…China Harbour threshold lights cause accident – Airport
Another American Airlines flight was delayed on Wednesday morning after the aircraft suffered a blowout from a raised runway light at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), leaving over 100 passengers stranded.
The incident occurred just after midnight as American Airlines flight AA1512 was taxiing down the runway for takeoff to Miami.
Guyana Times understands that the aircraft ran over the temporary runway lighting, which damaged the wheels of the plane.
The temporary lighting system was installed to facilitate current extension works at the CJIA runway.
Earlier this month when there was a failure in the runway lighting system, a senior airport official had explained to this newspaper that the runway light cables are usually run underground and the lights into the ground but because of the ongoing extension works, temporary cables are being used.
“That is just a temporary arrangement but when the runway is extended fully, [the cables and lights] will go back down underground as it would normally be,” the official had stated.
However, in a statement on Wednesday, American Airlines said that the temporary runway lights were not visible, hence the aircraft, an Airbus A319, ran over the cable and damaged some tyres.
“The cable appears to be part of a temporary runway light solution which was not visible to the crew and no previous notice was issued to pilots… No injuries were reported and passengers were bussed back to the gate,” the missive from the US-based airline detailed.
But the CJIA in a statement also on Wednesday insisted that the appropriate Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) was previously issued on the temporary lighting systems being used.
The appropriate Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) was previously issued to advise of these works and for pilots to exercise caution when in the vicinity of the threshold,” the CJIA said.
Nevertheless, after Wednesday’s incident, all 128 passengers and five crew members aboard the American Airlines aircraft were transported via buses from the aircraft back to the Terminal Building.
The CJIA said the runway was reopened at 04:40h for flight operations after the aircraft was relocated.
According to the American Airlines statement, the flight was rescheduled to leave at 02:00h on today.
In the meanwhile, the airline is in contact with the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), which has been called in to probe the incident.
Additionally, the CJIA said an internal investigation has also been launched to determine the circumstances leading to the aircraft coming into contact with the lights.
This is the second incident involving an American Airlines flight in the last two weeks. Last week, passengers on another American Airlines flight faced delays after the plane experienced compression issues while in air, forcing it to return to Guyana. Those passengers were transported the following day.
These issues come as American Airlines is gearing up to expand services here in Guyana with the commencement of non-stop flights from Georgetown to New York City in December. Currently, the airline only operates flights to Miami.