Jamaica Vows to Adopt International Standards for Aviation Safety and Security

Wednesday, March 26, 2014
By George Hatcher

The Jamaican Government plans to spend US$ 22 Million to upgrade its aviation safety and security infrastructure to bring it up to par with the international standards.

In an interview, Director General Jamaican Civil Aviation Authority Leroy Lindsay said that Jamaica is fully complying with the best practices and standards set by International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

He further said that Jamaica has improved by 10 percent from its ranking which was 30 percent in 2007, in terms of compliance requirements. Jamaican authorities are taking serious steps to comply with the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation. He hoped that Jamaica will top in the Caribbean countries in maintaining high standards of performance in aviation.

He disclosed that Jamaica will replace all outdated technology in two to three years in the air navigation services and they are planning to have Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) equipment to monitor satellite surveillance of aircraft by 2017.

He hoped to have Controller Pilot Data Link Communications in place by 2017. This technology is used for automatic communication between the aircraft and the air traffic control systems.

Lindsay further mentioned that they have already called bids for replacement of outdated radar at 26 sites.

Jamaican authorities are adopting environment-friendly measures for airspace in line with the Priority Based Navigation in the ICAO Global Navigation Plan, including Continuous Descent Approach (CDA), and Continuous Climb Operations (CCO).

In George’s Point of View

This announcement of Jamaica’s update is, in my opinion, a timely gesture, especially considered in terms of the recent events concerning Malaysia Airlines flight 370, the instant recognition code for which across the internet has been #MH370. The tragic and mysterious disappearance of Flight 370 is one many people believe would not have happened if there had been streaming data technology in place that would have relayed the plane’s details even when the transponder was shut off. Jamaica’s move toward “Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast” equipment in 2017 is one that that should be in development universally and internationally. We believe that one day the ICAO will have revised standards of online data streaming, perhaps even by 2017; and that this upgrade of Jamaica, while in compliance with current not future standards, is a step in the right direction.

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