Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson, on behalf of the Government,
tabled the Civil Aviation Bill 2017 in the National Assembly yesterday.
The Bill, according to the Minister, makes provision for offences relating to the safety and security of passengers, aircraft and airports, for the regulation, control and early development of civil aviation in Guyana and related matters.
The new Bill seeks to repeal and replace the Civil Aviation Act Chapter 53:01 and bring Guyana’s aviation law into conformity with primary legislation regulating civil aviation currently found in other parts of the world.
It makes provisions for the enablement of the Chicago Convention and the Agreement establishing the Caribbean Aviation Safety and Security Oversight System, Patterson explained.
It would be tabled at a time when the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) is working to strengthen its capacity.
The GCAA’s operations were audited, recently, by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to ensure compliance with the international body’s standards and recommended practices.
At a press briefing last December, GCAA’s Director-General, Colonel (Retd.) Egbert Field, noted that the aviation body is working overtime to develop its status.
He added that results of the audit saw Guyana achieving a score of 64.44, a marked improvement from the 44.44 it had scored previously. He said the recent score is above average for the Caribbean.
According to Field, the oversight systems within the GCAA are being examined as key towards advancement of the body’s status. “We are moving forward by trying to establish a robust oversight system, a robust authority,” he said.
He explained that if the body does not strengthen its position, it would not be able to face the challenges that could arise in another two to three years.
According to Field, the GCAA is looking towards the prospect of employing experts to assist in further strengthening its capacity, adding that the government has placed its full support behind development of the sector.
Meanwhile, in the National Assembly, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams, presented the Deeds and Commercial Registries Authority (Amendment) Bill 2017.
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