The Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) negotiated twelve air services agreements – including an open skies pact with Canada – during a November 17-21 meeting at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Air Services Negotiation (ICAN), in Bali, Indonesia.
According to a press release from the GCAA, Guyana had formal negotiation meetings with China, Kenya, Curaçao, Singapore, Ghana, the United Kingdom, Norway, the Netherlands, Iceland, Qatar, Canada and Nigeria, which resulted in the initialing of 12 air services agreements and the signing of 11 Memoranda of Understanding (MOU), as well as minutes for another.
With the exception of Norway, all of the agreements initialed are provisionally effective, until the formal agreements are signed by the respective governments, the release said, adding that “this means that traffic rights allowable under the agreements can be immediately accessed by the bilateral parties to the agreements.”
The release further mentioned that air services agreements were negotiated with at least one country from each of the major continents and regions of the world.
“These countries have emerging importance in aviation for the traffic connectivity and aiding in Guyana’s largest strategic efforts in becoming an international hub to connect with the rest of the world.”
The release noted that of significant importance to Guyana immediately, was the conclusion of a fully Open Skies Air Services Agreement with Canada, which replaces the restrictive 2005 air service agreement and which would now allow Guyanese air operators to access any point in Canada. Canada, the release added, is among Guyana’s largest traffic markets and therefore the agreement will create more opportunities, for greater air linkages between the two countries.
The release also stated that Guyana’s participation at the ICAN meeting can be classified as a major success. “Guyana and Curaçao were the first two states to initial an air services agreement and sign a MOU, to facilitate the exchange of traffic rights between the two countries. Moreover, Guyana was among the states with a high percentage of concluded agreements.
“The negotiation of all these agreements will significantly complement the current development initiatives of the government to facilitate and enhance the aviation sector in Guyana”, the release added.
Guyana was represented by GCAA’s Director General Zulificar Mohammed, Air Transport Officer, Saheed Sulaman, General Counsel Amanza Walton-Desir and Chief Executive Officer of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri, Ramesh Ghir.
The release noted that the primary purpose of ICAN is to facilitate a single forum, where contracting states of ICAO can conduct multiple bilateral (regional or plurilateral) air services negotiations or consultations for the growth and development of international air services.