High winds affecting LIAT flights in Dominica


Prevailing seasonal high winds continue to affect some LIAT flights in Dominica and is likely to continue until mid-June.

Flights in St. Vincent are also being affected and customers are advised of the possibility of cancelled flights and delayed baggage.

The company said its aircraft have tailwind limitations, which are set by the manufacturers during the certification process, and they are therefore not permitted to take off or land when the prevailing winds are beyond these limits.

Night landings into Douglas-Charles Airport are affected by tailwinds and therefore the decision to cancel flights is taken in the interest of safety, according to LIAT.

The airline is also restricting the number of bags on the aircraft at this time of the year when wind conditions in Dominica restrict the take-off weight of aircraft.

On Tuesday, LIAT said it has taken note of comments made by a talk-show host on the Voice of Barbados Radio regarding the recent advisory about high winds in Dominica and St Vincent.

Head of corporate communications at LIAT, Desmond Brown, insists that the airlines number one priority is to run a safe and reliable operation throughout its network.

He explained that landing and taking off at certain airports in the region, either at night or during adverse weather conditions, is governed by the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA).

“Currently at Dominica airport we have been experiencing tailwinds in excess of 15 knots, which is the aircraft limit for night landings/landings in adverse weather and LIAT’s aircraft are not permitted to land there beyond these limits. A similar situation exists in St Vincent,” he said.

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  1. Derick Gonsalves
    May 14, 2015

    You see in the entire statement LIAT conspicuously does not mention anything about the Aircrafts they recently purchased. The FACT remains there was never an issue with the dash 8 aircraft in the 20 some years liat been using them in our reigon. Never any problem with wind infact. It was always boasted in the caribbean well in Dominica at least. That when American Eagle of blessed memory and all other aircrafts would turn away from bad weather Liat pilots in the dash 8s would always land and land safely. The former ceo of not so blessed memory Spearheaded the decision to change these aircrafts. I sometimes wonder is liat being run by competent people or a pack of jokers. Change something that works and has never been an issue??? Madness

    • Malatete
      May 15, 2015

      LIAT are still operating the Dash-8 and it is subject to the same tailwind restriction at DOM as the new ATR. The difference is that for most of the time that LIAT only used Dash-8’s there were no night landing facilities a t Melville Hall and thus, barely any call for landing approaches from the sea and the problem hardly arose.

  2. The Facts
    May 14, 2015

    I feel sorry for the passengers. It is disappointing for them. So if the wind continues, LIAT will not be able to take off and land? Oh my! Better commence praying. This reminds me of a few words of a traditional hymn:

    O Lord of Hosts! Be mindful of our pleading,
    O let our prayer find favor in Thy sight.
    Wake, wake, O Lord. . . . Speak to the wind . . .
    Let not men say Thy promises are failing. . . .
    Tell us Thy fortress stands upon a rock.
    Jesus our King, show us Thine Angels camping ’round about us,
    Strengthen our hearts in Faith and Love and Hope. . . .

    Let us hope the wind subsides so travelers could go safely on their way.
    May the Lord put a hand and make the high winds subside.

  3. Stroller
    May 14, 2015

    Liat has no shame, if I were in their place I would even mention that sillyness. Can you believe in the 21st century liat purchases planes with tailwinds limitations and they know the islands they are flying into. Liat has been in that business fro 54years and yet still they can’t get it right. Did the manufacturers give them a deal which they thought was so good so they run? Liat has been making bad business decisions for 54years so they can only get worse

  4. grell
    May 14, 2015

    Waste of time airline,cant wait to see the day this incompetent airline goes out for good.

    • Dominican
      May 14, 2015

      Hopefully DA gets its act together before LIAT reaches that point. As bad as LIAT is, if they got out of business air travel in/out of DA is in a heap of trouble.

      What LIAT needs is new management willing to hold people accountable for their actions. until such time, service will continue to be marginal at best.

    • Thinker
      May 14, 2015

      Have you ever taken the time to realize that they are doing this to stop any accidents? Aircraft accidents in a place like Dominica will be fatal, if the plane’s manufacturer makes a rule, the incompetent and foolish airline would disobey this and risk the lives of many.

    • smh
      May 15, 2015

      We all know LIAT is a waste of time when it comes to punctuality and consistency but we should appreciate that safety is the top priority for the company. In its 50 years of operation it has not had one incident of a fatal crash and I’m pretty sure we’d like to keep it that way. That being said, in the interest of safety I’d prefer that the flight got cancelled than it be allowed to take off and crashed. Then we’d have some serious problems. Families grieving, lawsuits piling up etc..a hot mess.

      • Malatete
        May 15, 2015

        Of course, safety is paramount. However, LIAT had one incident with fatal consequences.
        On 4 August 1986. their flight LI362 (Twin Otter) crashed into the sea on a flight between St. Lucia and St. Vincent with loss of 13 lives. As far as I know the wreckage was never located.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  5. Apple
    May 14, 2015

    Anothe excuse for summer delays stinkers

  6. Malatete
    May 14, 2015

    LIAT should be less disingenuous. Yes there is a 15 kt. tailwind restriction for landing at DOM but that only applies for landings with the prevailing wind at the back – as the term implies, tailwind! During day light hours the aircraft land against the prevailing wind, ironically making their stopping distance shorter. The last LIAT flight to ,arrive at Melville Hall is at 18.30 hrs. so the tailwind restriction principally applies for flight arriving late, after dark, which have to make their final approach from the sea. If LIAT were not consistently late we would hear far less of these problems.

    • timtim
      May 16, 2015

      I hear u one the liat issue but this also means that the government knew all long that all that investment in Melville hall for night landing was a waste of money :) .

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