Daily Archives: August 31, 2007

Barbados Purchased US$4 Million Air Traffic Control Simulator – Now Broken And Unused


The Government Of Barbados paid US$4 million for a sophisticated Raytheon FIRSTplus Air Traffic Control Simulator to provide realistic training capabilities for Barbados air traffic controllers.

The equipment has been sitting broken and unused for over a year.


Well, folks… this is Barbados!

Barbados Free Press attempted to contact the Barbados Civil Aviation Department, the Director of Civil Aviation and the Barbados School of Air Traffic Services for an answer, but so far no reply.

We’ve also contacted Raytheon Canada Media Relations Director Val MacDonald but again, no answer so far…

Barbados Free Press
Grape Hall

Val MacDonald
Raytheon Canada Limited
919-72nd Avenue Northeast
Calgary, Alberta
T2E 8N9
Office: 403.295.6668

RE: Status of Raytheon Air Traffic Control Training Simulator, Barbados

Dear Val MacDonald

Barbados Free Press has been informed that the Raytheon FIRSTplus Air Traffic Control Simulator purchased for US$4 million dollars has been sitting broken and unused for over a year.

Would you kindly confirm the status of this equipment, when it was declared operational, and when it became unserviceable.

We would also be interested in knowing the number of training hours that was logged upon the simulator when it was operational.

Finally, would you please let us know the reason that the Barbados Raytheon FIRSTplus Air Traffic Control Simulator is unserviceable and when the country might have this equipment operational again.

Yours truly,

Marcus Davidoff
Senior Editor
Barbados Free Press

Please note: Our email is barbadosfreepress@yahoo.com. The address shown at the top of this email is a one-time-use temporary address and cannot be re-used.

FIRSTplus(TM) Air Traffic Control Simulator to Provide Realistic Training Capabilities for Barbados

RICHMOND, B.C., May 10, 2003 /PRNewswire/ — Raytheon Canada Limited has been selected to supply a FIRSTplus Air Traffic Control (ATC) Training Simulator to the Barbados Ministry of Tourism and International Transport, Air Traffic Services.

The FIRSTplus ATC Simulator will allow the Ministry to conduct all aspects of ATC training such as ground, tower, terminal, radar/en-route and procedural
control as well as ATC radiotelephony and phraseology training. The system will be commissioned at the Grantley Adams International Airport, Christ
Church, by October 2004.

Raytheon will provide a turnkey FIRSTplus ATC Simulator that allows air traffic controllers to experience a new level of realism in procedural and
operational training. The Barbados system will include fully integrated communication and voice recognition capabilities, as well as a realistic
simulated control tower view. The FIRSTplus system enables any user to simulate any airport or radar airspace. The Barbados 3D Tower Simulator will
be customized to provide a lifelike 180-degree view of the Grantley Adams International Airport and its surroundings, replicating the actual environment
that Barbados air traffic controllers experience on the job.

“It is of primary importance to us that our air traffic controllers receive the best training available, and we are proud to have a system of its
kind in the Caribbean. The FIRSTplus system, in conjunction with our capable trainers, will ensure our students have access to the best tools and
instruction available for air traffic control training,” said Anthony Archer, technical director – Aviation, Barbados.
Raytheon Canada’s Director of ATC Simulation Geoff Murray commented, “We are pleased to welcome the Barbados Ministry of Tourism and International
– Transport as a new FIRSTplus user and member of the growing and global family of Raytheon ATC simulation customers.”

Raytheon Canada Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Raytheon Company, has more than 1400 employees throughout Canada who serve the aerospace and
defence sectors with a broad range of high technology products and services. Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN), with 2003 sales of $18.1 billion, is an industry leader in defence and government electronics, space, information technology, technical services, and business and special mission aircraft. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 78,000 people worldwide.


Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Barbados Approach To Immigration And Aging Population “Haphazard”

Our Government’s Strategy For The Future – “Monkeys Playing With Shotguns” 

“Professor Michael Howard has smoked his former student Clyde Mascoll into the open to defend his ridiculous assertion that Barbados’ growing population should not be of concern to Barbadians. He ends his note to the Nation newspaper of 29 August 2007 by writing “I believe that Barbados has not yet reach its optimum population because it has certainly not yet reached its optimum level of economic production.” It seems silly that the country should have to subject itself to Mascoll accusing Howard of defending a hypothesis “Has Barbados reached its optimum population?” when by his own admission he is operating on a belief. Mascoll where are your results from your hypothesis testing to support your claim that we need a larger population?”

“The last time we checked, the servants of the people (Government of Barbados) had not seen it necessary to make public any policy position regarding strategies to grow our ageing population. At this eleventh hour Barbadians are being criticized for our concerns by a politician who has not worked for any major company in Barbados or abroad one single day in his life. When we examine the architects of economic policy in many of the developed countries their bios list significant appointments in the private sector before being lured to the public sector. Forgive us Mr. Mascoll if we don’t have the confidence in your unsupported analysis that we need to grow our population through the adoption of any secret policy. We declare upfront that positive correlations should complement any increase activity and population growth. We disagree with Mascoll on the haphazard approach to our immigration policy which we have no doubt will lead to social dysfunction.”

Read the excellent article by David at Barbados Underground. (link here)


Filed under Barbados, Politics

Barbados Apartment Collapse – Day 6 – All Five Bodies Now Recovered – Attorney General Announces Results Of Not-Yet-Held Inquest… Really

Government Investigations Aim For A Pre-determined Conclusion?

INTERNET RADIO FOR OUR INTERNATIONAL READERS… Voice Of Barbados 92.9fm (Windows Media Player needed)

2:00pm Barbados Time – Friday, August 31, 2007

Voice of Barbados radio just carried the official announcement made by Attorney General Dale Marshall that the last of the five bodies has been recovered from the hole. The site is being guarded and many international experts have flown to Barbados for consultations about the extent of the remaining danger, and whether or not nearby schools can be opened.


Attorney General Announces That Government Is Not To Blame

Despite all the AG’s talk of an ongoing investigation and an inquest into the whys, hows and whats of the five deaths, Barbados Attorney General Dale Marshall announced the results of those investigations just a few minutes ago…

Nobody is to blame. It could have happened to anyone, anywhere in Barbados.

That is a paraphrase of what the AG announced. I’m glad that’s settled! Looks like we can all forget about the inquest now.

(I’ll put the recording and transcript of what the AG said on line if I can find the time later.)

10:00am Barbados Time – Friday, August 31, 2007

Latest Update from Voice Of Barbados Radio 92.9fm

Some Earlier Confusion Over The Identity Of One Body

Four bodies have been recovered to this moment. It was wrongly reported by all media on Wednesday night and Thursday morning that the body of the mother, Cassandra Codrington 27, was recovered on Wednesday evening. It now turns out that neither of the bodies recovered on Wednesday was that of Cassandra.

That alone provides a sad clue as to the state of the bodies and the dangerous conditions under which our rescue and recovery teams have been working.

There was an on-scene 7am meeting of engineers this morning. The engineers then met with recovery and political leadership and that meeting broke up only a few minutes ago. The Minister of Home Affairs is expected to give an update later this morning.

A decision has been made to continue with the recovery although some earlier rain caused concern. Some heavy equipment is working now at the scene, despite periods of no work due to fears of another cave-in.

Nearby residents (within 100 metres) are moving furniture and all belongings from their homes.


Filed under Barbados, Disaster

Updated: Coming Soon To An Airport Near You – Strike, System Collapse… Or Both

Updated: St. Vincent Air Traffic Control Also Has Problems

On the heels of our letter from Barbados Air Traffic Controller “Sugargirl” comes a story of safety breaches at the ET Joshua Airport, St. Vincent. Two air traffic controllers have been suspended over the crash of an SVG Air plane on November 19, 2006.

Caribbean360.com SVG Air Reveals Damaging Information 

Many thanks for the tip to BFP reader and contributor Adrian Loveridge. 

BFP Reader “Sugargirl” Is An Air Traffic Controller Who Has Had Just About Enough…

I think it should be of interest to our beloved or not so beloved PM (depends on who you talking to) to take a more personal interest in recent developments at the island’s lone airport.

The Civil Aviation managers have run the institution almost to the ground, ignoring constant calls from controllers through their body for new communication
equipment over the last five years. This system is literall one more outtage from total and ever lasting collapse. A fate that will not bear well for the safety of
air traffic.

Calls for staffing have also been ignored to the point where there can now be no quick recovery as they also don’t have the equipment to train… It takes years to train a controller to the point where they can work independently. Also remember the new million dollar training equipment still mash up cause the same adminstrators forgot to place a UPS order with the equipment order.

The controllers have been trying to bear with all the defects in the name of keeping this island open to business but now in a masterful move the current acting DCA (the same one who thinks an aircraft transponder will get responses from squatters house wherever they may be) and Bessy Boy the Permanent Idiot Assigned as head of the department have taken to terrorising staff members. In their latest act of idiocy they have suspended a controller (already short staff) mind for an infraction that can also be easily lodged at their doorstep as they have failed over the years to provide adequate training.

In this case the punishment definitely does not fit the crime.They continue to single out the more vocal members of staff, the ones who have been saying the ignorance will stop to lodge all manner of petty grievances against them.

For all these sins against the traveling public and the untold stress added to what is among the top five in a list of the world’s most stressful jobs I believe those dedicated controllers have finally reached the end of the long long rope that Mr. Beckles, Archer and Manning have been using to tie pretty bows in the unsightly mess they have made of local civil aviation. So Mr. Lynch and Mr. PM some bonified strike action just might be coming your way soon… All this said I know nothing will be done until the controllers actually walk, or the equipment collapse which ever happens first.



Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Politics

Kite Rocks! Track From New Album ‘Thirteen Degrees North’ Catches Shona’s Attention


Ian Bourne calls the music of Bajan music duo Kite “Barbadian Alternative Music” and indeed their music breaks from what we usually hear on island radio – but Shona calls it “Bajan fusion”. Both are correct and as always when we try to describe music with words we face an impossible challenge – not to mention that just when we think we have Kite figured out, labeled and pigeon-holed – their next song comes along and blows away any label.

Whatever you call Kite’s music, head on over to their MySpace site for some samples and you’ll see what we mean. In the end I can’t categorize Kite at all, except to say I love their music.

Some good reading and listening for my mood today. (Your mileage may vary…)

Bajan Reporter – Barbadian Alternative Music Grows Despite Detractors

Kite – Kite Sounds MySpace Website

Kite – Official Website

1 Comment

Filed under Barbados, Music