THE TURKS and Caicos Islands has joined dozens of countries in banning Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 aeroplanes from entering its airspace.
The decision was made by the TCI Civil Aviation Authority after 737 Max 8 aircraft crashed in Ethiopia last week and Indonesia last October, killing everyone on board.
On Wednesday (March 13) the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grounded the entire fleet.
“The agency made this decision as a result of the data gathering process and new evidence collected at the site and analysed today,” it said in a statement.
“This evidence, together with newly refined satellite data available to FAA this morning, led to this decision.”
Boeing also issued a statement saying it had recommended to the FAA that the entire global operations of the fleet be suspended. Dennis Muilenburg, president, CEO and chairman of the Boeing Company, said: “We are supporting this proactive step out of an abundance of caution.
“Safety is a core value at Boeing for as long as we have been building airplanes; and it always will be. There is no greater priority for our company and our industry.
“We are doing everything we can to understand the cause of the accidents in partnership with the investigators, deploy safety enhancements and help ensure this does not happen again.”
On Tuesday, the UK Civil Aviation Authority issued a safety directive which applies to Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 aircraft.
It directed pilots and operators of any of the aircraft registered in the United Kingdom or in a third country, not to conduct any flights. It also banned Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 planes from entering UK airspace.
The Turks and Caicos Islands Aircraft Register operates in accordance with the UK’s policy on Aircraft Registers in the UK overseas territories. Therefore, the TCI Civil Aviation Authority is taking similar action.
On Thursday (March 14), Premier Sharlene Cartwright Robinson said: “As premier I am informed by the TCI Airports Authority, that no airline currently offering services to our country, use these crafts.
“This therefore means that there will be no flight interruptions.”
The Civil Aviation Authority’s direction will remain until further notice.
This story was first published by TC Weekly News.