Jamaica joins global ban on Boeing 737 MAX aircraft

Jamaica’s aviation regulator yesterday announced a temporary ban on Boeing 737 MAX and 737-9 MAX aircraft models from the country’s airspace following a deadly plane crash in Ethiopia, reflecting a decision taken by several other countries.

The Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority said in a statement that: “This safety directive is issued in the interest of safety of operations and the protection of the public”.

The ban, which became effective at midnight, will remain in place until further notice.

The authority said operators of the affected aircraft coming into Jamaica before receiving the directive will be allowed one non-commercial flight out of the island to re-position their aircraft.

Jamaica now joins the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Europe and several other countries in banning the 737 MAX planes from its airspace.

On Sunday, a new Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX 8 went down minutes into a flight to Nairobi, killing all 157 people on board. In October, a Lion Air jet of the same model crashed in Indonesia, killing 189.

JCAA noted that the cause of the Ethiopian Airlines crash has not yet been determined but external sources are drawing similarities between this accident and the Lion Air crash.

“Though the investigation of either accident is yet to establish cause, there is not enough information to exclude that these two events were as a result of similar circumstances,” the authority said.