Categorized | Featured, National News

Air Traffic Controllers Halt Travel


lpiaAirlines during the weekend experienced long delays and some lost of revenue after The Bahamas Air Traffic Controllers Union halted services for almost three hours.

Minister of Transport and Aviation Glenys Hanna-Martin called the move “unjustified industrial action” and called on the union to be “responsible and proportionate in its actions so as to not cause undue harm to the Bahamian people.”

President of the Bahamas Air Traffic Controllers Union Hinsey McKenzie said the halt in services resulted after workers refused to be subjected to security checks which were ordered by a United Nations Agency.

“They treated us as if we are going away on an aircraft, which we are not, we are coming to work,” Mr. Hinsey said.

“They have so much restrictions which is not needed. We have been going though this since May 13. They have put in their policies that air traffic controllers must be searched and pat down, which we think is very silly.”

“They don’t seem to realize what it’s going to cause the country by having to check us. We have decided to give them until Monday and we will meet on Monday to hopefully resolve these issues.”

When The Journal spoke to Mr. Hinsey on Saturday he said they returned to worked at 10:00 a.m. instead of the usual 7:00 a.m. and will continue services until Monday.

He added, however, that if a resolution cannot be met in the meeting on Monday, they will take the same action once again.

“I should advise that the union advised in that meeting that if the outcome of Monday’s meeting was not to its satisfaction similar damaging action will again be taken,” said Mrs. Hanna-Martin.

According to sources, Jet Blue Airlines had to cancel their flight to Florida and pay customers $100 to compensate them for their time and money.

Mrs. Hanna-Martin said the screening of air traffic controllers is a “direct mandate by the International Civil Aviation Organization, which advised the government of its imminent intent to post globally that this specific deficiency made LPIA a vulnerable aerodrome as it relates to security and noting that such action would seriously and negatively impact the economy and reputation of The Bahamas. These concerns were also documented by the United States Transportation Security Administration.”

She added that as a consequence air traffic controllers are now screened through security along with all other personnel accessing the secure airside except on duty law enforcement officers.


Written by Jones Bahamas

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