(Trinidad Express) The Opposition United National Congress is urging government to ban airlines using the Boeing 737 Max 8 from touching down at the Piarco International Airport.
The Opposition also wants a halt to the procurement of fleet of this model aircraft that is expected to update the Caribbean Airlines fleet starting later this year.
“Telling the citizenry not to panic is not enough. The Government must take immediate action to ensure the safety of all passengers in Trinidad and Tobago’s airspace” said Public Relations Officer of the United National Congress, Senator Anita Haynes.
She who is criticised the statements made by Finance Minister Colm Imbert on Tuesday.
“Instead of taking time to blast a newspaper reporter for an article on concerns regarding Boeing 737 Max 8, the Finance Minister, who is the line Minister for Caribbean Airlines, should take immediate action to suspend the intended lease of 12 of these aircraft,”
The UNC also called on Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan, who has responsibility for the Civil Aviation Authority to do as other countries have done and implement a ban on airlines utilizing this particular aircraft as a precautionary measure.”
On Tuesday Britain banned the Boeing 737 Max 8 from its airspace, and several countries have suspended use of the aircraft, following two catastrophic crashes of the plane in the past six months.
“The Minister conceded that another airline currently operating in Trinidad and Tobago uses the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, yet gave no assurances to the travelling public that the Government plans to act in their interest,” said Haynes.
“The tragic accident which occurred last Sunday involving Ethiopian Airlines marks the second deadly crash in less than six months involving the Boeing 737 Max 8 model,” she said.
“While the UNC understands investigations into the latest fatal crash are still being conducted, it must be noted that several airlines and Aviation Authorities worldwide have either grounded their Boeing 737 Max 8 fleet or have restricted the aircraft model from entering or exiting their airspace. These Aviation Authorities so far include the United Kingdom, European Union, Singapore, Australia, Indonesia and China. It is clear that the global Airline Industry is losing confidence in the safety of the Boeing 737 Max 8 Aircraft.”
“The UNC urges the Government to take this matter seriously. While Caribbean Airlines has assured that safety checks would be made prior to putting all aircraft into service, the Government should hold on spending hundreds of millions of dollars on the Boeing 737 Max 8 until investigations are completed”.