[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Aircraft Owners’ Association has registered its disappointment that recommendations urged by the Aviation Industry for its development have received minimal recognition in this year’s budget and that the Parliamentary Opposition has moved cut the entire aviation budget, including the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) Expansion Project.
The Body in a statement reminded that following upon the National Economic Forum in July 2013, hosted by the Government and in which the Parliamentary Opposition participated, the Aviation Sub-Group of the Forum submitted a comprehensive Policy Proposal and Action Plan for the Aviation Industry.
This was subsequently approved by the National Competitive Strategy Council chaired by President Donald Ramotar.
“The Aviation’s Industry Policy Proposal includes a menu of measures, all of which are well within the financial reach of our country’s budget, essential for Guyana to conform to the requirements and practices of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)… inexplicably these proposals have been ignored in the Budget,” the statement added.
The combined opposition disapproved for the Cheddi Jagan International Airport a total of $6.6B, Civil Aviation some $50M, and Hinterland Airstrips another $185M.
The Association said urgent among the industry’s recommendations are: for independent Aircraft Accident Investigation and prompt public reporting of the findings of these investigations and actions taken by the GCAA; National Search and Rescue system with appropriate protocols under the Civil Defence Commission; strengthening of the institutional capacity of the Civil Aviation Authority in order to achieve and maintain a Category 1 US FAA/IASA status; implementing industry recommendations for Hinterland airstrip development to accommodate larger aircraft and with sufficient budgetary funding to support an efficient maintenance and rehabilitation programme.
The Aircraft Owners Association says it looks forward to the National Assembly seriously addressing the development of the Aviation Industry in a constructive and comprehensive manner.
The Body observed that this is necessary if Guyana is to be expected to meet its developmental objectives and obligations, particularly with regard to the servicing of our hinterland communities and our Mining, Forestry and our Tourism industries.