Dear JCMT Community,
This week, the pending start of the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope has sparked a protest which has blocked access to Maunakea for all traffic. Yesterday afternoon, the directors of the existing observatories made the joint decision to remove all personnel from their telescope facilities at the summit to guarantee the safety of their staff – the institutions’ top priority. Without guaranteed, reliable access to the telescopes, the Maunakea Observatories have suspended all summit activities (including remote operations) for the time being.
The safety of everyone on the mountain, MKO staff, law enforcement, and protestors is of paramount importance to us. We have voluntarily decided to remove our staff. This is not a decision we came to lightly, but want to emphasize the importance of safety for all staff and facilities.
We are truly grateful to the law enforcement offices who have been working around the clock to ensure the safety of everyone on Maunakea. The safety of our personnel – and of everyone on the mountain – remains our top priority.
We look forward to returning to normal operations as soon as the situation allows.
From the JCMT Team, Aloha and thank you for understanding.