Aircraft owners group says many hinterland airstrips still failing to meet standards

The Aircraft Owners’ Association of Guyana (AOAG) yesterday welcomed moves by the civil aviation body to strengthen its capacity and said that many hinterland airstrips are still failing to meet the standards.

In a statement, the AOAG said that while it accepts that the government has increased investment in developing interior aerodromes, navigational facilities and weather forecasting “the fact remains that many hinterland airstrips still fail to meet the regulatory standards” set by the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) . In addition, aircraft tracking systems such as Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADSB) remain to be fully operational.

“It is because of the frequently hostile and extremely dangerous conditions under which aircraft operators conduct hinterland shuttle flights from hinterland locations that the Director of Civil Aviation has quite properly demanded operators manage these away from base operations to a standard specifically developed to ensure maximum possible safety”, the AOAG said.

The AOAG added that it has long underlined the dangerous prevailing conditions under which airline pilots fly in providing essential services to hinterland locations and has consistently made its voice heard in urging that the GCAA and the Government of Guyana  address the need to upgrade hinterland aerodromes and invest in an adequate Search and Rescue system appropriate to the country’s domestic aviation requirements.

The GCAA moves to boost its capacity had come in the wake of three shuttle flight crashes in which two pilots died. It had suspended shuttle flights and instructed operators to submit manuals of their procedures for these flights.

Referring to this in its statement yesterday, the AOAG said that the “requirements of the Director General with regard to the safety of hinterland shuttle operations are singularly focused on the management of the operating procedures of the companies conducting shuttle activities. It is entirely appropriate that each and every operator is required to submit a manual of procedures which meet the demand of these operations”.

The statement said that the AOAG’s Technical Committee has worked with its members to develop procedures and requirements specific to the environment in which shuttle operations are carried out and was pleased to have presented these Standard Operating Procedures on 31st August, 2017 to the GCAA which has accepted them.

It commended Director General, Lt. Col. (retd) Egbert Field, for the action he is taking to upgrade the Authority to meet the needs of a rapidly growing aviation industry and its expanding hinterland shuttle operations.

Meanwhile, the AOAG held their Annual General Meeting on 13th September, 2017.

 

The following Board was unanimously elected.

Ronald Reece

–   President                        – Wings Aviation Limited

 

Anthony Mekdeci,

–   1st Vice President       – Ogle Airport Inc

 

Michael Correia Jnr

–   2nd Vice President     – Trans Guyana Airways

 

Oshana Rogers.

–   Director                       – Skywest Charter Services

 

Christopher A. Nascimento

–   Director                           – PCCL

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