JIS News

Inspector Christopher ‘Rally’ Bickford of the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA), says it could take up to two years before investigators can definitively say what really caused last December’s accident involving American Airlines flight 331 at Kingston’s Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA)
Speaking on Wednesday (January 6) at the weekly Post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House in Kingston, Mr. Bickford said investigations into the matter are expected to be extensive and thorough.
“An investigation like this is a very lengthy and very detailed process. We spend many months just collecting information and collecting data before we even think about analysis,” he said.
“People think that we go out to the site and we come back three days later and think that we’ve done the investigation, but that’s very, very far from the truth. What we do is, we collect data and the collection of the data might take many, many months,” he added.
Mr. Bickford said laboratory tests, scientific examinations and expert opinions, which will undoubtedly take some time, might also be necessary during the course of the investigation,
“So it could take as much as a year before we even get to the analysis stage and what we do then is, we put everything on the table and we start to think about it in analytical terms, and that can take a long time because there are differing opinions, different parties have their own (views) on aspects of the accident,” he outlined.
“It can take up to two years before the final report is released to the public,” Mr. Bickford stated. He said the draft report must also go through an “interested party process”, where the involved parties are invited to read it and make their comments.
“So that has to go through a process where the report comes back, we look at their comments, decide whether or not they should be incorporated and then, eventually, the board will decide in what form the final report is released,” he said.
The American Airlines’ aircraft overshot the NMIA runway on December 22, as the pilot attempted landing on arrival from Miami, Florida. There were 154 persons on board the aircraft. There were no fatalities, but numerous injuries were reported.

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