I have always maintained that living in Belize is like living in the wild west sometimes. Yesterday’s shut down of the Control Tower and the resulting airport chaos at Philip Goldson International Airport was a good reminder of how true that can be.
Until yesterday’s parallelization of both flights in and out of Belize. Due to the first and second shift of Air Traffic Controllers calling in sick and the last Professional Air Traffic Controllers strike (I know of one in 1981) the airport was closed.
The ‘Sick Out’ reminds me of the days when they protested with two-week-long bed-ins back in 1969. As a kid, I remember seeing a picture of my Aunt (who was a Hare Krishna at the time) with John and Yoko at the famous bed-in at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal.
I am sure there were a few disgruntled people who had their flights to Belize delayed by up to 24 hours by this incident. There were also those who were receiving an extra day of Belize time as a result of the Belize ATC “strike”.
I was following along with local Belize news yesterday and here is what our two island papers had to say about the incident.
“Sick” Air Traffic Controllers Shut Down Philip Goldson International Airport
The Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Civil Aviation and its Department of Civil Aviation were informed that the Air Traffic Controllers scheduled to work the 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. shift at the Control Tower of the Philip Goldson International Airport had reported in sick. Subsequently, the Department of Civil Aviation has also received an indication that the Air Traffic Controllers scheduled to work 12 a.m. to 6 p.m. reported in sick. Read the full Operations at Philip Goldson International press release in San Pedro Sun newspaper.
Chaos at Belize Airports Nationwide as Belize International Airport Shuts Down
Information given to Ambergris Today indicates that Delta’s early morning flight from Los Angeles to Belize was diverted. It landed in San Pedro Sula, Honduras after it circled a few times over Belize’s international airport. That flight is still grounded this morning in San Pedro Sula with 150 passengers. All other flight aircraft scheduled to land at the airport have been canceled for the time being. Reasons as to the strike are still unknown and airport authorities are looking into the matter to get the airport back in operations. Read more about how the worker’s strike at the Belize’s Phillip Goldson International Airport shutdown flights to Belize in Ambergris Today newspaper.
The other article that came up on Google for me was from The Belizean (Belize News, Updates and Advisories.)
Air Traffic Controllers Sick Out Shuts Down Belize International Airport
The Belize International Airport, also known as the PGIA was shut down today following a sickout by air traffic controllers. Over six international flights including Delta and Avianca were affected. Some flights were diverted to Honduras and Guatemala. Flights were also being canceled as chaos reigned in the early morning when air controllers failed to show up for work at the country’s only operational international airport.
Back to Everyday Belize Living
While all the Belize Airport chaos was going on Dennis and I were in “get healthy” mode and ready to feel the burn at Rose’s Pilates class. Saturdays are always fun and today she did something a bit different in honor of Feb being American Heart Month. She had us get our cardio on and do lots of dancing fun in between moves to sculpt our bodies into long lean lusciousness.
Two-year-old Tinker joined us for the first part of the class. She did a great job of jumping around and smiling a lot before she got bored of us and headed downstairs to play with Enzo at the Zen Arcade daycare playground (a well-used service).
After we finished Cindy and Tink offered us a ride home and suggested we all go to Rum Bean for a nice coffee treat first.
At Rum and Bean with Little Tink
Now for the fun pics. It is always interesting to watch young human beings grow and interact with other adults. Tinker wanted an adult beverage and like a parrot kept repeating ” I want coffee mommy.” Being regulars at the coffee shop everyone knew the drill and Tinker got her wish. A no caffeine version aka white foam which she happily enjoyed with a full out milk mustache and beard. 🙂
While waiting for our coffee to be made Tinker and Cindy were going over a fish guide. Tinker would ask “What’s that Mommy?” or point at a random diver with long brown hair and say “mommy” knowing her mother dives (very smart child).
As for my coffee, I asked them to make my usual (blended iced coffee with a banana and chocolate sauce). As an extra treat, they added whipped cream. Normally I would not go for that (so I am glad they did not ask first) as it is too much sugar, but was it ever good. I would totally do it again! Rum Bean whipped cream was so yummy, I could eat a bowl of it straight up. 🙂
Later that night we decided to skip town (our plan B after playing cards against humanity got canceled). Instead, we had a chilled out evening at home. I went downstairs to Barb’s for a bit to play on our new inversion machine and catch up. There was no new news on the Air Traffic Control strike. Having worked the airline industry in Europe a few years before moving to Belize, she agreed it was a wild west moment.
As we chatted I alternated from couch potato to hanging like a bat to stretch my spine. It felt really good, especially with my lower back being a bit sore. I’m learning just how much my core muscles can use strengthening in Pilates Class.
After “bat” time I came back upstairs and Dennis was cooking dinner. Afterward, he switched to being DJ and then we ended up playing a three-hour backgammon and acey duecey tournament.
A great end to a perfect day! 🙂