Mar 29, 2016 News
By Ray Chickrie
Caribbean News Now contributor
WASHINGTON, USA — A November 2015 report compiled by the Inter American Development Bank (IDB) was critical of the state of civil aviation in Guyana, and the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) came under heavy criticism for controlling both technical regulations and policymaking entities.
The IDB report asserts that such “concentration of functions in the GCAA has potential implications that could prevent the healthy development of the civil aviation sector” in Guyana.
The report suggests that policy setting and technical regulation “may be compromised if the functions of policy-making and technical regulation” are performed by a single body like GCAA. It is important, the report said, to assign these functions to independent entities to avoid any interference between these activities, which can go both ways.
For example, it is essential for “the technical regulator to be absolutely objective when carrying out safety oversights on local carriers, regardless of any policy that may encourage the protection of the local airlines.”
According to the IDB report, other problems that can arise from GCAA’s extensive power over its many functions, is the manipulation of technicalities to implement policy. It added, “Considering that bilateral agreements that govern air services are very complex and time consuming to negotiate, it is important that policies be stated in a clear and transparent way.”
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) recommends the separation of the economic and technical regulation functions “so that the latter will not be influenced in order to apply a certain unstated policy.”
“By accomplishing a clear separation of functions, Guyana and Suriname would be able to foster both an unrestricted market access and a competitive environment for both local and foreign carriers. In the case of Suriname, the only conflict of interest in its current institutional framework is the concentration of technical regulation and air accidents investigation functions in the CASAS,” the IDB report suggests.
In Suriname, which was also part of the report, the IDB notes that there is an “unhealthy concentration of the functions in the Civil Aviation Safety and Authority Suriname (CASAS), responsible for the sector’s technical regulation and investigation of accidents and incidents.”
However, in the case of Suriname such power as in the case of the GCAA doesn’t exist there. CASAS is involved in two aviation bodies in Suriname, while in Guyana GCAA has its hands in three bodies that govern civil aviation there.
The IDB study recommends that policymaking functions should be fully transferred to a different entity than the GCAA, possibly the ministry of public works. This entity should be the only authority in the economic regulation of the air transport sector, including the establishment of air services agreements with other nations.
It also calls for air traffic control operations to be transferred either to a new service provider that should operate independently from the GCAA, or potentially to the CJIA Corporation, “as there are no inherent conflicts of interest by having the airport and ATC operations performed by the same entity.”
The IDB report also calls for an independent committee or board to be created to investigate accidents and incidents. And this committee or board should report directly to the president or to Parliament to “to ensure a completely unbiased and independent outcome of its investigations.”
(From Caribbean News Now)
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