Miami Air (BSK, Miami International) has asked the US Department of Transportation(DOT) to waive dormancy provisions of its air service certificates for another two months until March 2, 2022.

In a January 14 letter to the DOT, the lawyer for Miami Air (legally Miami Air International Inc.) explains the extension is needed because of delays in the airline’s recertification process with the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). These, says John R. Mietus Jr., have been caused by unexpected management team changes and delays in normal workplace procedures as a result of COVID-19.

Since the last waiver request on October 21, 2021, Miami Air’s vice president and director of operations has unexpectedly resigned. “Two long-time Miami Air operational managers moved up to fill the resulting Part 119 vacancies: Dan Sweitzer (Director of Operations, formerly Chief Pilot) and Gabriel Cosentino (Chief Pilot, formerly Director of Training). FAA inspectors have expressed their satisfaction with the current Part 119 team,” the letter states.

The COVID-19 Omicron variant has also resulted in a drag on human resources that “has left both Miami Air and the FAA sorely challenged to make even minor progress”. “There is always someone missing or pulled away to cover for someone else who has been forced to isolate, thus prolonging the time required to achieve Miami Air’s validation milestones,” Mietus explains.

Meanwhile, the airline is working with the FAA on the final elements of recertification. These include FAA acceptance and issuance of numerous manuals and operations specifications, including approval of its Hazardous Materials Manual on January 14.

“The FAA remains committed to completing the re-issuance of Miami Air’s operations specifications and the validation of Miami Air’s processes. Only tabletop exercises and validation flight(s) remain to be accomplished. All personnel involved recognize how difficult it is right now to achieve even the simplest tasks which require a group of people to collaborate. It is our expectation that all of February will be necessary for the accomplishment of these last, well-defined areas of certification,” Mietus says.

As reported previously, the DOT in September 2020 authorised the transfer of Miami International’s certificate of public convenience and necessity to a new Delaware-incorporated entity under the same name.

The new firm was established by Tomas Romero, the owner of Caribbean Sun Airlines, Inc., doing business as World Atlantic Airlines (WL, Miami International), who acquired the "old" Miami Air International for USD3.3 million during a bankruptcy auction. The US Bankruptcy Court approved the acquisition on May 29, 2020. Romero was to invest USD4.5 million of his private funds into the airline.

The carrier plans to restart as a charter specialist using a single B737-800.