US Downgrades Trinidad/Tobago Over Air Oversight

Fri Jul 06, 2001 1:09 pm

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- U.S. aviation regulators cited Trinidad and Tobago Thursday for failing to comply with international standards for oversight of its aviation sector.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said it was downgrading Trinidad and Tobago to a Category 2 rating from Category 1 after a reassessment of the country's civil aviation authority found it fell short of standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization.

The FAA said the government of Trinidad and Tobago had indicated a desire to correct the matters identified in the FAA review.

When a country is in Category 2 status, its airlines are allowed to continue flying to the United States under heightened FAA surveillance but are prohibited from adding new service.

Copyright 2001 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Oops...No more additional flight between US and Trinidad/Tobago...
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RE: US Downgrades Trinidad/Tobago Over Air Oversight

Fri Jul 06, 2001 3:32 pm

Yes indeed, that was on the cards for the last few months and was the reason BWIA was blocked from flying to ATL, which it planned to start last year and again in May this year.

In large part this downgrading was the result of Air Caribbean, who took advantage of the Category I rating given to T&T in 1998 to fly POS-MIA services but did so in 737-200 planes which did not meet FAA standards on noise control. The local authorities gave them (C2) several waivers to continue the service while totally aware of the brewing situation with the FAA. Those C2 flights started early in 2000 and were stopped in October 2000 due to C2's worsening financial condition. C2 is now history and BWIA, a stronger airline with greater resources and a new fleet, must now suffer from its legacy.

That is quite a shame indeed - Category 2 hitting an airline with 6 factory-new 737-800s. That only paves the way for further domination of T&T by AA and possibly others (US airlines are not restricted from adding service to Category 2 countries).

Hop to it, fly for life!