Jamaica News, kingston: The Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA) has commenced parallel operations at the Kingston Air Traffic Control Centre (KATCC).
The operations, which commenced in May, are taking place at the newly renovated KATCC, and the interim facility that has been in use since last September.
The engagement is being undertaken with a view to fully transition the operations to the upgraded facility.
This was disclosed by JCAA Director General, Nari Williams-Singh, during an interview with JIS News.
He noted that the operations had to be relocated following last September’s lightning strike at the KATCC.
“We had, at that time, moved the operations to another facility, which was, in fact, a training facility that we were using to facilitate upgrades to our systems. We have now transitioned back to the recently renovated Kingston Air Traffic Control Centre and… we are about to fully transition there with all new equipment (and) a very modern integrated system,” he added.
The Director General said the renovation was a part of the JCAA’s ongoing modernisation programme, under which the air navigation services infrastructure is being upgraded. The training facility, he indicated, will remain as a part of the contingency system.
Mr. Williams-Singh pointed out that the KATCC provides overflight services for airplanes traversing the country’s airspace without landing.
The Director General said the Flight Information Region (FIR) that the KATCC is responsible for “is many times larger than Jamaica’s land mass and (as such) we have a significant number of overflights”.
He pointed out that air traffic controllers at the KATCC coordinate the movement of all aircraft throughout Jamaica’s FIR and adjoining regions.
Mr. Williams-Singh said the airport towers, on the other hand, deal with aircraft that land at and take off from Jamaica’s airports, adding that there is coordination between the KATCC and the control towers at both locations.
This is done through three radar stations located at Norman Manley and Sangster International airports and Mount Denham in Manchester.
Mr. Williams-Singh further explained that there are some functions that can be taken over by aerodrome controllers at the airports, and that full contingency would be addressed in the next phase of the modernisation programme’s implementation. He assured, however, that the renovation and upgrades have better positioned the JCAA to respond to any issue regarding the provision of air traffic control services.
Source: JIS News