American Airlines is still to submit its application to fly here to the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) even though it has announced that tickets were to go on sale from April 2 and for flights to begin in December, says GCAA Director General Egbert Field.
“They have not applied neither have they been in contact with us as yet. We have to give the approvals. We will have to look at the viability of the company together with their safety and security aspects.”
In an interview with Stabroek News on Tues-day, he said, he expects the US carrier would make contact with the GCAA so they can start the approval process for their operation.
The process would include a review and validation of the approval to have an air operator’s certificate from their country of operation.
As American Airlines is an established company with an air operator’s licence and is already in operation, he said, “that process should not take us more than two to three weeks, a month on the outside to give approval.”
Field does not see any obstacle in granting approval as the airline flies worldwide but Guyana, he said, must be accorded the right to conduct its aviation business the way it is supposed to be conducted.
Even though they have not applied as yet, he said, the “welcome announcement” shows the confidence of large airlines to want to come to Guyana and that the aviation industry is moving in the right direction.
“No entity would want to fly into an environment where it is chaotic or there is no order. Airlines fly into environments where they know that the safety and security of their operations can be assured.”
The GCAA, he said, is moving towards full compliance with International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) rules and that includes the local staff being trained fully on the workings of the aviation industry through initial, recurrent or on-the-job training to meet the challenges of the aviation industry.
The GCAA is aware, he said, that Guyana cannot develop without aviation as many of its waterways are not navigable or the country does not have the kind of road network to get to the deeper part of the interior locations where a lot of the natural resources reside.
Meanwhile, pertaining to a number of cancellations of its flights during the Christmas season, Field said that Fly Jamaica has been sorting out their problems. Due to the number of complaints the GCAA had been receiving, he said, the management of the air carrier was recently called in.
“We had a firm and frank meeting. We outlined some of the complaints that we received. I know they tried as much as possible to rectify what was wrong but still some of the issues continued. It was beyond their ability to rectify them.”
Fly Jamaica, he said, found itself with two aircraft grounded at the same time and could not find a crew to fly a third, a charter. This week there were further complaints about Fly Jamaica flights.