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Fly Montserrat chair denies airline grounding

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Fly Montserrat chair denies airline grounding

Unread post by bimjim » Thu Feb 26, 2015

http://antiguaobserver.com/fly-montserr ... grounding/

Fly Montserrat chair denies airline grounding
February 25, 2015

Montserrat based media house, Mnialive.com, has reported that after a lengthy investigation into the operations and safety practices at Fly Montserrat, the enforcement arm of the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority, ASSI, has ordered the removal of the individual acting as the airline’s chief pilot and accountable manager.

Mnialive said initially the airline is reported to have refused to cooperate until the regulator threatened to revoke the company’s Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC), thereby grounding the airline.

In a direct response which was posted on the media house’s website, Chairman of Fly Montserrat Nigel Harris denied that the regulator threatened to revoke the airline’s AOC. He, in fact, indicated that the regulator has been enormously supportive of the succession plan and training programme.

“FlyMontserrat has held a UK Air Operator Certificate (AOC) without break since May 2009. Along with all other operators it receives regular audits by its regulator, as well as frequent external independent quality audits. No audit has ever revealed any significant safety issues,” Harris said.

“At the time of the VP-MON accident, the aircraft fully complied with the relevant airworthiness authorities and manufacturer’s required airworthiness and modification status. The aircraft fully complied with a valid Certificate of Airworthiness and initial type certificate which is required for it to fly legally,” he added.

The media house also chronicled a number of events in part one of its investigative series, where former pilots, employees and passengers provided statements regarding incidents and safety practices at the airline and what it determined as “a continuing management culture.

Harris said as part of the on-going process of building the company, they have identified that the existing management needed enlarging.

But he said any succession programme takes time to implement with identification of successors to various posts.

In October 2012, two passengers Annya Duncan of Jamaica and Sandrama Poligadu of Guyana and pilot Jason Forbes died when a Fly Montserrat plane crashed at the VC Bird International Airport shortly after takeoff.

A fourth passenger, Michael Hudson of the UK was the only survivor of the crash.

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