Benn urges stakeholders to be vigilant about aviation safety

Minister of Transport and Hydraulics Robeson Been has called on stakeholders in the aviation sector to maintain high levels of safety and security at the country’s airports.

Despite a positive report from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), showing that there has been significant improvement in the application of safety standards and measures at the CJIA and Ogle airports, Benn said “our local culture toward safety and security is poor.”

“We have signed onto particular standards in conducting our business and we absolutely have to maintain those standards in safety and security in an international facility which is certified and approved by [ICAO]”, he told an aviation security workshop facilitated by the Cheddi Jagan International Airport Corporation. The minister said government is committed to ensuring that standard operating procedures are maintained at the two airports.

According to a Government Information Agency press release Benn said that despite having all the necessary training and capable human resources in the aviation sector, the “usual problem is how we operationalise the issues on the ground and how we access and operationalise the paradigm to ensure that we have the requisite security for the type of facilities we operate such as the CJIA.” The minister noted that last week a meeting had been held with an audit team from ICAO, and compared with the last review; Guyana recorded a significant improvement in airport security and safety standards.

At the same time, he acknowledged that Guyana still has to apply the safety measures at the requisite level of intensity to ensure that our airports and all the facilities and assets are secure. Therefore, he urged participants to be vigilant of the changing threats and challenges in the aviation sector. He told the meeting that he hopes information garnered from the discussions and other sources will be implemented and that this is reflected in the next ICAO report.

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