Fri | Sep 22, 2017

Possible flight cancellations tonight, Jamaican airspace to close as air traffic controllers report sick

Published:Saturday | August 22, 2015 | 8:28 PMLivern Barrett, Gleaner Writer

There could be more flight cancellations tonight because Jamaica's airspace is to be closed at 9 o'clock as air traffic controllers continue to call in sick in an apparent protest over wage issues and the failure of the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA) to address a number of problems they say have been significantly affecting their performance.

This is the second straight night the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA) has been forced to close Jamaica's airspace because air traffic controllers have failed to turn up for work.

Between last night and this morning, several aircraft had to be diverted from Jamaican airspace for the same reason.

Meanwhile, Director General of the JCAA, Nari Singh, says the airspace should reopen at 7 o'clock tomorrow morning.

He also said although adequate notices were dispatched to the various airlines operating in Jamaican airspace, there were disruptions this morning with several flights being cancelled.

However, one executive member of the Jamaica Air Traffic Controllers' Association has denied suggestions that his members are staging a protest and have defied a back to work order issued by the Industrial Disputes Tribunal (IDT) last night.

General Secretary of the association Lenroy Morrison told The Gleaner-Power 106 News Centre that his members called in sick with different complaints and that this was communicated to the IDT.

As a result, he says it is incorrect to say his members disobeyed the IDT.