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Jamaica: industrial action affects service at airports

May 12th, 2022

Jamaica’s government is assuring travellers its airspace is not closed.

This after air traffic controllers took industrial action over concerns about a reclassification exercise.

Information Minister, Robert Morgan, while speaking on a radio programme confirmed the industrial action, saying that a meeting involving the Ministry of Finance and the Minister of Transport is to be held in efforts to resolve the issue quickly.

He says the controls are being manned by senior management of the Civil Aviation Authority, so flights continue in and out of the country.

Morgan noted that the air traffic controllers’ concerns are similar to those of the National Water Commission (NWC) workers who walked off the job this week, disrupting water supply for more than 500,000 customers across the island. The strike by the NWC workers has since ended.

The Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA) says it is in contact with all concerned parties and is committed to safe and efficient industry operations. It says it is hoping for a resumption of services in the shortest possible time.

Meanwhile, several international flights into the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, St James were cancelled.

An American Airlines flight that was en route from JFK in New York had to be diverted to Miami, and a flight from Charlotte, North Carolina turned back. An Air Canada flight was also forced to return to Toronto.

Services have also been disrupted at the Norman Manley International Airport.

Local media has reported that air traffic controllers have been at odds with the Ministry of Finance for the last three months owing to a fallout in salary negotiations.

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