GDF $500M aircraft grounded since August 2018 commissioning

One of the two multimillion-dollar Britten-Norman Islanders that have been grounded almost one year to date (DPI photo)

– disassembled for checks, never used by Army to date

– GCAA still to receive documentation for approval

The two Britten-Norman Islanders that were purchased and added to the Air Corps’ fleet of Guyana Defence Force (GDF) are yet to be utilised for the purposes for they which have been bought.

In fact, upon the arrival of the two aircraft in August last, maintenance works and checks were being carried out before they could be flown by military officials but to date, these Islanders are yet to take to the skies.

Director General of the Ministry of the Presidency, Joseph Harmon on Sunday told <<<Inews>>> that the two planes had been “stripped down” when they were brought to Guyana so that components on each aircraft could be inspected and checked thoroughly.

One month short of a year since those planes landed in Guyana these checks are still ongoing but Harmon stated that they should be in the skies soon.

One of the two multimillion-dollar Britten-Norman Islanders that have been grounded almost one year to date (DPI photo)

“They have actually almost completed both of them. One of them I believe should be waiting on an inspection now to complete one and the other one they are basically still doing some investigations on some of the parts that…they have to actually check every part of it before they allow it to fly, checks by the Civil Aviation here too… they were being flown in a commercial sense because now they have to fly them for military purposes, they have to go through several additional checks, so this is really what the situation is.”

However, Director of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Lieutenant Colonel (Ret’d) Egbert Field, also on Sunday afternoon told this online publication that his agency cannot give approval for aircraft to ply the routes in Guyana unless the agency or organisation makes an application for such.

“It is not that they made an application and we refused. We are waiting for them to send in the documentation or reference to the aircraft and then we will review it with the aim of either approving or not approving. But I say again, they have not submitted any documentation to us as yet for approval.”

He explained that while the GCAA is aware that the two Britten Islanders are in Guyana and in the possession of the GDF, there needs to be a formal application lodged at the GCAA for any further step to be taken. Since August last, to date, the GDF has not submitted such.

“I think that they are doing some maintenance work but we would not get into that until they submit their documents and we review it, if there are any questions then we will approach the GDF, but we are just waiting for them to submit. They have not sent anything to us, they informed us that the aircraft are here but they have not done a formal application. Maybe they are dealing with certain issues…we are just waiting for them to submit their paperwork so I guess they are trying to dot all their Is and cross all their Ts, the GCAA Director stated.

Earlier in 2018, the APNU/AFC Government sought $484.2 million in supplemental financing to acquire four aircraft, including two Islanders.