STATEMENT FROM THE CAYMAN AIRWAYS PRESIDENT & CEO, FABIAN WHORMS:
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands (CAACI), having now rescinded its airspace restriction for the Boeing 737-8 aircraft, is yet another important milestone taking Cayman Airways one step closer to returning our two grounded aircraft to service.
For several months now, Cayman Airways Limited (CAL) has been implementing a comprehensive series of actions designed to comply with all the new regulatory requirements to safely return the aircraft to service. It is important to note that, upon Cayman Airways being the first airline operator to announce the voluntarily grounding of its Boeing 737-8 fleet on March 10, 2019, an internal decision was also made by Cayman Airways that it would not return the grounded aircraft to service until all of the world’s major regulators had conducted full and independent re-certifications, and there was alignment and consensus amongst these regulators.
In addition to the preceding, Cayman Airways also commenced taking every possible step necessary to independently assure itself of the aircraft’s ability to operate safely, through continuous analysis of the prescribed design and operational changes while they were in development. Throughout this process, Cayman Airways worked very closely with the aircraft manufacturer and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands, resulting in Cayman Airways and the CAACI being ultimately satisfied with the prescribed changes to the aircraft’s design, the training requirements (for pilots and maintenance personnel), and the new operational procedures.
There also exists a solid assurance that the aircraft is ready to safely return to the skies from the fact that all of the world’s major aviation regulators and certifying authorities have given the aircraft a level of scrutiny that is unprecedented in aviation history.
Now that the world’s major regulatory authorities have already ungrounded the aircraft, including the United States Federal Aviation Administration (USFAA), Transport Canada (TC), the National Civil Aviation Agency of Brazil (ANAC) the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), and the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority (UKCAA), it should be noted that the B737-8 aircraft model has already been returned to service by many airlines around the world, and they have already accomplished thousands of flights, with hundreds of thousands of passengers.
The decision to unground the Boeing 737-8 by the CAACI is therefore timely, and is supported by international regulatory consensus, combined with the inherent safety standards in the aviation industry in general. With that in mind, Cayman Airways plans to return the aircraft model to service in the second half of February 2021, after we complete the final series of actions necessary to reintroduce the aircraft to service. Over the next week or two, we will be sharing more details about our “Return To Service (RTS)” plans, which will include various activities on Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac.
Cayman Airways has already completed all the aircraft modifications and improvements necessary to assure safe operation of the aircraft and we are now in the process of implementing several final measures, many of which are above and beyond the prescribed requirements.