Bahamasair 737-500s banned from flying to the U.S., per FAA requirements
Three Bahamasair Boeing 737-500 jets have been banned from entering U.S. airspace after the airline missed a January 1, 2020, deadline to install surveillance technology required by the Federal Aviation Administration.
In 2010, the FAA required airlines to install technology that improves safety and efficiency in the air and on runways, according to a report from Tribune242. Bahamasair reportedly inked a deal in June 2019 to have the required ADS-B avionics kit delivered in September, nearly ten years after the FAA's mandate. That deal reportedly fell through. Now the airline, according to the report, is working with another company to supply the equipment for $195,000 for the three planes.
The 737-500 is an older Boeing model, and Bahamasair officials say they've had trouble finding equipment necessary to comply with the FAA's order. Bahamasair chairman Tommy Turnquest told Tribune242 that the airline doesn't expect to have the equipment before March.
But even if you have a trip to or from the Bahamas coming up soon, the airline doesn't seem worried. Even with the hiccup, Turnquest said he doesn't expect the airline to face delays.
"This first came up in 2010 but very few aircraft took advantage because within ten years you’re not sure what your fleet would be," he told Tribune242.
The 737-500 can accommodate up to 140 passengers and is frequently used on routes like Ft. Lauderdale (FLL) and Orlando (MCO).
Bahamasair is the national flag carrier of the Bahamas. It serves 32 destinations to the U.S., the Bahamas and other parts of the Caribbean with a fleet of nine planes.