Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Annette Ferguson, led a five-member team to represent the Government of Guyana at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) 39th General Assembly in Montreal, Canada.
The general assembly commenced on September 27, 2016 and concluded on October 7, 2016.
The Guyana delegation, headed by Minister Ferguson, also included a senior management team of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), including Lt. Col. Rtd. Lawrence London, Chairman, GCAA Board; Lt. Col. Egbert Field, Director General GCAA, Mr. Saheed Sulaman, Director, Air Transport Management and Mr. Rickford Samaroo, Director, Air Navigation Services.
Also included as part of the Guyana delegation were two members from the CARICOM Secretariat, Ms. Desiree Field-Ridley, Advisor, Single Market Programme and Dr. Pauline Yearwood, Deputy Programme Manager.
According to a release from the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, the 39th Assembly was opened by Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu (Nigeria), President of the ICAO Council, and the Mayor of Montréal, the Honourable Denis Coderre. Many Ministers with responsibilities for civil aviation attended the triennial Assembly along with technical experts from civil aviation authorities and representatives from airlines and international organizations. This 39th Assembly was the largest in the history of the ICAO, with attendances from 184 Member States and 2,225 delegates.
As mandated by the Chicago Convention on International Aviation, the Assembly meets once every three years to review the work of ICAO in the technical, economic, legal and technical assistance fields and to set ICAO’s work programme and budget for the next triennium.
The 39th Assembly adopted a historic resolution to implement a Global Market-based Measure (GMBM) scheme in the form of a Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) to address annual increase in total CO2 emissions from international civil aviation (i.e. civil aviation flights that depart in one country and arrive in a different country) above the 2020 levels. The GMBM scheme is part of the ICAO basket of measures which include developing aircraft technologies, operational improvements, and sustainable alternative fuels to achieve ICAO’s global aspirational goal of keeping the global net CO2 emissions from international aviation from 2020 at the same level.
Civil Aviation is a key facilitator of global, regional and national development. Globally the sector moves 3.3 billion passengers annually, contributes roughly 3.5 percent of global Gross Domestic Product, and employs some 58 million people worldwide. In Guyana, the aviation sector provides an estimated 3,000 plus direct jobs and is responsible for bringing over 80 percent of tourists to Guyana. The aviation sector connects Guyana’s coastland and hinterland communities and supports a variety of activities and sectors such as agriculture, forestry, mining, tourism and social services.
The release said, Guyana’s participation in the Assembly provided opportunities for this country to join with other small States to represent the interest of small developing countries and also to reach out to both States and international organizations for financial and technical assistance to raise the standards of aviation in Guyana. During the Assembly, Guyana held bilateral meetings with Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, Republic of Korea, and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).