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Three Air Traffic Controllers sent off job to facilitate probe

Last Updated on Saturday, 26 December 2015, 20:59 by GxMedia

Three Air Traffic Controllersd have been removed from duty to facilitate an investigation into why another controller last Saturday night left his post as a Caribbean Airlines flight was preparing to land at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA). 

“To facilitate the investigation, three persons have been removed from duty,” the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) said in a statement.

Demerara Waves was told they are one senior and two junior Air Traffic Controllers. The senior controller was the one who went upstairs to clear the aircraft to land.

The GCAA said it is expected to submit its findings on the incident to Transport Minister, Robeson Benn “by the end of the week”.

Government has already said that the investigation would focus on the operational procedures and code of conduct for Air Traffic Control Services being provided by the GCAA.,

The Authority sought to allay fears and concerns by the travelling public by stating that the Caribbean Airlines flight was in “continuous contact and in the control of the Area Control Centre which provided a replacement Air Traffic Controller to ensure the safe landing of the aircraft:”

That appears to confirm an earlier Demerara Waves report that when the Air Traffic Controller left his post at the end of his eight-hour shift because he was unwell, a colleague from another unit that monitors overflights went upstairs to take over 

The Caribbean Airlines flight landed about eight minutes late althoiugh it had departed Piarco International Airport a biut early, an airline official has said.