ATC Strike in Jamaica

Updated May 13th, 2022: The Jamaica Air Traffic Controllers Association (JATCA) have returned to work and services have resumed at Jamaica’s major airports. “The employees that provide radar services are being briefed in relation to new operating protocols and will resume duties immediately using these new instructions,” said statement from the association this afternoon.

May 12th, 2022 – Following a salary dispute with the Ministry of Finance over the past three months, services at Jamaica’s two main airports have been suspended as of 10 a.m. local time as the island’s air traffic controllers have gone on strike.

Sangster International Airport in Saint James / Source: unsplash

The JCAA (Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority) warns that travel to and from the Norman Manley International Airport (ICAO: MKJP; IATA: KIN) in Kingston and the Sangster International Airport (ICAO: MKJS; IATA: MBJ) in Montego Bay will be affected.

Several international flights that were scheduled to arrive in Montego Bay were subsequently canceled and/or diverted, including an Air Canada flight that returned to Toronto, an American Airlines flight that returned to Charlotte, NC, and a flight from JFK that diverted to Miami.

The workers actions are in response to the fallout of protracted salary negotiations between ATC workers and the government, and is expected to continue through at least the end of the week.

About three weeks ago, workers reportedly called out sick at the Sangster International Airport, and repeated their silent protest two nights ago.

The JCAA says it remains in contact with all involved parties, that it is committed to safe and efficient operations, and is hoping for a resolution in the shortest possible time.