Millions lost in air traffic fees due to malfunctioning equipment
The Jamaica Air Traffic Controllers' Association says the country may have lost close to US$1 million because of reduced traffic in the country's airspace in recent weeks.
President of the association, Kurt Solomon, says in February, Jamaica expected close to 9,000 airplanes to use the airspace but only 5,000 airplanes did.
Solomon says this is the worst decline in traffic in a decade.
He says the reduced air traffic and loss of income is due to the constant malfunctioning of the equipment used to control air traffic, which makes it difficult for air navigators to control aircraft in Jamaica's airspace.
Earlier this year, a two-year programme valued at US$15 million was implemented to modernise the radar system used by the air traffic controllers to track aircraft.
However, Solomon says the radar system is not the only piece of equipment that is malfunctioning.
Solomon says currently Jamaica's air navigation services are provided by the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority, the same agency that regulates air traffic control and has responsibility for providing new equipment.
He says it is believed that separating the regulators from the air traffic controllers would solve most of the problems now being faced.