REDjet: Protectionism behind safety concerns

REDjet says the integrity of its carrier’s safety has been unfairly maligned following a meeting of Transport Ministers in Trinidad last Thursday. In a statement yesterday, the management said, it was evident that REDjet’s operations and aircraft have been subject to certification by Barbados, T&T and Jamaica for many months and much more so than any other airline.

They conclude that the continuance to raise these issues can only be politically motivated by protectionism. To further substantiate their claim, REDjet stated that it had acquired two MD-82 (McDonnell Douglas), which were operated and maintained by American Airlines (AA). But prior to this acquisition, it said, both aircraft received Export Certificate of Air Worthiness from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States. This certification, it claims, confirms that the aircraft has been maintained to comply with the maintenance programmes approved by the FAA and operated by American Airlines.

As such, since the acquisition, each aircraft has been maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications and regulations of Barbados. In addition, it said, Barbados regulations are based on the same international Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards, as used by the majority of countries in the Caribbean, including T&T. “Therefore, to question any issue of air-worthiness or safety of these aircraft based in history is, therefore, to question the integrity of the FAA and American Airlines,” it said. It also noted that all its pilots, cabin crew and flight dispatch officers are fully trained, certified and hold valid licences.

It further stated that the low cost carrier has been flying successfully from Barbados and Guyana transporting the West Indies Cricket Board and participating teams. Earlier reports stated that Works and Transport Minister, Jack Warner, and Transport ministers of Barbados—George Hutson and Jamaica—Micheal Henry, agreed that once REDjet met the safety requirements of Jamaica and T&T’s Civil Aviation Authority, then it would be granted the approval to fly into the respective islands. The final permission for REDjet lies with the Prime Ministers of T&T and Jamaica.

Source: The Trinidad Guardian