The Aircraft Owners’ Association of Guyana (AOAG) yesterday said it welcomes and is fully supportive of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority‘s (GCAA) recently announced decision to increase its budget.
The increase, proposed in the 2018 budget by Director General, Lt. Colonel (Ret’d) Egbert Field, is targeting the expansion of GCAA’s technical staff to include qualified and experienced Flight Operations Inspectors in order “to ensure that the aviation industry complies with the highest possible safety standards,” AOAG disclosed.
The association said that for many years, it has advocated in favour of strengthening the authority’s regulatory and technical capacity in order that Guyana meet the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
“We commend Director General, Lt. Col. (retd) Egbert Field, for the action he is taking to upgrade the authority to meet the needs of a rapidly growing aviation industry and its expanding hinterland shuttle operations.”
The AOAG, said however, that it has long emphasised the dangerous prevailing conditions under which airline pilots fly in delivering essential services to the hinterland locations.
The association said it has consistently made its voice heard by urging that the GCAA and the Guyana Government address the need to upgrade hinterland aerodromes and invest in an adequate Search and Rescue system appropriate to our domestic aviation requirements.
“While the association accepts that the government has increased investment in the development of interior aerodromes, navigation facilities and weather forecasting, the fact remains that many hinterland airstrips still fail to meet the regulatory standards set by the GCAA itself and from the ground up aircraft tracking systems such as Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADSB) remain to be fully operational.”
The association stressed that it is because of the frequently hostile and extremely dangerous conditions under which aircraft operators conduct hinterland shuttle flights from hinterland locations, that the Director of Civil Aviation has quite “properly demanded” operators manage these away from base operations to a standard specifically developed to ensure maximum possible safety.
“The requirements of the Director General with regard to the safety of hinterland shuttle operations are singularly focused on the management of the operating procedures of the companies conducting shuttle activities.
“It is entirely appropriate that each and every operator is required to submit a manual of procedures which meet the demand of these operations.”
The AOAG’s said its Technical Committee has worked with its members to develop procedures and requirements specific to the environment in which shuttle operations are conducted.
As a matter of fact, these Standard Operating Procedures was accepted on 31st August, 2017, by the GCAA.
There has been a number of deadly accidents and plane crashes earlier this year, forcing GCAA to suspend shuttle operations, amidst safety concerns.
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