“Fruitful discussions” are currently ongoing between the National Air Transport Association (NATA) and the Ogle Airport Incorporated (OAI) over control of the Eugene F Correia International Airport and related issues, according to Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) Director General (Ret’d) Col. Egbert Field.
“I would say they are having some very fruitful discussions which I am sure will eventually end in both sides being satisfied with the outcome,” Field said last Thursday, when he was asked how the GCAA was dealing with the issue and whether the parties were close to a resolution.
He added that the parties would have also been working with the Ministry of Public Infrastructure. “I know the parties are working together and the ministry has been speaking with the parties, so it is at the level of discussion… they are talking and they are coming to a common ground,” he added.
Tensions between operators at the airport flared after President David Granger suggested the renaming of the airport while commissioning an aircraft for the Correia Group’s Trans Guyana Airways.
Granger had defended the renaming, saying that he believed if the airport was renamed after Correia, it would be paying tribute to the late aviator, who was also a Minister of Communications responsible for aviation.
However, a majority of the operators were against the remaining of the airport.
Nine operators—Air Services Limited, Roraima Airways, Oxford Aviation, Hinterland Aviation, Phoenix Airways, Domes-tic Airways, Jags Aviation, Wings Aviation and Hopkinson Mining Aviation—who formed the NATA had argued that the renaming would give an unfair advantage to the Correia Group, which is a major player in the company running the airport.
The NATA had also charged that the new name would give Trans Guyana Airways a marketing advantage as the Correia name is linked to that operation.
However, Trans Guyana’s Chief Executive Officer Michael Correia had told this newspaper that the operators had failed to see the rationale behind the airport’s renaming. Correia, who is also Chairman of the OAI had said, “This is a Government of Guyana initiative, it is not an Ogle Airport initiative, and it has never been put forward by OAI. It is an initiative by government put to the OAI and approved.”
The renaming of the airport went ahead and the two sides are discussing market dominance and related issues.