PM Welcomes Incoming US Flight from NMIA State-of-the-Art Air Traffic Control Tower

Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness (second left), tests his skills as an air traffic controller by welcoming an American Airline flight to Jamaica. Mr. Holness was on an official tour of the recently commissioned state-of-the-art air traffic control tower at the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA) in Kingston on April 19. At left is Chief Air Traffic Control Officer at the NMIA, Mark Phillips.

Story Highlights

  • The passengers and crew of American Airlines flight AAL 1589, which recently landed in Jamaica en route from Miami, were pleasantly surprised when they received a personal welcome from Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness.
  • He took the opportunity to do so after watching the aircraft touch down at the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA) in Kingston, during his official tour of the facility’s state-of-the-art air traffic control tower on April 19.
  • “AAL 1589, this is the Prime Minister of Jamaica, welcoming you to Jamaica,” Mr. Holness said.

The passengers and crew of American Airlines flight AAL 1589, which recently landed in Jamaica en route from Miami, were pleasantly surprised when they received a personal welcome from Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness.

He took the opportunity to do so after watching the aircraft touch down at the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA) in Kingston, during his official tour of the facility’s state-of-the-art air traffic control tower on April 19.

The structure and the newly constructed tower at Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay were undertaken at a cost of $2.57 billion.

“AAL 1589, this is the Prime Minister of Jamaica, welcoming you to Jamaica,” Mr. Holness said.

The welcome was met with a lusty “Thank You!” from the aircraft’s seemingly surprised pilot.

In an interview with JIS News, Mr. Holness commended the air traffic controllers “for their sterling service to Jamaica in ensuring that our airspace is safely and securely managed, and for doing it in an efficient way”.

“Air traffic service is critical to Jamaica. It supports all the other industries, in particular tourism, business in general and Jamaicans who want to travel to and from Jamaica; and it’s a critical part of our overall development,” he added.

The Prime Minister underscored the Government’s commitment to developing Jamaica’s aviation services.

This, he pointed out, was evident in the extensive modernisation and upgrading programme undertaken by the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority.

“What has happened here is a major investment in our ability to deliver air traffic services for Jamaicans and for other countries that use our airspace. We are now on the cutting edge of technology and we have been rated very highly,” he said.

Mr. Holness added that Jamaica now had the distinction of being among the countries providing the best air traffic control service in the Caribbean, which consistently delivers high performance in meeting International Civil Aviation Organisation standards.

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