Mon, Jul 12, 2004
Senate Passes Civil Aviation Authority Amendment
In a land where you're supposed to leave your troubles far
behind, government leaders are deciding what to do if those
troubles come a-calling.
The Jamaican Senate last week passed wide-ranging legislation
aimed at beefing up the country's Civil Aviation Authority. It
increases penalties for security violations and gives the CAA more
power in investigating aviation accidents, according to the Jamaica
Observer's internet edition.
The amendment has already passed Jamaica's Lower House. But it's
not without its detractors. Some senators said the real problem
with Jamaica's CAA is that it's not collecting all the fees owed
"On a quick examination (of the Bill) there is nothing relating
to failure to pay fees to the Civil Aviation Authority which has
been in deficit for some time," Senator Trevor Munroe told the
That's a big problem. The CAA is running $144 million (Jamaican)
in the red this fiscal year (that's about $2.35 million in US
currency). At the same time, CAA officials want to spend more than
$194 million (Jamaican -- $3.175 million US) on upgrades that
include a new radar operator training program and navaid
enhancements at the island's two main airports.
In response to Munroe's statement, Burchell Whiteman, leader of
government business, said the government is now trying to collect
delinquent fees owed several departments "and these [efforts] will
continue with some urgency."
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