Published On: Mon, Feb 9th, 2015

ALTA expresses its concern regarding the inoperable ILS at Suriname airport

sur airpoMIAMI - The Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA) expressed today its concern regarding the continued lack of attention to the currently inoperable Instrument Landing System (ILS) at the Paramaribo Johan Adolf Pengel International Airport (PBM). ALTA has received in the past and continues to receive reports from airlines stating that PBM's ILS has been out of service for quite some time and no known remedial action has been taken to repair it.

An Instrument Landing System (ILS) consists of a radio beam transmitter that provides direction for approaching aircraft, which tune their receiver to the ILS frequency, providing precise lateral and vertical guidance. It enables safe landing especially during sight-blocking rainy and foggy conditions. The approach to PBM can be frequently compromised by the presence of fog in the vicinity, making a fully functional ILS a major safety measure for all airlines and carriers flying into and out of PBM.

Eduardo Iglesias, Executive Director of ALTA, which represents airline members operating over 86% of the traffic in the Latin American and Caribbean region, stated, "The current situation of PBM's ILS is disquieting. For ALTA and our member airlines, safety is priority number one. Clearly, we require the full involvement of the Civil Aviation Department of Surinam in order to give this serious safety concern its due importance. As an entity responsible for safeguarding the safety of air transport in the Latin America and Caribbean region, ALTA has monitored the status of repairs at PBM's ILS. To date, no progress is evident."

Furthermore, the inoperable condition of PBM's ILS represents an additional burden to carriers, as a result of the added costs stemming from the need to divert to alternate airports and/or return to the original point of departure, plus the added inconvenience to passengers.

Earlier this year, ALTA communicated with the Civil Aviation Department of Surinam to express its apprehension in the matter, but has received no response.

Photo credit Harry Völker

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