(CMR) The International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers Association has expressed concern about Haiti’s airspace after the attempted kidnapping of three air traffic controllers over the weekend near the international airport in Port-au-Prince.
The International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers Association, in an announcement posted on its website, said it’s “gravely concerned”.” The incident left one air traffic controller with a gunshot wound to the appropriate leg and in need of surgery.
Executive vp of the Association for the Americas region for Trish Gilbert said Haiti’s National Office of Civil Aviation has been using unqualified and unlicensed individuals to regulate the country’s skies.
“I get that they do not know what to do to maintain their air traffic controllers protected. But we do not believe the reply is to only find individuals who have just never been air traffic controllers or were air traffic controllers 10 years ago and plug them in and have them move airplanes. There must be a greater plan than that,” Gilbert told Miami Herald.
Gilbert said she planned to fulfill with Dominican officials concerning the concerns because the country has regular flights to Port-au-Prince.
A source told the Herald that there have been energetic duty traffic controllers at work and armored vehicles could be available to guard them. The controllers were also to be housed nearby to limit their travel time to work.
The US has issued a Level 4 travel advisory, advising residents to avoid travel to Haiti. Security has been a significant concern in Haiti, with gangs taking on the country. Last week a well-liked politician and a journalist were killed within the recent flare-up of violence.