British safety experts to conduct audit of FlyMontserrat

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British safety experts to conduct audit of FlyMontserrat

Unread post by bimjim » Fri Oct 19, 2012 ... ontserrat/

British safety experts to conduct audit of FlyMontserrat
Thu, Oct 18th, 2012

BRADES, Montserrat, CMC

Two officials from the British-based Air Safety Support International (ASSI) are due in the Caribbean later this week to conduct an audit of Fly Montserrat that has been grounded by the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA) following a second incident within a 10 day period.

ASSI chief executive officer, Maria Boyle, said that Airworthiness Surveyor Craig Stubbington will visit Antigua and Barbuda where Fly Montserrat’s aircraft are serviced, while Flight Operations Inspector Cydric Desbarida will travel to Montserrat on Friday to look at the operational side.

Boyle says the ECCA had declined an invitation to be part of the exercise as observers but would be provided with a report.

ASSI is a wholly owned subsidiary of the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority.

The ECCAA grounded Fly Montserrat on Tuesday “until further notice” after one of its planes skidded off the runway stopping meters before a cliff.

Seven people, including the pilot escaped injury after Flight 2109 forced the closure of the John Osborne Airport after “going off the side of the runway”.

On October 7, the three people including the pilot were killed after a Fly Montserrat plane crashed soon after taking off from the V.C. Bird International airport in Antigua.

The ECCA has written to Fly Montserrat restricting it from flying into any ECCAA country, mainly within the nine-member sub-regional Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

On Monday, the airline’s owner, Nigel Harris sought to give the public an assurance regarding the safety of the airline, saying it is properly regulated by British-based regulators.

The Montserrat government Wednesday announced that St. Vincent and the Grenadines Airline (SVG Air) would be increasing the number of flights to the volcano-ravaged British Overseas Territory, and Premier Reuben Meade said discussions would continue with SVG Air and another regional airline to ensure that with the coming festival season, visitors are able to travel to and from Montserrat.

He said that the ferry would serve as another reliable alternative for nationals and others planning to come home for the annual festival celebrations. Montserrat will celebrate its 50th cultural festival from December 14 to January 2, 2013.

“It’s important to reiterate that we are aware of the critical importance of residents and visitors being able to travel when they need to. That is why we have been pursuing relationships with other carriers to ensure that both our air and sea access meet the needs of travellers,” Premier Meade said.

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