b752fanatic
Posts: 892
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2003 1:44 am

Trouble In Dominican Airspace

Fri Apr 02, 2004 2:32 am

There is a controller strike in Dominican Republic, and the Dominican government doesnt want to talk, instead they replaced the controllers with MILITARY PERSONNEL.

Incredible or not, all the flights are being delayed since those controllers are only capable of having an aircraft land every 30 minutes in SDQ, and operations on PUJ are cancelled as of yesterday.

They are putting a/c on holding patterns out of the airspace to comply with the requests.

Is chaos!!

Lockout slows air traffic to Dominican Republic

By Ken Kaye
and Milton D. Carrero Galarza Staff Writers
Posted April 1 2004

Dozens of flights from South Florida, New York and Europe to the Dominican Republic were delayed or canceled Wednesday, after air traffic controllers in the Caribbean nation were locked out in a union dispute.

The Dominican government installed military controllers, who allowed only one plane per half hour to land in the country's capital of Santo Domingo. Normally, 20 to 40 planes per hour arrive, officials said. Smaller airports were shut down, including in Punta Cana.


"It has slowed us down quite a bit," said Minette Velez, spokeswoman for American Airlines.

The airline, the largest U.S. carrier to the Dominican Republic, canceled six flights to the island nation, including two out of Miami and four out of San Juan, operated by its regional partner, American Eagle, Velez said. Several other flights were "running a bit late," she said.

In all, more than 40 flights from Miami, New York, Puerto Rico, Boston, Panama, Haiti, Venezuela, Spain, France and other European nations were either canceled or delayed, Dominican government officials said.

The slowdown put a strain on U.S. air traffic controllers, particularly those in the Miami Center radar complex, which monitors planes as they fly over South Florida toward the Caribbean, according to the U.S. National Air Traffic Controllers Association.

For five hours on Wednesday, the Miami Center held 20 flights on the ground. It had to add spacing between planes heading to the region, resulting in "serious safety concerns," said Doug Church, NATCA spokesman.

"It caused a ripple effect," he said. "Miami Center had to deal with more traffic."

Dominican air traffic controllers, seeking a salary increase and improved working conditions, had hoped for a contract settlement. Instead, the government replaced them with Air Force controllers at about 8 a.m. on Wednesday, officials said.

The NATCA condemned the lockout of civilian controllers.

"The actions of the government in the Dominican Republic are, at best, reckless," NATCA Executive Vice President Ruth Marlin said. "Not only is the government refusing to negotiate working conditions with its controllers, it has put the safety of its air traffic control system in jeopardy."

"Truth is more of a stranger than fiction." Mark Twain
 
latinaviation
Posts: 1162
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 11:25 pm

RE: Trouble In Dominican Airspace

Fri Apr 02, 2004 3:06 am

 
b752fanatic
Posts: 892
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2003 1:44 am

RE: Trouble In Dominican Airspace

Fri Apr 02, 2004 3:28 am

This is really serious, this could lead to a major incident.

The Dominican Government is not thinking with their heads.

They are planning on getting controllers from other countries, and paying them more that what the local controllers want to get paid.

"Truth is more of a stranger than fiction." Mark Twain
 
qqflyboy
Posts: 1618
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 1:47 pm

RE: Trouble In Dominican Airspace

Fri Apr 02, 2004 3:49 am

And when your biggest money maker as a country is tourism... how stupid can they be?
The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.
 
hugojimenez
Posts: 224
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 2:15 am

RE: Trouble In Dominican Airspace

Fri Apr 02, 2004 4:08 am

And few days ago somebody proposed Dominican Republic as the best alternative for an Iberia hub instead of Miami... Unbelievable!
 
qqflyboy
Posts: 1618
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 1:47 pm

RE: Trouble In Dominican Airspace

Fri Apr 02, 2004 4:14 am

I know it was just somebody's proposal, but SDQ as a hub for any airline would be disaster. With fairly regular frequency, AA flights arriving into SDQ at night have to either circle or divert because the runway lighting suddently shuts down. The reliability of that airport is too poor for any type of hub. I think the ops that are there now tax the system. But I still love the country.
The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.
 
b752fanatic
Posts: 892
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2003 1:44 am

RE: Trouble In Dominican Airspace

Fri Apr 02, 2004 4:18 am

This problem with the controllers is going to far.

The FAA said that there is no guarantee that is safe to let aircraft in Dominican Airspace.

They are Watching this very closely, and this hurts Dominican Aviation, since The government is pushing for CAT1 upgrade.

The fault is the Dominican Government and its president Hipolito Mejia, he is a dumb president that gives orders without knowing the consequences of his actions.

He sent military personal to the SDQ Tower in order to pressure controllers. He is like a dictator.

"Truth is more of a stranger than fiction." Mark Twain
 
b752fanatic
Posts: 892
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2003 1:44 am

RE: Trouble In Dominican Airspace

Fri Apr 02, 2004 4:27 am

This is a picture of the situtation inside.
If you can see, those two guys are two Airforce controllers.


"Truth is more of a stranger than fiction." Mark Twain
 
UAFAN17
Posts: 114
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2004 10:51 am

RE: Trouble In Dominican Airspace

Fri Apr 02, 2004 4:33 am

Isn't PUJ the only international airport, that is owned by a person, and not the government?
 
b752fanatic
Posts: 892
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2003 1:44 am

RE: Trouble In Dominican Airspace

Fri Apr 02, 2004 4:43 am

PUJ, LRM and STI, are private owned in Dominican Republic.

PUJ is owned by Frank Raineri, owner of the major hotels in Puntacana.
"Truth is more of a stranger than fiction." Mark Twain