill on May 30 in the House of Representatives, the works will be carried out by the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA) in keeping with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) Air Traffic Management implementation strategy.
The primary objective is to support the growth in the tourism industry and Jamaica’s economy by continuing the provision of modern, reliable air navigation equipment and services and professional flight safety oversight services, in order to facilitate increased air transport traffic to Jamaica.
August 2007 is the projected deadline for the JCAA to install a new and modern Aeronautical Fixed Telecommunications (AFTN) Switch, said to be the first in the Caribbean and one of the most advanced air traffic and aeronautical information service systems in the world.
The new switch, which cost US$807,504 will replace the outdated aeronautical switch and will include a modern pilot briefing system and an aircraft billing system, the report said.
In addition, US$494,000 has been budgeted for the upgrading of all radar systems software and monitors to continue the provision of efficient air navigation services.
Plans are also in place for the construction of two modern stand-alone air traffic control towers at Norman Manley and Sangster International airports at a total cost of US$18 million. Approval of the National Contracts Commission is pending, following which the JCAA will sign a contract with the Canadian Commercial Corporation for the construction of the towers.
In the meantime, the JCAA will continue the study of new navigation systems being introduced worldwide and prepare for an audit by the ICAO under its Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme, in October 2007.
Preparations for the audit will include the implementation of safety management systems for aerodromes, air traffic services and international commercial air operators.

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