Categorized | National News

Cracks Down On Hackers

Two weeks after a fatal crash off Mastic Point Andros, killing all on board including the pilot, Bahamas Civil Aviation Authority (BCAA) said that it is  clamping down on ‘hacking’; an illegal practice that persons with private license pilots find themselves involved in.

Addressing the media during a press conference that addressed the investigations into the fatal Andros crash, BCCA Director, Captain Charles Beneby said that policies are in review in an effort to have new legislation enacted.

“The BCAA is reviewing its policies and procedures for the purpose of  enacting or causing to be enacted new legislation and regulations where necessary to further tighten control of the industry.

“Our role is to oversee and regulate all matters relating to aviation activities in the country.

“A private pilot is not authorized to fly for hire.  Any attempt to do so is illegal and any attempt by a member of the public to engage such services makes that person complicit in an illegal act.

“It is now our charge at the BCAA to clamp down and to eliminate any possibility of such an occurrence where possible.

“We will crack down on illegal operators,” Capt. Beneby said.

As for how they intend to bring the practice of ‘hacking’ under control, Capt. Beneby said that they BCAA has already began its surveillance with the team on the ground and the introduction of CCTV.

“The Safety Oversight Department is now charged with increasing its surveillance of the General Aviation areas, including the Fix Base Operators.

“We will introduce new video capture capabilities. My team members will be on the ramp every day, early morning until night.

“If an operator is engaged in that practice and we have strong information that they are, they will be caught,” Capt. Beneby confirmed.

According to Capt. Beneby,  although the  issue of ‘hacking’ is a long-standing practice, no one has been prosecuted, but that he said will change.

“The law allows me the authority to join with other government agencies to fine and seize aircrafts and even to imprison persons who engage in such practices,” Capt. Beneby said.

The penalty for air hacking has been increased from $1,500 to $10,000; the aircraft seized and up to two years jail time.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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