Roraima Airways yesterday commissioned its new US$700,000 Trislander Aircraft, the third of its kind for the company.
The simple commissioning ceremony, held at the Eugene F. Correia Airport, was attended by the Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure Annette Ferguson, Director General of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) Lt. Col. (Ret’d) Egbert Field and the Chairman of the Private Sector Commission (PSC) Desmond Sears, among others.
It was noted that the Trislander was purchased in New Zealand and brought to Guyana, where it was assembled at the Eugene F. Correia Airport by a team of aeronautical engineers attached to Roraima Airways, which makes it the second to have been assembled there.
In his remarks at the event, Chief Executive Officer of the Roraima Group of Companies Captain Gerry Gouveia explained that the new aircraft is equipped with the ADS-B system, which allows the tracking of the plane throughout the flight, thereby ensuring added safety and security features.
Additionally, the Trislander would boost the capacity of the airline in the service offered to its customers, particularly in the area of tourism, mining and medivacs.
Sears acknowledged Roraima as a company that continues to invest in the local aviation sector, with the commissioning of the new Trislander being cited as a perfect example.
“Roraima has always responded to the need for investment in the aviation sector in Guyana. It is always critical to develop in-house capacity and crew maintenance organisation is one such asset. It is not only a job creator but also it holds the skills which could reap enormous benefits for the sector. Guyanese therefore can explore their full potential,” Sears said.
“The timing of this launch of this aircraft cannot be more appropriate as it would address the growing need for air services in a developing Guyana. On the topic of travel, these flights would enhance our physical links with the hinterland and open up new business opportunities,” he added.
Similar sentiments were shared by Junior Minister of Public Infrastructure Annette Ferguson, who expressed confidence in the capabilities of the company with the addition of the new aircraft.
Meanwhile, Field congratulated the young engineers on their work in assembling the aircraft, while noting that as the local aviation industry continues to expand, more efforts should be made to have engineers gain employment in Guyana.
Commenting on the work that the GCAA has been doing in this regard, Field explained that steps are being taken to amend regulations that would allow airlines or other air operators entering the local market to be certified with a local air operator’s licence.
This, he said, would open the door for more opportunities for local pilots and engineers.
On a different note, the Director0General explained that the GCAA, though a regulatory body, also has a role as a facilitating body and is committed to seeing the local industry flourish. “Guyana is moving towards bluer skies because aviation is expanding. We are regulators but at the same time we are facilitators; the authority cannot flourish unless the industry grows and the industry must grow. Therefore, it is imperative upon the authority to ensure that business expands, [and] the aviation community expands. I will not turn my eye to non-compliant issues but we can work hand-in-hand to ensure safety and security is there,” he added.