An Air Traffic Controller attached to the Cheddi Jagan International Airport is under investigation after he left the unit unmanned even as a Caribbean Airlines flight was approaching the airport and needed clearance and guidance to land.
The incident took place just after midnight on March 8, 2014. Reports indicate that the man was the only controller on duty at the time and was working into overtime hours since no other controller came to relieve him.
Airport sources say that the man complained that he was ill and became upset that no one was there to take over the new shift after he had completed his. He reportedly downed tools and left the air traffic control area just as a Caribbean Airlines flight from Trinidad was approaching.
The pilot was forced to abort his initial approach since there was no control officer to give him clearance. The airport scattered and found another officer who was in another department and he was able to give the pilot clearance to land after the aircraft had circled the airport on a number of occasions.
The Ministry of Transport and the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority both announced on Saturday that they were launching a probe into the incident. The Cheddi Jagan Airport is also expected to carry out its own investigation.