Thu | Nov 26, 2020

Anxiety at Kingston airport as flights cancelled, airspace could reopen at 7 pm

Published:Saturday | September 9, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Travelers sit in the waiting area at the Norman Manley Airport in Kingston as they wait to hear word on the position of their flight. - Jermaine Barnaby Photo

Jodi-Ann Gilpin, Gleaner Writer

The Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston was the scene of  crowded counters and dazed faces today as hundreds of persons were left stranded after several flights were cancelled more than 18 hours after the closure of the Jamaican airspace.

Lightning yesterday struck the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA's) Air Traffic Control Facility at the Kingston Air Traffic Control Centre knocking out radar connection.

Violet Flowers, along with her husband Everold were scheduled to leave for the Cayman Islands today‎.

“My flight has been cancelled till Monday I hear. So we are just waiting to see what further updates we will get,” she said.

“We are from Linstead so we have to speak with the authorities today because we can’t afford to be back and forth everyday,”‎ she continued.

Nari Williams-Singh, director general at the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA), told The Gleaner that while some progress was made last night in restoring the equipment, closure of the Jamaican airspace has been extended until 7 p.m. 

He said every effort is being made to restore the system as soon as possible and pleaded for patience.

Senior Director of Commercial Development and  Planning  Alfred McDonald, said he is in contact with with JCAA to see how quickly normalcy can be achieved.

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