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JAMAICA | Normality yet to return to Jamaica's air traffic services

Featured Aerial view of the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay Aerial view of the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay
KINGSTON, September 12, 2017 - Jamaica's air traffic services continue to be limited, to facilitate incoming outbound and over-flights within Jamaica's Flight Information Region, in accordance with the advisory from the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA), which indicated that flight services will be provided between the period 7:00 am and 7:00 pm.

“As we progress with restoration efforts, the JCAA has activated its contingency team, which is currently operating from a temporary air traffic control facility that was recently installed under the Air Traffic Modernisation Programme as a redundancy feature of the new Thales Air Traffic Management System,” the JCAA said in a media release yesterday.

The release said under the referenced modernisation programme, Jamaica is advanced in the project to implement a new state-of-the-art air traffic management environment, which is poised to enhance the safety and efficiency of Jamaica's air transport sector.

The JCAA said while the damage to its radar and communication systems following last Friday's lightning strike was extensive, several aspects of the technical repair work have been completed, but  it is awaiting additional components, which are being sourced overseas.  
   
The JCAA said technicians continue to work to enable a full restoration of the Air Traffic System’s functionality in the shortest possible time. 
   
The agency has also activated its contingency team, which is currently operating from a temporary Air Traffic Control Facility.
  
On Friday, the radar and communications systems at the Kingston Air Traffic Control Centre were struck by lightning, causing a shutdown of Jamaica’s airspace for more than 24 hours.
                                                 
The lightning strike destroyed the voice control switch that monitors the air to ground voice communications as well as the air traffic management computer systems.

At the point of the lightning strike, the JCAA's air traffic controllers were undergoing system training on the new facilities and equipment, as a critical component of the ANS Modernisation project.

The JCAA release said that in light of the fact that training is yet to be completed, limited air traffic services are being provided by a contingency team. With full certifications and validations on the use of the new system to be completed, the JCAA said it is only able to provide limited air traffic services to facilitate the continued operation of the airspace within peak hours.

It added that the lightning strike damaged the Air Traffic Management Message Handling System (AMHS), which is the established link for flight planning and disseminating notices to airmen (NOTAMS). As a result, and in keeping with established cooperative arrangements, the JCAA requested assistance from the Dominican Republic to disseminate the applicable NOTAMS. The AMHS has since been restored.

There is now limited access to Jamaica's airspace.

Last modified onTuesday, 12 September 2017 07:15
  • Countries: Jamaica