The FAA’s policy
10 years of notice
As you may have read above, the rule was imposed in 2010 with a deadline of 1 January 2020. Therefore, any airline dealing with airspace governed by the FAA should have very little excuse for not having the equipment installed by now.
However, the chairman of Bahamasair defends the airline, saying that it has been difficult for Bahamasair to secure necessary kits for the company’s older 737 planes. In fact, Bahamasair signed a contract in June to have the three kits delivered in September, October and November 2019. However, the supplier did not follow through on the agreement, leaving the airline in its current situation. The Tribune reports that the airline has already paid the company $200,000 of its $600,000 contract.
But what’s the airline’s excuse for leaving this maintenance until the last few months? Here’s what they had to say:
“This first came up in 2010 but very few aircraft took advantage because within ten years you’re not sure what your fleet would be. In 2018 efforts began to outfit these various aircraft. When Bahamasair purchased five ATRs back in 2016 navigational kits were not put in place but were accessed over the past two years.” -Tommy Turnquest, chairman of Bahamasair
So what now?
It’s unfortunate that the airline relied on a supplier that could not deliver on the agreement in time. However, it appears that these aircraft were delivered to the airline in 2012 and 2014 – a respective lead time of eight and six years. The upgrade could have even happened later, in 2017 or 2018. This certainly doesn’t look good on Bahamasair despite the supplier falling through.
Who do you think is most at fault here? Let us know in the comments!
We reached out to Bahamasair for comment but no response has been received. We also noticed that Airfleets has listed the aircraft as leases from AerCap and GECAS. We have contacted both leasing companies with some questions.