Message for the Junior Minister of Public Infrastructure
On behalf of the Government and People of Guyana I wish to extend sincere greetings to the Civil Aviation Professionals and Stakeholders in Guyana on the observance of International Civil Aviation Day 2017.
Today, Guyana joins 190 fellow Member States in South American and other Regions of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in observing the signing of the Chicago Convention on 7 December 1944 in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
International Civil Aviation Day was established in 1994 as part of ICAO’s 50th anniversary activities. In 1996, pursuant to an ICAO initiative and with the assistance of the Canadian Government the United Nations General Assembly officially recognized 7 December as International Civil Aviation Day in the UN system.
The purpose of the global recognition of International Civil Aviation Day is to help generate and reinforce worldwide awareness of the importance of international civil aviation to the social and economic development of States and of the unique role of ICAO in helping States to cooperate and realize a truly global rapid transit network at the service of all mankind.
This year’s theme is “Working Together to Ensure No Country is Left Behind” and I wish to assure you of the Government of Guyana commitment to ICAO goal of helping to ensure the Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) implementation is better harmonized globally and that all States have access to the significant socio-economic benefits of safe and reliable air transport.
The Government of Guyana recognizes that the importance of civil aviation as an engine of global connectivity has never been more relevant to the Chicago Convention’s objectives to look to international flight as a fundamental enabler of global peace and prosperity.
Therefore, on this occasion of International Civil Aviation Day, I am delighted to draw your attention to some interesting facts about the progress of civil aviation in Guyana.
Recently in Nigeria, the Council President of ICAO Dr. Olumuyiwa Bernard Aliu presented to the Government of Guyana the ICAO Council President’s Certificate for 2016 in recognition for significant progress made in resolving its safety oversight deficiencies and improving the effective implementation of ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices.
Also, by the second quarter of 2018 the extension of the main runway at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport will be completed and in the process increasing it from 7,488 feet to 11,000 feet and thereby being able to accommodate larger aircraft such as the A340, A350, B777 and B787 models aircraft.
In addition, as a result of Guyana’s exemplary work in the field of civil aviation, the Government has been requested to host an ICAO special event on “Promoting Air Links between African States and the Diaspora Member States”.
Further, work has begun on the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) funded study for the development of a Civil Aviation Master Plan for Guyana.
Furthermore, in early 2018, the University of Guyana will be introducing a degree programme on Aviation Management in order to ensure the availability of qualified civil aviation personnel.
Therefore, as the Civil Aviation Professional and Stakeholders in Guyana take time today to reflect on the great strides made in civil aviation since that momentous day in December 1944 when 52 States signed the Chicago Convention.
We should also reflect and feel proud of the strides we are all taking to ensure that Guyana is not left behind as global civil aviation strive for the perfection of safe, efficient and regularity of International Air Transport.
Message for the Director General of Civil Aviation
Today, Guyana joins the rest of the world in observing International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Day 2017 under the theme Working together to ensure no country is left behind. Aviation has evolved over the years; in fact, more than 100 years have passed since commercial civil aviation took the world stage. Importantly, having been established in 1944 under the “Chicago Convention”, ICAO is the recognised multilateral international regulatory body, whose mission and forum provides exceptional opportunities for States to consolidate their efforts and maintain a global harmonized regulatory framework for international civil aviation operations.
As aviation continues to grow around the globe, ICAO has contributed to making air travel the safest mode of transporting people to various destinations. In this contemporary era, the Chicago Convention has proven to be an excellent and versatile framework, which allows the ICAO to respond to the dynamic nature of the aviation sector through prudent management and coordination.
Aviation will continue to grow globally. In Guyana, the sector contributes significantly to our economy, representing approximately 3.2% of the country’s GDP, an estimated $20.7 billion dollars annually and creating one in every twenty jobs for our people.
However, these successes are not without challenges. Issues of safety and oversight practices constantly needs revision and improvement as aviation’s evolution continues to push beyond boundaries given that it is often facilitated by advancement in science and technology.
Accidents and incidents continue to occur in many regions which often result in eroding the public’s confidence in air travel; and can have worrying consequences for small, developing economies such as ours and even tourism based economies.
While many States are still working on becoming fully compliant with ICAO’s standards, new systems are constantly being introduced by ICAO to improve safety and oversight capabilities such as Safety Management Systems, Crew Resources Management, Air Traffic Management Systems, Human Factor Principles, and many others.
Air traffic volumes are constantly increasing each year, and the need to ensure safer skies is crucial. Once a flight departs, the challenge remains to monitor the aircraft and to respond to any abnormalities. Hence, to complement the marked increase in over-flights and landings at airports and airstrips in Guyana, the air navigation and communication equipment and infrastructure have been upgraded at the Timehri and Ogle Control Towers to ensure that adequate air navigation services are provided to the industry.
The installation of the Automatic Dependent Surveillance -Broadcast (ADS-B) system at strategic locations within our Interior Regions, as well as the establishment of the Drones Operations Unit at the GCAA, demonstrates our commitment to promoting safety, from the ground up. Our Staff continues to benefit from ongoing training while we are building capacity to face the challenges ahead. With the Oil and Gas Sector on the horizon, the expansion of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport and runway, and the mass influx and use of drones and Unmanned Arial Vehicles, the GCAA must be prepared.
The Eugene F. Correia International Airport now has the reputation as the busiest aerodrome within the South American Region, another testament to a strong safety system. While we may boast of a low aviation accident record, let us remember that more work is needed to increase aviation safety.
The industry has already envisaged new developments, and the GCAA has also made strides not just to ensure that it is able to provide effective regulatory oversight, but to provide direction and leadership, and to support the continuous development of the aviation sector.
The challenges of enhancing safety even further are much bigger than one country or region. It is essential that we work together through ICAO, and its regional offices and partners, to effectively and efficiently improve aviation safety. The efficacy of aviation safety depends largely on the implementation of effective and integrated safety management systems. This solid foundation will assist States in maintaining a safe aviation system.
From all of us at the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority, Happy ICAO Day to all.