Chief Executive Officer of Roraima Airways Gerry Gouveia says that his company’s collaboration with four other entities in the local aviation sector to re-invent the Ogle Airport in a manner that allows it to respond effectively to the changing needs of the country’s aviation ranks among its more important missions at this time.
In November, amidst a series of events hosted by the company to mark its 20th anniversary, Gouveia told this newspaper he was “particularly interested” in “shining a light” not only on the aviation services being offered by Roraima but also on the inputs which those services were making in transforming Guyana’s aviation profile. “Although we are competitors in the aviation sector we are very much a team as far as developing Ogle is concerned,” Gouveia says.
During one of the company’s anniversary events the former Guyana Defence Force chief pilot announced that Roraima was pumping more than US$4 million into expansion works in the company’s aviation department. A new aircraft, among other things, is on the cards, he says.
Work is continuing on the creation of Roraima’s new hangar at Ogle and Gouveia says he sees this as “a visible symbol” of Roraima’s contribution to the quantum shift in local aviation. “Once the manifestation of this project kicks in it could change Guyana in more ways than one,” he says.
New aircraft and additional airlift capacity is important in more ways than one, Gouveia says. “The first thing that occurs to you is that we are positioning ourselves to provide an expanded and more efficient service between the coast and the interior. That goes to the very heart of the wider thrust to exploit the resources of our interior. On the one hand the aviation sector is serving investors in the mining and logging industries. On the other hand we are creating linkages between the interior and the coastal areas. Both are important developmental objectives and obviously they are very worthwhile investments for the private sector.
As far as the region is concerned, Gouveia notes that there is already considerable traffic between Ogle and other destinations in the region and the hemisphere. “The idea of two international airports is intriguing,” Gouveia says. Ogle provides a convenient option for visitors from the Caribbean and visitors transiting from North America and Europe. In terms of Guyana as a visitor destination – whatever the purpose of those visits might be – that is exciting.
The Roraima Chief Executive Officer wants to promote his company’s interest in the tourism product without making it seem as though it is a one-dimensional establishment. “Of course our investment caters to visitors. On the other hand we see ourselves as a company which, in a number of ways, is simply available to support the development objectives of the country. Its business with a sort of nationalistic bent,” Gouveia says.
The current preoccupation with acquiring a new aircraft and readying the facilities at Ogle for what Gouveia says is the company’s “bigger mission” is one of the Chief Executive Officer’s current preoccupations. “When you contemplate the significance of the Ogle project you cannot help but be excited. We at Roraima are pretty keen for the pieces to fall together at Ogle.”