A Bahamasair aircraft carrying Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis had to make a sudden drop in altitude while en route to Abaco to avoid a mid-air collision.
The Prime Minister was headed to Abaco on Friday to assess hurricane recovery and relief efforts on that island.
Prime Minister Minnis was accompanied by CARICOM chairman and St Lucia Prime Minister Allen Chastanet; Turks and Caicos Premier Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson; CARICOM secretary general Ambassador Irwin LaRoque; CDEMA (Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency) executive director Ronald Jackson and other officials.
The pilot explained the drop in altitude over the aircraft’s intercom was due to the Bahamasair aircraft having to avoid another aircraft that refused to respond.
“We were all very fortunate that nothing more serious happened but this is a good example of why temporary air restrictions were put in place to allow only emergency and relief flights in the Abaco and Grand Bahama areas,” said Prime Minister Minnis.
The Bahamas Civil Aviation Authority has restricted air space over Grand Bahama and the Abacos. Only aircraft providing emergency and humanitarian relief authorised by Civil Aviation are permitted to fly in the restricted airspace.
More than 200 planes have already been authorised by BCCA.