GCAA boss assures travellers “it’s safe to fly”

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Director-General of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Lieutenant Colonel (ret’d) Egbert Field, has assured travellers that amid the Covid-19 pandemic all protocols are being being implemented to ensure their safety.

“It is safe to fly… the [GCAA] together with other stakeholders, we do have measures and protocols in place to ensure that passengers are safely carried on these aircraft and also safely entered to Guyana,” the Director-General was quoted by DPI as saying during a recent interview.

These measures govern operations at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) and the Eugene F. Correia International Airport (EFCIA). Both airports have been fully compliant since the reopening to scheduled international flights on October 12.

“The compliance with our SOPs [Standard Operating Procedures] and the gazetted regulations which were put out, I’d say are 100 per cent. The CJIA [and EFCIA] are ready,” Mr. Field said.

He noted that both airports have also added features such as the social distancing markers, temperature sensors and sanitisation stations to ensure adherence to the COVID-19 preventative measures.

“The management, the CEO and the staff really put a lot of work into ensuring that in this COVID-19 period, passengers are taken care of in the right manner,” DG Field stated.

Meanwhile, passengers are set to have more travelling options as JetBlue Airways prepares to join the list of carriers plying the Guyana to North America route come December 11.

“I think the entry into the market is always a good thing when you have new carriers. The winner in all of this is the flying public – the customer. Prices, I am sure will be reasonable because there are a number of other carriers on the route,” DG Field explained.

The Authority has evaluated the airline’s compliance with the standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

JetBlue will utilise one of its newest aircraft in Guyana, the A321neo. The environmentally friendly aeroplane will feature spacious seating, WiFi connectivity and in-flight entertainment with screens at every seat, among other amenities.

JetBlue had signalled its intention to operate out of Guyana since September 2019.