– Branch to be established in Jamaica
The Art Williams and Harry Wendt Aeronautical Engineering School located at Ogle, continued to live up to its stellar reputation, when 22 students graduated on Friday, last, after completing three years of study, while several of the first- and second-year students advanced in their ranks.
The subjects done for the year included basic instruments, propellers, mechanical systems, aircraft regulation, system and gas turbine engines, radio communication and navigation.
Additional courses included responder and fire-fighting training to follow the health and safety regulations, and accident prevention and mitigation.
Prime Minister Samuel Hinds attended the graduation ceremony along with Executive Director of the Aircraft Owners Association of Guyana, Captain Malcolm Chan-a-Sue, Chairman of Ogle Airport Inc., Michael Correia Jr., who delivered the feature address, and Chief Executive Officer of LIAT, Brian Challenger.
Among the highlights of the ceremony was a display of work at the school which included tool kits and a re-manufactured aircraft. The work is being done by a team of young engineers who are all graduates of the school.
Matthew Harrison and Dorian Nicholas were awarded the best graduating students.
Prime Minister Hinds, according to a government release, congratulated the students and commended the instructors and supporters for their commitment and dedication towards the students’ success.
He expressed hope that in 2011, there will be LIAT and other regional carriers flying at Ogle, as this would see an advancement at the airport.
Prime Minister Hinds said that over the years, the airport has responded to a challenge that was proposed by the late President Cheddi Jagan to have scheduled fights at a cheap cost.
He encouraged the graduates to practice their skills, as they will gain experience and be able to make further developments in the aircraft sector, and that error rates must be close to zero.
Ogle Airport Inc. Chairman, Michael Correia Jr., in his feature address, emphasised that the school also has recently been approved by the Jamaican Civil Aviation Authority to establish a branch on the island and will begin training of Jamaican students in 2011.
In addition, approximately 60 Guyanese students have spent the last 30 months on work attachment at Piarco International Airport on Caribbean Airlines 737-800 and Dash 8 C-Checks.
He highlighted the need to create a single airspace in the region to take advantage of the technological gains in air navigation, as well as the need for common aviation regulations governed by a Caribbean Aviation Authority.
Correia noted that the larger developing CARICOM countries must make a commitment towards the strengthening of Civil Aviation within the Region. In this regard, the Aircraft Owners Association of Guyana urged government to act on the last Caribbean Aviation Safety and Security Oversight System (CASSOS) recommendations given to the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) which deals specifically with those areas.
He emphasised that the air transport sector will continue to play a vital role in supporting the country’s expanding economy in the future. This includes rehabilitation and maintenance of the domestic airstrips and air navigational system.
Correia pointed out that phase one of Ogle Airport has been completed and is in full operation. Phase two with the extended runway and expanded facilities will open the door for LIAT and META Airlines with the larger aircraft.
A plaque was unveiled in honour of Kayman Sankar, an agriculture and aviation pioneer, who insisted the school to be placed in his hangar so as to give back to youths of Guyana and CARICOM.
AOAG Director Chan-a-Sue boasted about the school being the only International Organisation of Standards (ISO) 9001:2008 rated tertiary training organisation owned and operated by self supporting Guyanese.
He noted that the aircraft sector is vital for the economic development of the country and engineers must take their work seriously.
And LIAT CEO Challenger expressed confidence that the training and discipline that was imparted to the students would benefit them in the future, as they are expected to operate as professionals at the highest level to ensure safety and security of the economy.
He highlighted that over the past 10 years, global aviation has expanded beyond traditional markets, spreading into the new emerging markets and Guyana stands at the doorway of these new markets.
Challenger noted that as young engineers, they must exercise safety, have good inspection knowledge and habits, know the value and importance of documenting every job carried out.
He noted that this will ensure that the environment is protected, in keeping with the efforts to combat global climate change
Challenger also pointed out to the graduates that in order to be successful in the workplace they must have respect, integrity and must be committed and act in a professional manner.
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