Air traffic controllers tired of being blamed, says association
The Jamaica Air Traffic Controllers Association says its members are tired of being blamed for the problems being caused by malfunctioning equipment at the island’s airports.
The Board of Airline Representatives of Jamaica has stated that its members are losing money and their reputations are taking a hit because of strike action by the island’s air traffic controllers.
Last week transport minister, Mike Henry, said industrial action by the air traffic controllers contributed to a fall in revenue from the use of Jamaica’s airspace.
However, President of the Jamaica Air Traffic Controllers Association, Kurt Solomon, says the facts are being misrepresented.
He argues that since the start of last year, air traffic controllers have only taken industrial action twice.
Solomon notes that in February when there was a fall in revenues from use of the airspace, members of the association were on the job as they were ordered back to work by the Industrial Disputes Tribunal at the end of January.
Solomon says the main reason for reduced use of the air space and delays is the malfunctioning equipment about which air traffic controllers have repeatedly complained.
He says when the situation worsened in February it was the air traffic controllers who drafted a plan for reducing the delays and presented it to the JCAA, despite being ordered back to work.
Solomon also says in the event of industrial action, there are contingent measures the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority can put in place to reduce the effect on activities in the airspace.