Civil Aviation bans Boeing 737 Max from Cayman airspace

| 12/03/2019 | 59 Comments
Cayman News Service

One of Cayman Airways’ new 737 Max 800 aircraft

(CNS) UPDATED 6pm: The Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands has issued a ban on all Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 aircraft in local airspace, starting Tuesday evening. On Sunday Cayman Airways grounded its own two new Max 8’s after an Ethiopian Airlines flight from Addis Ababa bound for Nairobi crashed minutes after takeoff earlier that day, killing all 157 people on board. CAACI has now stated, “It appears that there are similarities between this accident” and the air crash on 29 October of a Lion Air Max 8, and for safety reasons is ordering a full restriction on this type of plane.

“Given the similarity of the two accidents, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands has decided as a precautionary measure in the public interest that operations by Boeing 737-8 MAX and Boeing 737-9 MAX aircraft in the airspace of the Cayman Islands should not take place until appropriate safeguards are in place,” the CAACI stated in the safety directive.

“The CAACI, in exercise of the governor’s powers under article 68 of the Air Navigation (Overseas Territories) Order 2013, directs pilots and operators of any Boeing 737-8 MAX and Boeing 737-9 MAX not to conduct any flights after 5:00pm on 12 March 2019 in the airspace of the Cayman Islands,” states the order.

This means that any airline flying to Cayman using a 737 Max 8 or Max 9 must either cancel the flights or using an alternative type of aircraft.

CNS has contacted officials at the Ministry of Tourism and the Cayman Islands Airports Authority to find out how much of an impact this could have on local air arrivals. In a short statement, Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell acknowledged the directive from the CAACI.

“We fully support the safety measures implemented by our national flag carrier Cayman Airways and now the CAACI,” he said. “My government will continue to coordinate across departments and agencies in the best interest of our country, tourism and all businesses.”

However, so far officials have not said what the wider impact will be on the tourism sector and what airlines and flights will be impacted.

Meanwhile, officials from Cayman Airways have  now confirmed that the national flag carrier is “implementing measures to protect all the Denver Flights, either with our own B737-300 aircraft with a potential fuel stop, or that of a contracted Substitute Service carrier,” given that the Max 8 aircraft which made the new route possible is stuck on the tarmac.

Officials also stated that there have been no abnormal maintenance issues with the first Max which arrived in Cayman last year, following some speculation about the new planes locally. However, the airline confirmed that in January, the engine manufacturer requested some checks which were completed successfully.

The Boeing 737 Max,  the manufacturer’s latest and best-selling short-haul aircraft, has been grounded by around two dozen airlines around the world. Aviation authorities in several countries have also banned the planes from their airspace after Sunday’s crash amid general safety concerns about the model.

As aviation authorities and airlines in the UK, Germany, France, Australia, Indonesia and China pull the aircraft from service or ban them from airspace, Boeing, which has sold more than 300 of the planes, continues to claim the aircraft is safe. The US FAA has not yet issued any directives.

“The Federal Aviation Administration is not mandating any further action at this time, and based on the information currently available, we do not have any basis to issue new guidance to operators,” the FAA said in a statement Tuesday, despite calls from crews across the US to ground the planes.

As noted by the local aviation regulator, the cause of the second 737 Max crash in less than five months is not yet known as investigations are still underway. But experts agree it is of significant concern for a new, modern aircraft managed by two reputable airlines with solid safety records to crash twice in a matter of months for what appears to be mechanical or technical reasons.

Check back to CNS for information updates on this matter as we continue to ask the authorities for relevant details.

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Category: Business, Tourism, Transport

Comments (59)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    now if we can just ground the dash 8 aircraft we will be safe.

    • Anonymous says:

      #bringbacktheshorts!

    • Anonymous says:

      So now that the FAA has grounded and banned the Max 8 and 9 from their air space, to the person who yesterday besmirched the credibility of Rachel Maddow on the basis that she was “left wing”, what do you say now?

      Rachel Maddow, who was questioning last night why the FAA did not take action on what was obvious to a vast array of other countries, is one smart cookie — and at least she tells the truth, unlike the lying despicable right wing Fox news.

      We need Rachel Maddow as the counterpoint to the yellow journalism of brainwashing Fox news.

      And by the way, don’t go around telling people who they should give credibility to — we are all entitled to our own judgements. If you Trumpets want to watch Fox, all power to you — but I prefer the intellectual honesty of Maddow who generally does not get it wrong.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Is there a Dash 8 operating in the Cayman Islands?

    • Anonymous says:

      What does the dash 8 have to do with this or anything ?

  2. Long Memory says:

    Truman Bodden went to Ireland and negotiated CAL out of the ruinous lease of two 737-400 aircraft set up by Norman.
    Come back Truman, you are needed NOW.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Have CAACI confirmed if any, or all, of CAL’s 737-qualified completed the optional MCAS supplemental offered by Boeing post-Lion Air? It is emerging that there are an alarming number of experienced 737 pilots worldwide that had declined this training on the new aircraft control software, and fault conflict protocols, even after the October tragedy. It would be comforting to ascertain if our pilots are fully up-to-date, and if not, perhaps use any downtime to get there before service resumes.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Just like the dock the airport the garbage the skyscraper another fool fool decision by our resident political dingbats and clueless leadership.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Many hours subsequent to the rest of the non-corporate affiliated world, CAACI finally came around to rationale that maybe we shouldn’t be hosting any MAX-8 airline crashes until there is credible info to review. NTSB/FAA/Boeing have days, not months, or even weeks to sort this out.

    • BeaumontZodecloun says:

      I think there are yet a few things to whinge about that you’ve forgotten to include.

      Cheer up, Sunshine. Most people are “cup half-empty” mentalities; a rare few are “cup half-full” types. “Upended cups” have a dour existence and often die unfulfilled and dissatisfied. You don’t want to spend your remaining days that way do you? Think about it.

      People that change things talk about solutions, not problems. Problems are low-hanging fruit that any damn fool can pick. Decide what matters, and give it your attention. I promise you, whatever you choose will pay you back more than you can imagine. All that other stuff……. it becomes background noise when you wake up one day and find yourself satisfied to be making things better.

  5. Anonymous says:

    How did the planes fly before they got “mind of its own”? I don’t buy anything “smart”. From toster to fridge. $5 mechanical alarm-clock works perfectly and doesn’t track my every step. It doesn’t shower me with any kind of man made radiation either.
    “Smart” planes have outsmarted it’s masters. You call that progress? I call it self destruction.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Overkill

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  7. Anonymous says:

    so how will all the non fare-paying passengers get to denver?????……….zzzzzzz

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  8. Anonymous says:

    https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/12/business/ethiopian-airlines-ceo-richard-quest/index.html

    There was problems with these planes, why would cayman airways go and purchase them knowing there could be MAJOR PROBLEMS!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Do you honestly think they knew. What a genius you are!!!!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Seriously, what a stupid question. These planes were ordered a long time ago and the first incident only happened a few months ago…What did you think Cayman Airways had, a crystal ball?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Hmmmm so you are the expert?..How do you know it was the plane itself or pilot error or even some type of terrorist act?… One witness claimed he saw smoke coming from the back of the plane before it crashed…

      Lets not jump to conclusions until we now what actually happened..The planes were grounded by Cayman Airways out of an abundance of caution for the safety of all passengers..No one has said it was the planes fault…

      Kudos to Cayman AIrways for being one of the first, if not the first to take this action…American, Southwest, Air Canada, Westjet, and United are still flying them…Wonder why they bought them???

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    • Anonymous says:

      On the Rachel Maddow show on MSN tonight maddow said that there is a bunch of reports of American pilots of US airlines reporting from November auto pilot and other anomalies that made Max 8 plane unmanageable. So even with all their training American pilots have had problems.

      She expressed concerns about why the FAA is not grounding the Max 8 in light of all that is known about the aircraft and the fact that so many countries are grounding the aircraft.

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      • Anonymous says:

        I’d prefer to take my cues from other than Rachael Maddow, she is known to be a left wing cynic.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Rachel Maddow also bangs on about Cayman Islands being a money launderers haven. She also went off about the number of cars parked in the Ugland House parking lot compared to the number of registered offices using that building as their address…
        That woman knows sweet FA about what is coming out of her mouth. She is merely a talking head.

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        • Anonymous says:

          She talks about the Caymans as a money laundering haven because the Russians and people around Trump such as Manafort used Cayman for laundering their money. She is just reporting what many others are saying.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Criticism of FAA mounting in US. talk about Boeing lobbying Trump not to ground the Max 8. Meanwhile there is talk about how the chief of FAA can be overruled. This is a huge worldwide crisis.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Finally! The Civil Aviation Authority has woken up. Duh!

    • Anonymous says:

      The aircraft were NOT purchased by CAL, there LEASED.

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      • Jotnar says:

        Yep. Except unless you have an escape clause in the lease that says you can change your mind and hand it back, you are probably committed to either paying for the minimum lease period or any loss on the value of the aircraft. Imagine you buy a car on lease – you think you get to hand it back without penalty if it subsequently comes out the model doesn’t get good safety ratings? Think again. Now think about taking delivery of a car worth over $100m – you think the leasing company isnt contractually protected about you changing your mind? .

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        • Anonymous says:

          If you sign an agreement to lease a car and the car subsequently gets recalled and mandated to not drive on the road, you BET you get out of your contract.

          This is FAR more than mere “safety ratings”. This is a global shutdown, where dozens of countries are not allowing this aircraft to fly in their airspace.

      • Anonymous says:

        * They’re. There!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman Airways did not purchase them. They are only here on a lease. They are a really fancy ride from “Hertz-rent-a-plane”. Oh, and WE are paying for them, not Cayman Airways.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    All A330’s since have been subject to scrutinizing tests ever since and barely missed having an all out ban. What your also missing is the fact that whilst icing played a significant role in systems failure that led to the Air France crash, the pilots did not recognize the stalled condition of the aircraft until it was too late. In fact they further induced it by not cross checking the instruments to find out why the stick was held back but the aircraft was not climbing with engines at full thrust.

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    • Anonymous says:

      6:32 The official report on the Air France incident, which as has been correctly stated was the latest of nine similar events, shows that Airbus were already fully aware of the fault with the pitot tubes but they didn’t take any action on it until a month after the crash.

      Basically, the crew may have screwed up but they were the victims of a known problem that Airbus should have sent an advisory out on months before.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Not really much option after the UK’s CAA banned the aircraft.

    As for the CAL Denver service? They’ll probably save us a lot of money by not operating it – that was a dead end from day one.

    In the meantime it’s still worth remembering that there are reports the aircraft was on fire and breaking up before the crash. Addis Ababa airport security has a reputation for being patchy so sabotage can still not be ruled out.

    Consider this – In June 2009 an Air France Airbus A330 crashed in the Atlantic and it was two years before the flight recorders were recovered. It turned out this was the most serious of nine incidents in which an A330 ASI had malfunctioned but those aircraft were never grounded. Hidden agenda here?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Chh boy them direct flights to legal medical cannabis dispensaries would’ve been a nice way to make some tax money out of me. A shame we don’t explore similar tourism ideas..

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    • Anonymous says:

      The MAX 737 incidents represent far less than 0.05 of total hours flown including testing. They are safe and have my utmost confidence. #737pilot. Sadly incidents happen just like car wrecks. The A330 off Argentina was due to sensors reading incorrectly and at that stage in flight they should have known better. In reference to the A330 crash the speed sensors froze and the pilots kept relying on the automatic pilot to “nose up” at 32,000 feet. Those sensors were the initial cause of a flight disruption. The later actions caused the crash. Trump has a point to an extent that we all can relate to, lay off the electronics and check your mechanics!

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    • Anonymous says:

      @5:48. Give your head some rest. Stop speculating. Every airport has security problem.

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