Sunday, March 09, 2014

Air traffic controller abandons post as Caribbean Airlines flight prepares to land

The Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) is investigating the circumstances surrounding an Air Traffic Controller (ATC) abandoning his post at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) control tower last Friday while a Caribbean Airlines (CAL) aircraft was getting ready to land.

Reports are that around midnight last Friday the ATC attached to the GCAA left the control tower just before the flight which originated from Trinidad was preparing to touchdown. Head of the Aviation Authority Zulphicar Mohamed told Kaieteur News yesterday that an investigation has to be conducted as part of protocol for any irregularity.

Mohamed mentioned however that nothing unusual manifested since his understanding of the situation is that the ATC was in contact with his seniors and his departure was made known. He added that another staffer was immediately able to take over.

A senior official from the CJIA told Kaieteur News yesterday that no report was made to the airport authority about what occurred, since flights were not disrupted. The official said that, “there were no delayed or postponed flights.”

Reports indicate however that the controller was feeling ill and was not relieved when he was supposed to. After informing his colleagues that he could not work through the night, the ATC reportedly left the building.

When asked about the CAL flight having to circle the airport before landing, Mohamed said that it is undetermined whether the absent ATC was the cause of this.

It is however alleged that the CAL flight landed a few minutes late because of the absent tower staff.

In a press release, the Ministry of Public Works and the GCAA said they “have launched an investigation into an incident that allegedly occurred at the Control Tower, Timehri a little after midnight – March 8, 2014.”

“The investigation will focus on the operational procedures and code of conduct as it relates Air Traffic Control Services being provided by the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority.” 


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