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Transport spokesman calls for probe into airport shutdown

Published:Sunday | September 10, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Mikael Phillips

The Opposition Spokesman on Transport, Mikael Phillips is calling for an investigation into the closure of Jamaica’s airspace for more than 24 hours.

Phillips says a reliable back-up system must be put in place to ensure that Jamaica’s air traffic navigation and communications infrastructure is able to resume its function in reasonable time, should it be affected by lightning or any other debilitating circumstances in the future.

He says a part of the focus going forward should be a complete overhaul of the air navigation and communications system.

According to Phillips, the excuse of a lightning strike cannot account for the extremely long delay in getting Jamaica’s civil aviation activities resumed.

And he says the transport minister and the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority should immediately investigate and provide a detailed explanation of the closure, as Jamaica’s civil aviation status could suffer reputational damage from this long delay in service resumption.

He says the unexplained disruption in air navigation services has also negatively impacted the tourism industry, business travel and Jamaicans who have been stranded globally.