Air Services Limited developing Guyanese travel
- one pilot at a time
By Rabindra Rooplall
Starting with a small aircraft operation in 1957, Air Services Limited (ASL) is Guyana oldest and largest domestic flight provider, since; Air Service has expanded to a fleet of 12 aircraft.
Air Services Limited has been dedicated to training pilots from all over the world for 15 years. At the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) approved school, customised professional flight training programmes are available to suit passionate persons that are aspiring to be pilots within an affordable and realistic budget.
One such young man is 18-year-old Akeem Stoll, whose dreams from childhood motivated him to join Air Services to fulfill his dreams and goal of becoming a pilot.
Akeem Stoll said that he is set to graduate next month and is eager to persevere to complete two other courses, being Instrument Rating and the Commercial Pilot Certificate, which would eventually enable him to be paid for his piloting.
“Since I was a little child I always loved airplanes and talked about becoming a pilot.”
He revealed that he had done several solo practices around various ports across Guyana, however, certain aspects of the training might be challenging but amazing and rewarding.
Stoll revealed the qualifications for such a course are Geography, Mathematics, English and physics and above all a love and determination to become a pilot. Getting started with such a course includes ground school training with dual and solo flight times.
At present he is completing his Private Pilot Certificate, which entails ground school training with dual and solo flight times, while the Guyana Aviation Requirement (GAR) has minimum requirements for this certificate: 40 hours of total flight time, 20 hours with a flight instructor, 10 hours of solo, Must be at least 16 ½ years of age, Must be able to read, write and comprehend English, Must pass an aviation physical exam, and Must pass an GAR written and oral exam and check-ride.
General requirements include being at least 18 years of age; hold a valid Private Pilot Certificate with a Class II Medical Certificate and have a minimum of 200 hours flight time.
Nineteen-year-old Colin Constantine is another student who has been fascinated with being a pilot. He revealed there is something astonishing about being able to navigate yourself geographically in an airplane while piloting it.
He describes the course as being “thrilling from the beginning and will be that way until the end.”
According to representative of Air Services Limited, Marcia Akeung, Ogle International Airport Extremely serious about the services that are provided, which are safe, efficient and reliable delivering domestic schedule and charter service to all of Guyana’s interior destinations, while overseas charters to the Caribbean and South America are done.
She said that the flight school which is the only one in the country was initially set up to supply the company with a cadre of well trained pilots and this has expanded to a commercial flight school with some of its graduates expanding their horizons in the Caribbean.
Marcia Akeung disclosed ASL provides a fully equipped maintenance department, with a high quality service to smaller domestic operators and regional commercial airlines.
Captain Nigel Ramsahai who has served as a pilot for eighteen years, eight of those as a flight instructor said, the second batch of pilot are set to receive their license within the next two months, while Guyana will have its own pool of pilots and would not have to source any outside pilots.
Air Services Limited operates mainly charters to almost all the airstrips in Guyana. They also operate regular flights three to four times per week to Region Eight and twice weekly to Region Seven, and special tour packages to Kaieteur and Orinduik.