JAMAICA – Losses pile up as a result of air space shutdowns

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The Jamaican Government is facing more losses following Friday’s lightning strike which damaged radar and communication equipment at the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority and resulted in intermittent shutdowns of the country’s air space.

Nari Williams-Singh, Director General of the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority, has confirmed that the entity’s revenues have been affected by the disruptions. These include fees it earns for various services.

Williams-Singh said navigation and overflight fees plus passenger aviation service charges have been lost. He explained that total losses are still being tabulated.

Jamaica’s airspace was closed for more than 24 hours between Friday and Saturday after a lightning strike damaged the radar and communication systems at the Kingston Air Traffic Control Centre. There have been subsequent disruptions to air traffic services.

The government has so far racked up a bill of $25 million as efforts continue to achieve full reopening of the country’s airspace.

A portion of the money is for the acquisition of parts to repair the equipment which are critical to air navigational services.

Transport Minister Mike Henry says the purchase of the parts is being fast tracked.

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