Nov 06, 2016 News
Management of the Ogle Airport Inc. (OAI) has welcomed a decision by Government to establish a review panel. It said that such a panel is a long-overdue move.
According to OAI yesterday, the Cabinet has approved the recommendation of Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson, to establish an “Airport Review Panel” in accordance with the lease agreement signed with Government.
This was reported by Minister Joseph Harmon.
“The purpose of the airport review panel is precisely “to review progress on the obligations of both parties”, that is the government and the company, “to identify at an early stage any difficulty perceived by either party in the performance of the obligations of both parties under this agreement and to make recommendations related to the performance of those obligations.”
OAI said it has always been its position that many of the alleged and “often self-serving” and frequently “specious allegations against the performance of the airport would have long ago been settled, had the panel been appointed at an early stage.
It was ripe for the panel since November last year when the Minister convened a meeting with OAI to address the opposition to the renaming of the airport to the Eugene F. Correia International Airport, OAI said. At the time, a widespread media campaign was mounted against the management of the airport.
The review panel, had it been in place, would have addressed the matter.
OAI also noted that complaints of congestion at the airport are far from the truth.
“The fact is that all operators requiring access to the main runway file their request with the GCAA operated Control Tower and take their turn according to assignment by the tower…this having nothing to do with taxiway access to the runway.”
OAI maintained that the Air Traffic control does a good job of minimizing delays of departures and that the Eugene F. Correia International Airport has a good record in this area, given the fact that it is one of the busiest international airports in terms of movements in the region.
“OAI therefore looks forward to the appointment of the review panel as specified by our agreement with Government of Guyana, where complaints of this kind could be professionally addressed and settled quickly.”
Last week, Harmon announced major plans to modernize the aviation industry. Government has, over the past week, approved a number of key recommendations. Among these are the establishment of an oversight body to supervise commercial and economic operations at airports in the country and an authority to manage and build new airports in the different regions.
The Cabinet has also given its approval for the introduction of an oversight body to supervise the commercial and economic operations of airports in the country, through the current regulations and maybe even new ones.
Currently, the regulator of the aviation industry is the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) but the administration has been signaling an expansion and a need for more monitoring, with an emphasis on development of infrastructure especially in the interior.
Approval was also granted for the establishment of an airport authority that will be responsible for creating, upgrading, maintaining and managing airport infrastructure throughout Guyana.
Along with this authority, Government will also be pushing for the development of a civil aviation master plan to guide the strategic development of airport infrastructure throughout Guyana, Harmon disclosed.
Among other things, the master plan will set out the types of services and facilities that will be required for the improved airports in the future.
”(The master plan) will also include plans for the development of air navigational services and safety oversight services of the national aviation system,” Minister Harmon said.
The official stressed that the structures are very important since it is the intention of the administration to ensure municipal-type airports in every region of the country, similar to the one at Ogle. He singled out Regions One, Seven, Eight and Nine for attention.
”So that with the development of the new towns…we are ensuring systems and regulations are in place to carry the developments.”
Guyana is currently involved with a US$150M expansion of its Timehri airport, but it is way behind schedule.
That expansion includes a new arrival hall and a longer runway.
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