Jamaican air space remains closed after lightning strikes radar equipment
Janet Silvera, Senior Gleaner Writer
As the Jamaican airspace remains closed, Air Canada from Toronto, Canada, Copa Airlines out of Panama and Southwest have cancelled their flights into the island for today.
All three flights were scheduled to arrive at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay.
This is the second day that flights into the island have been cancelled, following the damage to radar/communication system operated by air traffic controllers by lightning yesterday. Both Sunwing 732 from Canada and Orbest 890, from the UK were diverted to alternate airports in the USA, leaving several passengers stranded.
The Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA) is expected to make a statement by 10 a.m. giving an update on the situation. In the meantime, MBJ Airports Limited, operators of the Sangster International Airport, says all flights coming into their facility have been put on hold.
In an advisory to the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), MBJ has advised the group to keep its guests at hotels until further notice.
“Once the airport is open we will advise them (patrons),” said Sharon Hislop, MBJ’s manager - commercial, business development and marketing.
It is not clear how many flights into and out of the Norman Manley International Airport have been affected by the air space closure.