Aircraft owners group disappointed over budget

The Aircraft Owners Association today expressed concern that its proposals for the budget were mostly ignored by the government and also that the opposition has since cut some of the aviation provisions.

The association’s press release follows:

Following upon the National Economic Forum in July last year hosted by the Government and in which the Parliamentary Opposition participated, the Aviation Sub-Group of the Forum submitted, in February this year, a comprehensive Policy Proposal and Action Plan for the Aviation Industry to the Competitive Strategy Steering Committee, subsequently approved by the National Competitive Strategy Council chaired by his Excellency, the President.

The Aircraft Owners’ Association is disappointed therefore, that the recommendations urged by the Aviation Industry for the development of this vital economic sector have received minimal recognition in this year’s budget and that the Parliamentary Opposition has seen fit to cut the entire aviation budget, including the Cheddi Jagan International Airport expansion programme which is fully supported by both the Aviation and Tourism industries.

The Aviation’s Industry Policy Proposal includes a menu of measures, all of which are well within the financial reach of our country’s budget, essential for Guyana to conform to the requirements and practices of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

Inexplicably these proposals have been ignored in the Budget.

Urgent among the industry’s recommendations set out in the Policy Proposal for the immediate attention of the Government are:
• Independent Aircraft Accident Investigation and prompt public reporting of the findings of these investigations and actions taken by the GCAA.

• A National Search and Rescue system with appropriate protocols under the Civil Defence Commission.

• Strengthening of the institutional capacity of the Civil Aviation Authority in order to achieve and maintain a Category 1 US FAA/IASA status.

• Implementing industry recommendations for Hinterland airstrip development to accommodate larger aircraft and with sufficient budgetary funding to support an efficient maintenance and rehabilitation programme

The Aircraft Owners Association of Guyana looks forward to the National Assembly seriously addressing the development of the Aviation Industry in a constructive and comprehensive manner if, indeed, Guyana is to be expected to meet its developmental objectives and obligations, particularly with regard to the servicing of our hinterland communities and our Mining, Forestry and our Tourism industries.

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