Western Bureau – Operations are back to normal following a temporary shutdown of a security checkpoint at the Songster International Airport in Montego Bay, St James this morning due to an electrical shortage in the departure terminal.
No flights were affected, but there were reports of minor damage to several electrical wires at the airport, which is being operated by Montego Bay Airports Limited (MBJ) under a 30-year lease agreement with Airport Authority of Jamaica.
Sharon Heslop, manager for commercial development and marking at Sangster International Airport, confirmed that the emergency fire prevention system was activated, but says things are back to normal.
“The fire prevention system was activated and, in an abundance of caution, no one was allowed inside the post security area,” Heslop explained.
“The response team came and made their checks and all was found to be normal, so the airport is operational.”
She told The Gleaner that airlines were still checking in passengers even as firefighters were responding to the airport alarm system.
Heslop said no departing passengers were allowed into the post check-in security area at the departure terminal.
Assistant Superintendent Carlinton Beason, who is attached to the Freeport Fire Station, disclosed that about 10 o’clock four units and 30 firefighters responded to a call that there was an electrical fire at the airport.
Beason said when his men arrived, they observed that the airport emergency response team was already on location and that the affected areas had been evacuated.
“Upon investigation, we recognised that it was just electrical wires that were burning. The area was [deemed] safe and was put back into operation within ten minutes of our arrival,” he said.
However, airports officials are adamant that there was no fire at their facility.
“There was absolutely no fire,” Heslop insisted.
– Albert Ferguson