Nov 12, 2015 News
A proposal to seize aircraft and properties belonging to local operators of the Ogle Airport Inc. if they default on their debts has forced the formation of a National Air Transport Association (NATA).
The organization was formed by nine of the ten local aircraft operators at the airport. The dissenting operator was Trans Guyana Airways.
During a press conference yesterday at the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) office on Waterloo Street, the members forming NATA would be Air Services Limited, Roraima Airways, Hinterland Aviation, Oxford Aviation, Wings Aviation, Fenix Aviation, Domestic Airways, Hopkinson Mining Aviation and Jags Aviation. The representatives were all present at the launch, yesterday.
Vice-President of NATA, Gerry Gouveia, stated that the formation of the association was triggered by the document which was presented recently to the Board of Directors of the airport for approval.
A copy of the agreement, which was seen by the Kaieteur News, revealed that OAI is entitled to impose fees incurred in respect of any aircraft or property for storage or otherwise during the period of exercise of the lien and they may further impose a lien in respect of unpaid fees, charges, costs or other liabilities as it sees fit.
“What I believed caused a trigger at Ogle was a document that was presented to the Board of Directors of the airport and it went to the Board for approval and this document was demanding that the operators at Ogle sign the document that hands over a lien of our planes, vehicles, boats and planes and whatever it is that we own at Ogle to the airport so that if we owe them landing fees they could seize our planes and our buildings,” Gouveia said, noting that they demanded that the operators present them with a list of their customers and whatever was being carried on their aircraft.
“And so that document was such a draconian document it triggered an alarm bell in the operators… that whoever could have the audacity to craft a document like that to present it to operators to sign was extremely disrespectful to the industry,” he charged.
The agreement indicated that if fees, charges, costs or other liabilities in respect of which a lien is exercised remain outstanding, the OAI may deliver by hand to the operator at his registered address and to the registered owner of the aircraft at his address on the appropriate Register in the State of Registration a notice demanding payment within 14 days of delivery of the notice.
“In the event that payment remains outstanding thereafter, OAI may at its entire discretion sell, dispose of, remove or destroy such aircraft or equipment,” the document read.
It added that a lien shall not be lost by reason of the aircraft departing from the Airport but shall continue to be exercisable at any time when the aircraft or any other aircraft or other equipment owned by the Operator has returned to the Airport after having left it for as long as any of the said fees, charges, costs or other liabilities, whether incurred before or after such departure, remain unpaid.
Gouveia indicated that when certain challenges arose at the airport four of the five original investors called on Michael Correia, OAI Chief Executive Officer, to resolve these issues and to talk to him about “The way forward,” which would inevitably lead to the creation of NATA but he refused the invitation.
“There are difficulties and challenges being experienced by the operatives of Ogle. About two weeks ago four of the original investors of the OAI, because of the eruption of discontentment that is happening at Ogle, requested to meet with Michael Correia to discuss the issues but he refused to meet with them to take the next step forward,” he explained.
Gouveia denied, when questioned by the media, if the launch of the association had anything to do with a proposition by President Granger to rename the airport to the Eugene F. Correia International Airport.
“We believe that the President did not take into consideration the issue of renaming the airport after one of the families that is the major competitors of the airport.”
One of the problems facing the industry at Ogle is that they have a competitor regulating its competitors, he said. “…If you take that further and rename the airport after that competitor you compound an already difficult and oppressive situation,” he continued.
However, he stated that the association does not view the renaming of the airport as an issue that cannot be resolved through discussion. All nine of the aviation operators endorsing NATA have “unanimously” voted against the renaming the airport, and have written strong letters against it, he added.
He also indicated that number one on their priority list of challenges to resolve is improving search and rescue in the industry. He said the association will soon be addressing other challenges and they will be meeting with a series of policy makers, private sector bodies and regulatory agencies to help.
One of the major issues which plagued the local operators was the lack of transparency in the management of the administration. CEO of Hopkinson Mining Aviation, Shawn Hopkinson, and Domestic Airways Orlando Charles both endorsed NATA because they believed that it will bring transparency and equal opportunity for all operators—something they noticed missing at the airport.
Captain Emil E. Jahan of the Hinterland Aviation noted that the newly formed association will advocate for and represent all sub-sectors of the aviation transport industry. He said the membership composes a team of experienced aviation professionals and will ensure fair and impartial representation of all aviation professionals and aircraft owners.
“The leadership of this organization will be democratic and observe term limits of two one year terms of presidency in order to ensure that there is always equity and balance in governance,” he indicated, adding that the leadership is based on objectivity and application of transparency and equality.
“There will be no tolerance for discrimination among members. This association will support and encourage the representation of policies that will promote health safety and responsible management of aviation facilities and aircraft operations,” he said.
He added that the association committed to working closely with the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority, all relevant government and private sector agencies toward the advancement of the sector.
NATA President, Annette Arjoon-Martins, stated that despite improvements in the aviation industry, it has still not benefitted from broad based representation of all aviation stakeholders involved. She said it was timely for such an association to be formed in order to correct this shortcoming.
She said it will integrate the needs, views, and interests of all stakeholders and include pilots, Engineers, Air Traffic Controllers, Mechanics, Flight Operations Personnel, Ramp Attendants, Administrators, Owners, Operators, and Aviation Medical and Legal Personnel.
She explained that Aviation Professionals licensed by the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (including Pilots, Engineers, and Air Traffic Controllers) and Aircraft Owners/ Operators are eligible for Full Membership while unlicensed Aviation Professionals will be eligible for Associate Membership.
The objectives of the association would be to represent the interests of the aviation sector at a national level, provide advocacy and develop the sector by consulting, advising and collaborating with the government and all aviation stakeholders.
The organization will soon become a member of the Private Sector Commission and the Georgetown Chambers of Commerce.
Feb 27, 2021By Sean Devers Kaieteur News – Today from 13:30hrs at the Coolidge ground in Antigua, Guyana Jaguars and pre-tournament favorites Trinidad Red Force face-off for the Clive Lloyd Trophy in Final...
Feb 27, 2021
Feb 27, 2021
Feb 27, 2021
Feb 27, 2021
Feb 27, 2021
Kaieteur News – I hardly look at television. But one evening this week, I walked into my study where my wife was flicking... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders Kaieteur News – People in the Caribbean, who refuse to take vaccinations to counter the Coronavirus,... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]