St John’s, Antigua — Prevailing seasonal high winds continue to affect some LIAT flights, particularly in Dominica and St Vincent and the Grenadines. The current conditions are likely to continue through until mid-June.
Customers travelling to/from both countries are advised of the possibility of cancelled flights and delayed baggage.
The carrier’s aircraft have tailwind limitations, which are set by the manufacturers during the certification process, and they are therefore not permitted to take off or land when the prevailing winds are beyond these limits.
The departure out of E. T. Joshua Airport and the night landings into Douglas-Charles Airport are affected by tailwinds and therefore the decision to cancel flights is taken in the interest of safety.
LIAT is also forced to restrict the number of bags on the aircraft at this time of the year when wind conditions in both Dominica and St Vincent restrict the take-off weight of the aircraft.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, LIAT said it has taken note of comments made by a talk-show host on the Voice of Barbados Radio regarding the recent advisory about high winds in Dominica and St Vincent.
Head of corporate communications Desmond Brown said LIAT’s number one priority is to run a safe and reliable operation throughout its network.
The Dash-8 aircraft, which originally formed the majority fleet operated by LIAT, are now all over 20 years old, and had to be replaced. The Dash-8 is no longer manufactured, and so the airline had to consider suitable alternatives for operation in the region.
Brown explained that landing and taking off at certain airports in the region, either at night or during adverse weather conditions, is governed by the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA).
“Currently at Dominica airport we have been experiencing tailwinds in excess of 15 knots, which is the aircraft limit for night landings/landings in adverse weather and LIAT’s aircraft are not permitted to land there beyond these limits. A similar situation exists in St Vincent,” he said.
Brown reiterated that at this time of the year the wind conditions in St Vincent restrict the take-off weight of the aircraft and, when this occurs, the company is obliged to restrict the number of bags that can be taken on the aircraft.