PM Holness opens Kingston’s upgraded air traffic control centre

Prime Minister Andrew Holness (second right), cuts the ribbon to officially reopen the upgraded Kingston Air Traffic Control Centre (KATCC), at the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA) headquarters in St. Andrew on Wednesday (December 18). He is assisted by Minister of Transport Robert Montague (second left). Looking on (from left) are Vice President of Sales for French company, Thales, Frédérique Miller; and Director-General, (JCAA), Nari Williams-Singh. (Photo: Adrian Walker, JIS)

Prime Minister Andrew Holness officially reopened the multimillion-dollar upgraded Kingston Air Traffic Control Centre (KATCC), located at the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA) headquarters in St. Andrew on Wednesday (December 18).

The upgrading project, which is part of the JCAA’s ongoing modernisation programme, included installation of a new state-of-the-art voice communication control system; cutting-edge, system-wide air traffic management automation surveillance system; and a new global positioning system (GPS).

The centre is also equipped with a master clock and receiver to ensure and maintain precision and accuracy in the reporting of time, and an advanced air traffic control simulator to enhance the training of air traffic controllers.

The Prime Minister said that the investment in the upgrading of the KATCC is in keeping with the Government’s focus on developing the island’s air transport sector.

He noted that the centre, which has been efficiently operated by the JCAA over several decades, is the nucleus of Jamaica’s air traffic management, network and operations.

“Indeed, this facility is the hub that is greatly responsible for fuelling and maintaining Jamaica being known internationally as an efficient and safe air transportation location,” Holness said.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness addressing the official reopening of the upgraded Kingston Air Traffic Control Centre (KATCC), at the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA) headquarters in St. Andrew on Wednesday. (Photo: Adrian Walker, JIS)

“As a result of our efficient, seamless and safe operations, passengers, businesses and other stakeholders confidently rely on Jamaica’s navigation services for its contribution to a safe global air traffic management system, and safe and efficient passage through Jamaica’s strategic and highly traversed airspace,” he added.

PM Holness commended French company Thales for partnering with the JCAA on the undertaking.

“Thales has cutting-edge technology. They have been a traditional partner of the Government of Jamaica and they are a comprehensive service provider, not just in aviation but other areas as well, and we look forward to the continued relationship,” he said.

The KATCC provides overflight services for airplanes traversing Jamaica’s airspace without landing. It also controls the Kingston Flight Information Region (FIR), which is many times larger than Jamaica’s landmass, and covering the Cayman Islands and the surrounding Caribbean Sea.

— JIS