Wed | Oct 18, 2017

JDF: Helicopter wasn't taken from relief efforts for PM's use

Published:Saturday | November 10, 2012 | 8:29 AM

The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) is seeking to clarify suggestions that a helicopter was diverted from Hurricane Sandy relief effort to be used to transport Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller.

Opposition Senator Robert Montague yesterday suggested the helicopter was scheduled to take relief supplies to affected Jamaicans.

In a release last night, the JDF said two flights had been scheduled for the deliveries and the Prime minister’s trip.

It says the flights were to have left 20 minutes apart.

However, the JDF says the relief packages delivered by Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management exceeded the weight which could be safely delivered by the assigned aircraft.

It says the JDF Air Wing considered switching the aircraft as a possible option for taking the additional supplies and the Office of the Prime Minister readily agreed to the suggestion.

The JDF says because of the rapidly deteriorating weather conditions and the time it would take to reconfigure both aircraft, the JDF Air Wing decided to proceed with the original plan.

It says the scheduled relief supplies were in fact delivered as planned, with the excess supplies being delivered the following morning.