Guyana joined the world in celebrating International Civil Aviation Day yesterday under the theme ‘Working Together to Ensure No Country is Left Behind,’ despite a 44.21% compliance to critical safety oversight elements established by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO.)
According to press releases from the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, the purpose of the observance is to establish and reinforce awareness of the ICAO’s standards and policies which effectively support safety, efficiency, security, economic development and environmental protection of the international aviation system.
Globally, the sector is responsible for transporting 3.3 billion passengers annually, contributes an average of 3.5% of the global Gross Domestic Product while employing 58 million persons worldwide, statistics revealed.
In Guyana, the sector provides an estimated 3,000 direct jobs and brings over 80% of tourists to this country, the ministry said.
“In the 2015 budget,” Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Annette Ferguson said, “funds have been allocated for the GCAA to improve Guyana’s compliance with the ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs).”
Further, Ferguson said “Over the next triennium, I intend to work closely with the ICAO and other stakeholders to increase Guyana’s effective implementation to over 60%.”
The ICAO’s theme for this year’s International Civil Aviation Day observances will remain for the next triennium, and coincides with the current ICAO’s initiative of no country left behind, which effective renders the necessary assistance to countries to become compliant to the SARPs.
Director General ag of the GCAA Chitrani Heeralal, in a statement marking the observance, said that in order for Guyana to attain to a Category One compliance, “there must be ‘political will’ by all involved, starting with the recognition of aviation as the catalyst for economic and social development that will support poverty eradication, job creation, access to better education and health facilities, and other benefits to the entire nation.”