Investigation to be conducted into temporary closure of Airport runway
A full investigation, with action being taken where appropriate, is to be conducted, into the temporary closure of the runway at the Donald Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay St James.
Transport Minister Daryl Vaz said no effort will be spared to ensure that this mishap does not recur.
Thursday’s closure of the runway resulted in over 50 flights being impacted, with delays, diversions and cancellations.
Mr. Vaz expressed discontent with the closure.
He has instructed that MBJ Airports Limited, Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority and the Airports Authority of Jamaica each provide, a detailed report of the series of events which resulted in several delayed and cancelled flights.
In a statement Thursday evening, The Transport Ministry outlined that the closure was due to inclement weather, which affected upgrading work being carried out at the airport as well as equipment failure.
It said the temporary closure resulted in several flights being diverted to the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA) in Kingston.
This led to a swift cross-ministry, multi-agency response which saw the mobilization of the Passport Immigration and citizenship agency (PICA), Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).
Additional staff members were deployed by PICA to process passengers who were diverted to the NMIA, as part of efforts to avoid further delays upon transfer to Montego Bay.
It said some passengers were transported by air, while others were moved by buses, with the assistance of the police, back to the airport in Montego bay.
The runway at Sangster was reopened Thursday afternoon, allowing for air traffic to be accommodated for the rest of the day.
The ministry indicated that the runway expansion work being carried out at the airport would have been concluded late Thursday evening so that normal operations at the facility could resume Friday.