US Federal Aviation Authority slams Barbados – Downgrades safety rating to Category 2, below Nigeria

Bajan veneer of compliance with international standards strikes again.

Our political and business leadership just doesn’t get it. The world has changed and even small countries like ours must comply with proper standards if we wish to have the benefits of international commerce and the respect of the international community.

Lately Barbados has taken it on the chin for failing to comply with international standards concerning tax avoidance, banking, trafficking in persons, insurance and the environment to name a few. Oh, the politicians squealed and puffed about the international politics behind some of the criticism, but the world is fast receiving the message that all is not as advertised ’bout hey in “First World” Barbados.

Now (and timed perfectly with the launch of Bajan air carrier REDjet) the FAA announces that Barbados fails to comply with ICAO safety regulations and downgrades us to Category 2. You know, like Nigeria. (Oh, wait. Nigeria was upgraded to Category 1 in August 2010. Sorry about that, Nigeria! Ok, so we’re in the same category as the Congo or Bangladesh.)

Squeal all you like about the international politics and business competition that might have pushed that decision: but if you can’t show the laws, standards and compliance – you haven’t got a leg to stand on. Oh well, we’re only talking about airlines and aviation safety here. Only our whole tourism based economy. That’s all.

You know what holds together our fragile tourism-based economy? Tourists. And tourists for the most part arrive via airlines. No airlines = no tourism, no money, no economy. It’s pretty simple, really.

And, as someone who has been part of commercial aviation for two decades I can tell you that the FAA has a very simple attitude to safety: Comply or get lost.

“Oh, you can’t show a record of your last hot section inspection? No problem. Just hand in your airworthiness certificate right now please. You’re grounded. We’ll get back to you in a couple of years. Thanks!”

… signed, your friendly FAA inspector

The FAA doesn’t care about speeches.

The FAA’s inspectors don’t care about indignant politicians or ruffling feathers or whether our economy collapses or not. The FAA only cares about one thing: compliance.

And that is the way aviation safety has to be.

FAA downgrades safety rating for Barbados

from Flight Global

The US Federal Aviation Administration has downgraded the safety rating of Barbados after determining the country fails to comply with ICAO safety standards.

FAA has assigned a category 2 rating to Barbados, which means carriers from that country cannot serve the US. Currently no airline from Barbados offer US flights, and the category 2 rating prohibits those carriers from establishing new US service.

The civil aviation authority of Barbados is currently conducting certification on an air carrier with the goal of serving the US, says FAA. Barbados-based upstart REDjet, modelled after Ryanair, previously expressed an interest in serving the US, but on 11 April stated it would launch 8 May serving Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad.

The downgrade results in Barbados lacking laws or regulations necessary to oversee air carriers in accordance with minimum international standards, says FAA, or that its civil aviation authority is deficient in technical expertise, trained personnel, record keeping or inspection procedures.


Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy

75 responses to “US Federal Aviation Authority slams Barbados – Downgrades safety rating to Category 2, below Nigeria


    You mean we can’t just tell them everything is OK? What’s this world coming to?

  2. Worried

    Maybe that is why we were never told that REDjet grounded the tails of both planes on the Grantley Adams tarmac!
    Apparently they were supposed to stay on the ground and practice high speed taxiing but both planes went into dangerous false take offs!
    I’m worried.

  3. J. Payne

    Still? Its been down from since Bill Clinton.. Nothing new to see here.

    (quote)In its statement, the US FAA said Barbados’ current Category 2 rating “means a country either lacks laws or regulations necessary to oversee air carriers in accordance with minimum international standards, or that its civil aviation authority — equivalent to the FAA for aviation safety matters — is deficient in one or more areas, such as technical expertise, trained personnel, record keeping or inspection procedures”.(end quote)

    The wheels in Barbados turn too slowly…

    Call For Civil Aviation Authority – 01-APR-2009

    (quote)A call has been made for the creation of a Civil Aviation Authority in Barbados.
    It has come from Director of Civil Aviation, Anthony Archer, who said international civil aviation authorities have underlined the need for an Authority in individual jurisdictions in order to maintain safety oversight and to assist countries in meeting their international obligations.

    “What we are trying to do is to encourage Government to establish a Civil Aviation Authority which would allow more freedom to operate as we need to within the business of civil aviation,” Mr. Archer explained.

    Noting that it was a very dynamic field, the Director pointed out that very often, decisions had to be made almost “instantaneously”.
    (end quote)

    Look how long it took to get the island’s newest airline approved… All the while the government kept saying “they didn’t know when”…

  4. Green Monkey

    “The FAA only cares about one thing: compliance.” Although it has apparently been inclined to cut Boeing a bit of slack on the odd occasion, as explained here:

    On a Wing and a Prayer

    We trust that the design which shapes the plane matches the needs of this mysterious science.

    We trust that the aircraft’s manufacturer follows this meticulous design to the very letter.

    And we trust that the official regulatory agencies have fulfilled their side of the bargain by monitoring and policing every step of that process – from drawing board to airport runway.

    But what happens if that trust is shaken?

    For more than a year Al Jazeera has been investigating allegations – made in US Federal Court proceedings – that between 1996 and 2004 ill-fitting, illegal and dangerous parts were assembled on to many of the most commonly-used passenger planes in the world today.

    The allegations concern the Boeing Company – the most respected name in international aviation and the world’s second-largest commercial aircraft manufacturer.

    The claims were made by then employees of Boeing in Wichita, Kansas who were working on a radically new passenger plane – the 737 Next Generation (NG).

  5. Rubbert

    Hmmmm….Barbados has never had any major air crash at our airport, the only crash near Barbados was the bombing of the Cuban plane, for which the accused has now been released from a Texas court (or was THAT not terrorism)?

    But, otherwise, the US has had many airport crashes.

    ‘below Nigeria’…who made them king and court?

    Is the FAA …GOD?

  6. Oates

    Reading some of the articles propagated by Free Press and its authors, it shows that they publish drivel and this article is a typical example.

    The FAA is not an independent body but an arm of the Federal Government and as such its rulings on countries come with many reasons – few of which have to do with aviation.

    A typical example is Jamaica. A few years ago, they were downgraded but it had nothing to do with security or other aviation matters – the reason was that Air Jamaica chose to lease Airbus aircraft over Boeing.

    Nuf said!

  7. Adrian Loveridge

    ‘The standards are set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, a U.N. technical agency’.

  8. Nigeria King and Court

    Barbados Free Press correctly mentions that Nigeria achieved and complied with the UN standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

    Barbados did not achieve the level of standards mandated by the United Nations.

    That tells a tale and it doesn’t matter what spin is put on it. Nigeria for all that country is, achieved the standard. Barbados did not.


  9. Capt. Nobody

    All this is consequence of the gas leak two weeks ago? I understand the response from Airport Safety was confused. Anyone resigned or fired? I am very concerned.

  10. rasta man

    @ Capt.nobody; You are kidding right.

  11. Freedom of Speech

    I told you so!

  12. Freedom of Speech

    I knew this was going to happen! The moment redjet got their licence from the Barbados government, it was “goodbye to cat 1 safety!

  13. Freedom of Speech

    @ worried; you ever noticed how redjet never on their facebook page mention things like the tail strike that happened?? I read it on line!

  14. rasta man

    Only good thing about this is that fares seem to be coming down.

  15. Freedom of Speech

    This airline is going to last as long as a Liz Taylor marraige! stupse!!

  16. J. Payne

    I had read that Barbados was downgraded from since it wouldn’t sign the Bill Clinton era Ship Riders Agreement…

  17. Adrian Loveridge

    REDjet website NOW live and bookable!

  18. 102

    We have been CAT 2 for many years. This is not a “downgrade” as such, we are where we have been for a long time.

    This has less to do with the airport than with the administration of the Dept. Of Civil Aviation. Despite the rantings above there are specific written ICAO standards to be met.

    What standards did we not meet?

    What do we need to do to close the gap?

    All that is needed is the political will by Government to give the needed resources to the DCA.

    Stop blaming the FAA for pointing out our own failings. Fix the failings!

  19. Aerofoiled

    Gas Leak? Are you talking about an entity like say, uh… Chevron, which may have had to outsource for Av-Fuel for weeks, near months (not saying Chevron did but a Business LIKE them)? Since that organisation’s own supply could have been deemed Tainted by those with Higher Standards?

    I have not made any accusations, nor said anyone is responsible – I have only asked a few questions for clarity, since when I made calls to relevant personnel then no one replied to my concerns…

    My reason for concern is how does this affect particular levels of aviation in Barbados and if it contravenes any contracts for one’s Franchise in such areas? If it were to happen, would that not mean the tender for Av-Fuel would in that case be re-open for Negotiation?

  20. St George's Dragon

    Can anyone explain what this means to a prospective Redjet traveller then?
    The FAA is saying that Barbados “either lacks laws or regulations necessary to oversee air carriers in accordance with minimum international standards, or that its civil aviation authority ….. is deficient in one or more areas, such as technical expertise, trained personnel, record keeping or inspection procedures”.
    Redjet is applying for a license for a Barbados Air Operator’s Certificate and is looking to fly to Guyana, Trinidad and Jamaica.
    If this is what the FAA thinks about Barbados’ abilities, should we be worried about its ability to oversee an airline just flying within the Caribbean?

  21. Oates

    The FAA is not governed by ICAO in any way. It is a member country in the organisation, but has its own rules and regulations for domestic USA and for any US registered aircraft . ICAO sets the guidelines, Standards and Recommended practices, which are then fined tuned according to the domestic requirements of the particular nation. Many of the regulations ,FARs in the US, are quite different to many other countries, ATC wise, airline ops wise etc, weather minima wise, because of the share volume of traffic, but also because they have many more backup systems than small third world countries. Using ATC as an example, if the US used the same separation standards as Barbados does, you would have a back up of traffic all the way to the North pole. So , there is a lot more to this than most lay people can even begin to understand.

  22. Nostromo

    Leave it to Politicians, News Reporters and online comment posters to fix the blame.
    G.I.A.I. administrators and the BCAD will have to fix this problem.
    The FAA is merely the messenger here.

  23. Nostromo

    Sorry..thats G.A.I.A….not G.I.A.I.

  24. 102

    @Nostromo this is not at GAIA, it has to do with the regulatory framework for the jurisdiction. BCAD’s baby all the way.

  25. 145

    This present Barbados Government is just like the West Indies Cricket Team, all the good records that was set by formers cricketers and former politicians are being taken away one after another like dominoes collapsing. It is no great surprise!

  26. UN-FARE

    For years the regional carriers have poked my eye out with ridiculous fares. Maybe the competition will cause the other regional airlines to “straighten up and ‘fly’ right”.

    I am sorry LIAT and Caribbean Airlines I am switching after years of getting hurt in my pocket by both of your airlines it is now my turn to stick it to you in your pocket. Maybe now LIAT will trim the fat in Antigua and relocate to a more sensible base in Barbados.

    My preference now is for RED

  27. Johnny Postle

    You know we are police basically by the international community who has more influence to progress or regress our causes than we actually do. So for me I like the idea of cheap flights but not if cheap flights means the carrier is not safe. If we have been downgraded because RedJet is seen by the FAA is not a safe carrier then to hell with red jet and their cheap flights. I want to live and tell the tale instead of dead and cant tell no tales.

  28. bajeabroad

    Simple question to show the bias of US agencies.

    So if Barbados isn’t “safe” enough to oversee carriers based here and thus are barred from entering the US, then why is if “safe” for US carriers to come here, use our airport and navaids and then fly back to the USA?

    It shouldn’t be “safe” for them to do that!

  29. J. Payne

    @Freedom of Speech
    April 13, 2011 at 2:14 pm
    I knew this was going to happen! The moment redjet got their licence from the Barbados government, it was “goodbye to cat 1 safety!
    (end quote)

    Please see the date of the following article:

    Big push to make airport Category 1 (11/22/07)

    Yes 2007!

    As you can see that was **way** before the election of the current government, let alone the idea of any RedJet, or even BLUEJET which didn’t come down until 2009.

    JetBlue Adding Barbados – By Andrew Compart
    Apr 24, 2009
    “JetBlue plans to continue its international expansion with new service this fall to the Caribbean island of Barbados, pending U.S. Transportation Dept. approval, as it continues its push to have more than 20% of its capacity on Caribbean and Latin American routes by the end of this year.”

    The government needs to better manage the airport….. I see the director recommended since 2009 raising the Civil Aviation Department to the level of full aviation authority and that still hasn’t been done yet.

  30. Dorothy Zbornak

    I wonder if the nation or CBC knows about this….

    Let me just say that Redjet needed experienced MD-80 pilots to start the airline, for regulatory and insurance reasons. There was really only one place they could go to get pilots with the necessary level of experience.
    Requiring pilots to live ‘permanently’ in Barbados would have made recruitment much more difficult. Commuting to and from home had to be an option for these pilots, or I doubt Redjet would have had any success hiring.
    Most of the pilot resignations(decisions not to stay) happened after basic indoctrination in Barbados, prior to the commencement of training.
    I guess paradise isn’t for everyone.

  31. Dorothy Zbornak

    And here is more…..

    The losses in the original pilot group were due primarily to their lack of understanding of just how expensive it would be living and traveling to and from Barbados to the States. After crunching the numbers, for many it just wasn’t worth it and they went home.

  32. Nostromo

    I love it when an ignorant mutton head with an axe to grind, takes postings from a thread and posts them, out of context, on a completely different thread
    Fair enough… Lets get the BCAD to fix it most Rikky Tik. I wanna fly cheaply to and from FLL!

  33. Dorothy Zbornak

    This airline don’t even have pilots! All of them bail! They (redjet) now advertising for pilots! Get this, the pilots only have to have the min. qualifications! It’s sad because when you look at their facebook page it looks like the only passengers looking to fly these old and airworthy planes are a bunch of uneducated caribbean people who are experiencing the JIM JONES theory! White man rides into town, talking a lotta bullshit, and everyone drinking it up like kool-aid. I work for American Airlines! The two planes they brought from us were parked in the Arizona dessert! We use those planes for spare parts!!!
    You want to fly FLL-POS, GEO, or BGI with redjet?? Sorry bro, the FAA has said NO. Redjet is not permitted to land on US territory….LMAO

  34. Dorothy Zbornak

    This is the data on redjets jacqualicious airplane!

    N445AA (cn 49471/1418)….. WAS BUILT IN 1987….
    Airframe Info
    Manufacturer: Mcdonnell Douglas
    Model: DC-9-82(MD-82) Search all Mcdonnell Douglas DC-9-82(MD-82)
    Year built: 1987
    Construction Number (C/N): 49471
    Number of Seats: 172
    Number of Engines: 2
    Engine Manufacturer and Model: P & W JT8D SERIES


  35. J. Payne

    @Dorothy Zbornak. RedJet can just bypass Puerto Rico completely and fly to Nassau, Bahamas.

  36. J. Payne

    Ohh my… Yea forget Puerto Rico. They can just fly to Bahamas..

    Look at all the airlines going there…

  37. Dorothy Zbornak

    @ J. Payne, LOL, that’s funny! Let’s see first if and when they ever get off the ground! First they need pilots to fly the planes; but then they also need to get approval from some governments! Who ever heard of an airline taking bookings but not taking payment for the bookings? I just made a fake booking with them and they didn’t even ask me for payment! It was so 1970’s!
    Hey redjet, American Airline called; they want back their two old planes for parts for their MD-87

  38. Nostromo

    my sources tell me that 17 pilots is a fairly accurate number.

    I don’t know how many Redjet pilots were formerly at AA, but I know a former/furloughed AA pilot at Redjet that refused to go back. Said something about being tired of being furlough fodder at a place where he was treated poorly. He likes Redjet, likes living in Barbados, and sees this as a fresh start, not some dead from the neck up legacy carrier whose employees hate the company for which they work, and where management steals from stockholders and employees alike. He seemed pretty fired up at the idea of working for a company that truly appreciates him…..

    …”u can’t stop the signal”

  39. Adrian Loveridge

    According to, American Airlines still operate 236 MD80/90’s making them the 26th largest operator of this aircraft type out of 83. The average age of these 236 planes is stated at 19.7 years.
    Other aircraft operated by AA include:

    124 – B757 – average age 16.3 years
    73 – B767 – average age 18.1 years
    47 – B777 – Average age 10 years

    If the website is NOT accurate can somebody please correct it.

  40. Blanche Devereaux

    @ Adrian Loveridge. We at AA along with Delta Airlines operate the McDonald (MD) series aircraft. The aircrafts range from MD80,81, 82. 83,87, 90. As a flight attendant that who attends flight attendant recurrent training yearly, let me put your mind at ease! We have recurrent on the 83’s, 87’s, & 90’s. This MD training will be coming to an end as we –introuduce more 737-800’s into our fleet which are coming at us rapidly. Our newer version of the MD82’s are parked! They are only used for SOC flights (extra flights/charters), sold (to the likes of redjet or whoever wants cheap planes), but mainly they are used for SPARE parts for all the exsisting MD 80/90 aircraft still flying as these aircraft along with parts are no longer in production. We at American Airline make good money selling parts of these old planes that we no longer have in service. These old maddogs (MD’s) are like old cars, they still have a little bit of life in them, but in the end they are better to be used selling off the parts than trying to maintain them.

    I hope redjet has a great mechanical team servicing their MD’s. I see they sent them down to Costa Rica for their C & D check?? WOW, why send them their rather than have those important checks done in the USA where the aircraft was manufactured and have state of the art facilities to do those sort of checks. The fact that they sent them all the way to Costa Rica tells me that corners were cut, and they were cheap C & D checks completed on these old MD’s. Need I say more?

  41. Blanche Devereaux

    The chief pilot/head of mechanics they have listed on their website; here is his bio:

    Director of Operations (Chief Pilot): Stan Markovich has over 26 years of flying with a flawless safety record covering military and civilian operations. He has extensive experience in pilot and cabin crew selection and training, Civil Aviation liaison, airline start-up procedures and fleet introductions. He is a former US Navy Pilot and earned letters of appreciation from the White House and NASA. He worked for Vanguard Airlines where he flew and managed the B-737 and MD-80 programs and became the Manager of Flight Standards and Director of Training. Subsequently at TransMeridian he worked as the MD-80 Program Manager.

    I have one question; is Vanguard airline the last airline he worked for? With all these “credentials”, why wasn’t he able to gain employment with a legacy carrier? The case is always anyone who “blow’s up themselves” like this dude is doing ie. white house mention…blah, blah, blah usually is full of hot air.
    Here is some information on vanguard airlines:
    Vanguard Airlines was an airline based out of Kansas City, Missouri until late 2000. It ceased operations on July 29, 2002, after filing for bankruptcy. Vanguard Airlines started service in 1994. HE WORKED FOR AN AIRLINE THAT WAS NOT IN OPERATION FOR 10 YEARS! That’s it for commercial airline expertise! So from 2002 until now he has not been able to find employment with an American company? Had to find it with a Caribbean one? I hope he has the papers to work legally in BARBADOS. I can’t say I saw an ad in the nation for a “chief pilot”.

  42. Blanche Devereaux

    Who are they going to hire as their chief flight attendant? STEVE SLATER OF FAME JETBLUE AIRLINES? You know the guy who jumped off the aircraft after cussing out the passengers, grabbing 2 bears and exiting the aircraft using the emergency slide!….LMAO

  43. Blanche Devereaux

    @ nostromo; are you in the airline industy? 17 is incorrect. FYI a front end crew member (pilot) with a legacy carrier makes 60K-160K USD a year! How much is redjet paying these pilots? Fares @ 9.99 one way and jet fuel/oil at over $110.00usd a barrel I would have to guess these pilots are making the same as a maxi taxi driver/transport board bus driver! Please everyone knows that anyone with any sort of good credintials is not going to pass up a furlough call back or a postion to stay in BGI to work for redjet. The good ones have already quit and left BGI. Why is your “source” still there? Is he over the age of 65? or was he fired and has a “tarnish” record. The truth will come out once redjet gets an audit completed on them. There is a reason why the FAA denied BGI request for a CAT 1 status. Get your head out the sand dude, and stop drinking the “jim jones juice”.

  44. Nostromo

    @Blanche Devereaux =Dorothy Zbornak=Gabrielle Wiltshire=ANASTASIA BEAVERNHOUSEN or whoever u are.

    1) Stan Markovich is the D.O., not the Chief Pilot
    2) The D.O. is not the head of Maintenance…at any 121 carrier, including Redjet
    3) according to your own posting(which u obviously didn’t read), after Vanguard, Mr. Markovich was the ‘Program Manager’ at Transmeridian Airlines. In other words, he has the ‘bona fides’ necessary to run an MD-80 program(unlike the sychophantic hacks at AA that are given their positions based upon who they know in management)
    4) 17 is correct.
    5) the pay is comparable to what AA was paying these pilots.
    6) if they didn’t have the credentials, Redjet would not have hired them. In Barbados, they don’t have to hire unqualified folks to please the govt.. Its one of the good aspects of setting up business in Barbados. They hire the folks that can get the job done.

    AA is a dying legacy carrier. The future is the low cost carriers, such as Southwest, Ryanair, and Redjet. They pay well, and will survive. Take my advice, retire if u can from AA as soon as you can and get urself back to the islands. Redjet is the future. It would behoove u to be part of it.

    …”u can’t stop the signal”

  45. Blanche Devereaux

    Has anyone read today’s facebook page of redjet along with T&T newsday article? This is too funny! This is so jim jones all over again; foreign person rides into town; starts talking BS and people drinking the juice before finding out the facts! Or better yet the ferry that was promised to the caribbean people to link the islands back in 2009..They are still waiting for the ferry! Here is the link for the story! I’m sorry if my ipad2 does not post the link.,139030.html

    Happy reading 🙂

  46. Blanche Devereaux

    Do you remmeber the following crash in the Caribbean back in 2009? Here it is.
    West Caribbean Airways Flight 708 was a West Caribbean Airways charter flight which crashed in a mountainous region in northwest Venezuela killing all 152 passengers and eight crew. The plane, a McDonnell Douglas MD-82, was en-route from Tocumen International Airport (PTY) in Panama City, Panama to Fort de France, Martinique (FDF) .
    The aircraft involved in the incident was delivered to Continental Airlines on 4 November 1986 which operated it until 10 January 2005. At that time it was transferred to West Caribbean Airways, registered as HK-4374X. The jet’s tail cone fell off in early July 2005 and was replaced.

  47. Blanche Devereaux

    Here is the stats from another start-up airline out of Canada called JETSGO (well it’s now jets-gone). Note the type of aircraft, same business model as redjet…the stats speak for themselves.

    Jetsgo operated a fleet of 14 McDonnell Douglas MD-83

    In March 2005 Transport Canada said that investigators found issues with the operating methods of Jetsgo. The deficiencies were discovered during “a special inspection” into engine problems revealed after a forced landing in January 2005.

    Jetsgo Airlines; here is a list of incidents reported about Jetsgo:
    Year # of incidents
    2002 – 5
    2003 – 15
    2004 – 32
    2005 – 7
    Total (2002–2005): 60

    WOW, 60 incidents.

  48. Adrian Loveridge


    Strange that you you did not mention AA1420!

    26 August 2010 – New York Times
    ‘FAA proposes record US$24 million fine against AA for maintenance violations on its MD80 jets that led to the cancellation of thousands of flights in 2008’.
    The largest fine imposed by the FAA in history I believe!

    Before throwing anymore mud I would do a little research on your own first world back garden.

  49. Adrian Loveridge


    Then why did Blanche raise the other incidents involving MD80 series aircraft and omit the one involving AA?

    If you are going to cast out innuendo then make sure its balanced and fair.

  50. BFP

    hi adrian this is george.

    she be a troll man. so many names so we ban she.


  51. Adrian Loveridge


    Thank you.

    Lets give REDjet a chance.

    Already it has achieved something many of us have been trying to make happen for years and that is to bring down the cost of Intra Caribbean travel.

    Anyone that has this country truly at heart will have already realised just how important that is going to be for the survival of our tourism industry this summer.

    If that poster really does work for AA, she is really during the company a great disservice.

  52. Harry

    Let the Beaverhousen woman post, BFP!!!
    She has interesting information.
    Just because she seems to be hitting a few nerves is no need to censor her.
    We are consenting adults and can sort the crap from the credible.

  53. BFP


    she be trolling, posted wid many many names. posted same thing on many stories. Troll alert man!

  54. I would send wunna my bill for warning you, but then ya may do me as bad as Donna, so I will live with the joy I spot the Golden Girl(s) 1st 😉

  55. BFP

    hello ian,

    we only doin wat de dear lady lawyers want! full preomince or what Donna she say! 🙂


  56. Oates

    The lady , whatever her name is , makes no difference, at least she seems to have a far superior knowledge about airline and aircraft operations than some of the other posts. Rather puerile little jabs, absolutely no substance some of them. We can Google anything we want, but understanding what it means is quite different.
    Example, the MD 80 is the aircraft TYPE, the numbers 81, 82, 83, 87 , 88, 90, refer to the series, each one being certified for a particular type of operation. The 82 was developed for hot and high operations, the 83 is the longer range version, the 87 shorter fuselage, 88 more ‘glass cockpit’ , the 90, longer fuselage, newer , higher thrust and more noise compliant, fuel efficient engines . Would any of you be able to walk out on the ramp and identify the differences , just on sight, between the 87, 83, or 90 if they all sat side by side?

    Come on , CONSTRUCTIVE , MATURE , FACTUAL, exchanges is what it should be all about. Listen and learn from those who at least have more knowledge than we do on a particular subject. Contribute to the discussion , not castigate someone else because we fall short.

  57. Nostromo


    The ‘lady’ in quesiton isn’t a pilot, not a mechanic, not dispatcher, nor a operations manager. She’s a flt. attendant ; in other words, she knows just enough about airplanes identify what it is when looking at it from inside the terminal. Thats about it. That having been said, her near hysterical rantings suggest another agenda. Her postings are like the absurd political campaigns we see these days….chanting the same moronic (and to use ur word), puerile messages aimed at the scaring the public at large.
    I am familiar with the ‘Maddog’ (plus a few others airplanes). Other than the 757, I’d say the airplane that I enjoyed the most was the MD-80 series (I’m familar with the 81-83, not the 87 or 90). Its a rugged machine, easy to fly and very very forgiving. If it wasn’t, it wouldn’t have been around as long as it has, and would not have sold in the numbers it did. Production was stopped after the last of the MD-83s were sold to TWA in the late 90s. Boeing bought McDonnel Douglas, and continued producing the newest version of theDC-9( MD-95) as the B-717(TWA was the launch customer for that aircraft as well). Unfortunately, Boeing didn’t really see a place in its product line for the B-717, and cancelled the program. Unfortunate, but understandable at that time.
    My belaboured point is, the MD-80 is a fine aircraft, and will serve Redjet extremely well for the foreseeable future.

  58. J. Payne

    I can’t be so sure that RedJet doesn’t have clearance. I need to review the document myself to make a determination.

    I know that Barbados and T&T used to be real close with their agreements. Barbados used to be part shareholder in BWIA. I also read that BWIA was supposed to be granted a status of being able to use air hangers at the Sir Grantley. So I need to comb thru that agreement myself.

  59. Adrian Loveridge

    I was reading through some old BPF postings and Nation archives and came up with this:

    31st october 2007 – Nation
    ‘Grantley Adams will be a Category One airport by year end’
    Minister of Tourism and International Transport – Noel Lynch

    this was repeated by PS in the Ministry of Tourism and Internatonal Transport – Sen. Rudy Grant on 22 November 2007.

    3 1/2 years later, we are approved at category TWO.

    Its just as well Tourism is our Business!

  60. Oates

    Very brief and basic Mr. Loveridge. The FAA has a program the Interanational Aviation Safety Assessment scheme/program which it uses to monitor whether COUNTRIES comply with ICAO safety standards or not. If they do not, they are Cat 2, if they do, they are Cat 1. This means that airlines from the Cat 2 countries CANNOT expand their operations in the USA, if they are already flying there. However, they may be able to continue to serve those US destinations with conditions.

    So the only legal way to get around the problem for a STARTUP airline , would be for them to wet lease aircraft form Cat1 countries. I don’t know anything about Redjet or whether the aircraft are US registered , or which other country they are registered in. Best thing would be to get their aircraft and crews from the USA.

    No minister in Barbados can promise or change anything.The Barbados authorities MUST comply with the regs.

  61. Adrian Loveridge

    (Mr.) Oates,

    Thank you. It begs the question why Ministers of Government and Parliamentary Secretaries promise things they clearly cannot deliver on.
    The two existing aircraft are Barbados registered (8P) but there would seem to be nothing stopping REDJet wet leasing additional aircraft if they plan to go into the US.
    Are you able to tell us if the same rules apply to Canada?
    I am not thinking of existing routes but cities like Halifax, as I seem to think Canada has an open sky policy.

  62. watcher

    @Adrian Loveridge
    Direct Air offers return trips to Nassau and San Juan for $99.00 each way. I don’t know the status of all of the airports that Direct Air service but they do fly to Nassau and San Juan. The interesting thing is that their actual flights are charters run by XTRA Airways, Vision Airlines, Inc, Aviation Advantage/Sky King, & Dynamic Air. The aeroplanes are marked Direct Air with one exception which was recently they were using aeroplanes marked Virgin Airlines. The business model looks to be very efficient with the ability to purchase tickets in advance without having to commit to names or dates on the ticket. You pay for these “vouchers” when you buy them and they are sold at a discount to the regular posted flights. You can do any trip anywhere they fly for $58.00. They limit the number of voucher seats on each flight but there is little doubt they generate a very large amount of working capital this way. Then they hedge their jet fuel by way of future contract, select low landing fee aiports close to cities such as Toronto, Montreal, New York and Newark and are able to offer major savings to the consumer. I see no reason why RedJet could not do a deal with a XTRA Airways, Vision Airlines, Inc, Aviation Advantage/Sky King, or Dynamic Air. The price difference between the legacy carriers and what could be accomplished with RedJet has the potential of being very very significant. If they sold return tickets to Barbados for $275US instead of the $600 to $800 charged by those now flying there from these Northern locations, there is little doubt they would have sell outs. The potential of a great boost in tourism is on the horizon with a Direct Air Redjet type of approach. I am not trying to promote Direct Air, but clearly they are a business model that RedJet could work hand in hand with.
    I wish REDJET all the best and they will be my first choice whenever I can utilize their servic.

  63. Oates

    Regarding Canada, I am not sure, but the Canadian Department of Transportation has a section in their CARs , called Foreign Air Operators Certification procedures ( ref TP 13001 ) , you should have all the answers there, or so I think. That is the Canadian Government regs.

    ICAO also does a Universal Safety Oversight program , which I guess is the international equivalent of the US IASA program. They are all about the same basically.

  64. nanci

    I could agree with the blogger that said how come the US could fly planes in barbados and back to the US and no one is powerful enough to stop them, we had planes flying in and out of the US to many countries that had serious problems, and where was the FAA, so again the FAA wants to help the US dominate the air. They dont want to see another small country trying to help themselves out, look at air Jamaica they had lots of trouble from the FAA also.

  65. Oates

    Nanci, there is absolutely NOTHING stopping the Barbados Civil Aviation authorities from revoking the permits of US carriers operating to Barbados. But what are they going to use as a REASON for that? That the USA is not up to par when it comes to safety issues, that they are CAT2 country, that they do not have the expertise , or the manpower to ensure the highest safety standards,
    that they are bullying small, third world countries. Give me please a valid reason. The FAA has literally thousands of employees with all kinds of engineering backgrounds, piloting backgrounds, aviation safety backgrounds, aviation lawyers, licensing and airworthiness backgrounds, flight testing backgrounds, airport equipment specialists, minima specialists, should I continue? This is the country that designs , manufactures, tests and certify the airplanes we fly in all across the world. They set the standards , because they are qualified to do so , we merely follow .
    On top of that , who stands to lose, Barbados , with it tourist dependent, and import dependent economy or the USA?

    The USA allows carriers to continue serving the destinations they already have in the USA , even if they are registered in a CAT2 rated country, but with some conditions. Sometimes there is a bit of politics involved, Air Jamaica as you referred to , bought the’ wrong ‘ airplanes, Airbus , instead of Boeing .

    US and other CAT1 countries have air services into some airports across the world that are far below Barbados standards, but they operate under very strict rules, e.g . only under daylight hours , only under certain weather conditions, must have certain minmum required navigation equipment on, or very close to the airport etc.

    This issue is best left to the regulators and Government functionaries. Whilst I understand that you have a different perspective or understanding of the issue, the air transport business is not conducted in the same manner as most other businesses.

    By the way, Barbados has the sum total of 8-10 people who are quailified to deal with these LICENSING and technical issues.

    That’s the way it is . So we have to do what is required.

  66. 102

    Thank you Adrian for pointing out that the Cat2 rating has been in place for some time.

    There have been allegedly a number of applications by airlines to operate hubs in Barbados. Any one of these succeeding would have the potential to transform both our tourism and international transport industries. There is nothing magical or sinister about a CAT1 rating, the standards are clear and the failure to achieve them is simply an indication of a lack of vision on the part of the politicians to place the required resources in the correct departments of Government.

    Splitting the airport off of the regulator was a good first step, but there is a dire need to strengthen the regulatory infrastructure in the Dept. of Civil Aviation.

    BTW does anyone else think Jack Warner’s statements are potentially libelous? “There must be something wrong with fares so low” and further comments about the operations of the airline.

  67. Nostromo

    @ Nanci

    No offense intended, but neither the FAA, the U.S. DOT, nor any part of the U.S. Govt. sees a threat to U.S. airlines or U.S. commerce coming out of the Caribbean, and that includes Redjet. Folks from Barbados would be better served by generating a more productive working model as to why the FAA slammed the BCAD on the CatI issue.

  68. Adrian Loveridge


    I think you have graphically identified the problem ‘lack of vision’ and I would add to that the lack of ability to IMPLEMENT policies and direction.
    We keep talking world class, now lets live it and do all that is necessary to sustain it!

  69. J. Payne

    What I want to know is did Barbados make it to Category 1 since Bill Clinton’s visit (1996-1997)? I’ve read that the government keeps “hoping” to regain Category 1. But I’ve yet to see an actual story that said GAIA made it back to Category I since Bill Clinton was U.S. president.

  70. J. Payne

    Today’s Advocate seems to confirm, Barbados hasn’t been Category 1 since BLP’s first term.
    Article:Sealy: Barbados working on Category one status
    Date: 6/9/2011
    Source: – Barbados Advocate


    “MINISTER of Tourism Richard Sealy says that the Barbados Labour Party is not in position to criticise Government for not meeting the criteria outlined by the US Federal Aviation Administration to gain category one status at the Grantley Adams International Airport.

    His comments came in the Lower House on Tuesday where he noted that in 1996 under the BLP administration, Barbados failed all nine categories outlined by that organisation. “And that was a young BLP administration that would have had all of that term and two terms after that,” he charged. “We already in 3 years have done the majority of the regulatory work to get us on the path to get us on Category 1 rating for Barbados,” Sealy said.”

  71. J. Payne

    The U.S. media has picked up the story…

    The U.S. Today newspaper reports Barbados is one of twenty-two countries in the world that Americans should be concerned about flying to.
    (Haiti, Guyana, and Belize of CARICOM also made the list.)

    Perhaps Barbados should fire the Civil Aviation Department and join the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority.

    Article: ECCAA Achieves Category ONE Status
    Date: Thursday, 23 March 2006 20:00
    Source: — Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA)


  72. Lisa

    Redjet an Irish company with Bjon stamps. I wonder if Cal stop flying to Barbados what would happened? I read Barbados held Cal aircraft over 1hr trying to prove something to the FAA. They should prove that with US plans.

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