Ava-Marie Ingram, Corporate Communication Manager at the JCAA and Delano Seiveright, Senior Advisor for Strategy at the Ministry of Tourism
Despite an assurance from Information Minister Ruel Reid that the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA) would resume 24 hour service Tuesday, it remains unclear whether this will be achieved.
Ava-Marie Ingram, Corporate Communication Manager at the JCAA, told RJR News that work continues to restore air traffic services to a 24 hour operation.
She said at present the JCAA continues to provide limited air traffic services.
"We do have a redundancy in place and that's the system that is currently being used... We will be able to accomodate incoming, outbound and overflight within Jamaica's airpsace. I'm not sure if any measures will be necessary because we, of course, are using our backup system," she stated.
Jamaica's air traffic services were interrupted on Friday following a lightning strike which affected radar and communication systems at the JCAA.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Tourism is in agreement with the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) that the fallout from the shutdown of the island's air space will result in millions of dollars in losses.
The closure of Jamaica's airspace for more than 24 hours between Friday and Saturday led to the cancellation of several flights, as well as delays.
Delano Seiveright, Senior Advisor for Strategy at the Ministry of Tourism, said the fact that flights from the United States were also affected due to airport closures provided a double hit for Jamaica.
However, fortunately or unfortunately, he said, many of Jamaica's incoming flights originate in Florida, the state that was hardest hit by Hurricane Irma.
"(Florida) flights weren't operating either way from Friday due to the effects of Hurricane Irma. So the breakdown in the system in our airspace, while very challenging, would have been exacerbated had these flights from Florida also been operational and they were not," he argued.
He said normality should return to Jamaica's airspace by the end of the week, however, for now, visitors to the island have been able to leave.
Mr. Seiveright said the Ministry of Tourism has been getting regular updates from the JCAA and based on their correspondence, operations are expected to improve "certainly today into tomorrow."
He said the JCAA has said it will issue a statement on the matter on Wednesday.