Report on AA crash finds landing-conditions breaches

(Jamaica Gleaner) Some basic landing conditions at the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA) were found to be breached with Jamaican personnel ignoring basic safeguards on December 23, 2009, when an American Airlines Flight 331 overshot the runway, injuring several passengers.

The long-awaited aviation accident report on the incident stated that although some fundamental requirements were met, Jamaica fell down in the area of aerodrome maintenance.

The report said the runway in question was determined to be out of use, but the critical information was never conveyed to the crew of American Airlines flight.

“Currently, the guidance for maintenance standards … is minimal at best, the report stated. “Standards, particularly in the case of maintenance of runway strips, may be inadequate.”

The report added: “We feel that the situation found along the runway edge associated with accumulation of debris and ‘edge-damming’ along the runway may be the result of insufficient guidance provided to self-inspection and aerodrome maintenance staff.

“In addition, we feel that the situation associated with the accumulation of debris associated with edge-damming is also the result of insufficient training being provided to maintenance staff.”

The report suggested that, had staff been properly trained in the International Civil Aviation Organization requirements associated with provision and maintenance of runway strips, the situation that developed along the runway edges may not have occurred.

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