'Unsafe' plane banned from Schiphol take-off

29th July 2004, Comments 0 comments

29 July 2004 , AMSTERDAM — Passengers were left stranded on Wednesday as the Dutch Transport and Public Works inspectorate slapped a ban on the departure of a Dutch Caribbean Airlines (DCA) flight because the plane did not have a bullet-proof cockpit door.

29 July 2004

AMSTERDAM — Passengers were left stranded on Wednesday as the Dutch Transport and Public Works inspectorate slapped a ban on the departure of a Dutch Caribbean Airlines (DCA) flight because the plane did not have a bullet-proof cockpit door.

Armoured cockpit doors are compulsory on transatlantic flights. Antillean Transport Minister Omayra Leeflang failed in an attempt to convince Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam to allow the plane to depart.

The bullet-proof cockpit doors are designed to keep pilots and planes safe from terrorist-style takeovers akin to the 11 September attacks in the US. They have been compulsory since 2003, news agency ANP reported.

But the Antillean minister decided to intervene in the matter because the plane will transport 300 Antillean boys to the Netherlands on its return flight from the Netherlands Antilles. The youths are entering the Netherlands for study purposes.

The embattled DCA company — which leases the jet from Serbian firm Jat Airlines — has reported problems for some time, Dutch public news service NOS reported on Wednesday.

Since its co-operative relationship with the Belgian company Sobelair ended in January this year, DCA's transatlantic flights were in jeopardy.

The company went in search for new partners, but has only succeeded in establishing short-term co-operative deals with airlines such as Air Holland, Air Atlanta Icelandic, Royal Jordanian, My Travel Airways and the Portuguese Air Luxor.

Technical problems with its Lockheeds from Air Luxor prompted an official investigation of the DCA fleet by Antillean authorities earlier this month.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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