[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Government of Guyana through its agency the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority participated at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Air Services Negotiation (ICAN) meeting in Bali, Indonesia during the period November 17-21, 2014.
The primary purpose of ICAN is to facilitate a single forum where Contracting States of ICAO can conduct multiple bilateral (regional or plurilateral) air services negotiations or consultations for the growth and development of international air services.
This seventh ICAN meeting brought together seventy-eight (78) Contracting States of ICAO and was the biggest success of all ICAN meetings since its inception in 2008. There were more than 600 participants; 550 bilateral meetings and 530 Air Services Agreements and Memorandum of Understandings negotiated, initialed and signed.
Guyana was represented by a delegation of four (4) persons:
Mr. Zulficar Mohamed, Director General, Guyana Civil Aviation Authority
Mr. Saheed Sulaman, Air Transport Officer, Guyana Civil Aviation Authority
Mrs. Amanza Walton-Desir, General Counsel, Guyana Civil Aviation Authority
Mr. Ramesh Ghir, Chief Executive Officer, Cheddi Jagan International Airport
Guyana was scheduled for thirteen (13) formal negotiation meetings with China, Kenya, Curaçao, Singapore, Ghana, United Kingdom, Norway, Netherlands, Iceland, Qatar, Russian Federation, Canada and Nigeria. With exception of the Russian Federation, twelve (12) of these negotiations were finalized resulting in the initialing of twelve (12) Air Services Agreements and the signing of eleven (11) Memorandum of Understandings and one (1) Agreed Minutes. With the exception of Norway, all of the Agreements initialed are provisionally effective until the formal Agreements are signed by the respective Governments. This means that traffic rights allowable under the Agreements can be immediately accessed by the bilateral parties to the Agreements.
Air Services Agreements were negotiated with at least one country from each of the major continents and regions of the world: Singapore and China for Asia; Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria for Africa; Curacao for the Dutch Caribbean; Canada for North America; United Kingdom, Norway and Netherlands for Europe and Qatar for the Middle East. These countries have emerging importance in aviation for traffic connectivity and aiding in Guyana’s strategic efforts in becoming an international hub to connect with the rest of the world.
Of significant importance to Guyana immediately, was the conclusion of a fully Open Skies Air Services Agreement with Canada, which replaces the restrictive existing Air Services Agreement signed in May 2005. Canada is among Guyana’s largest traffic markets and therefore this Agreement will create more opportunities for greater air linkages between the two countries. The new Agreement allows Guyanese air operators to access any point in Canada.
Guyana’s participation at the ICAN meeting in Bali, Indonesia can be classified as a major success. Guyana and Curaçao were the first two States to initial an Air Services Agreement and sign a Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate the exchange of traffic rights between the two countries. Guyana was also among States with a high percentage of concluded Agreements, that is, a 92% conclusion rate.
The negotiation of all of these Agreements will significantly complement the current development initiatives of the Government to facilitate and enhance the aviation sector in Guyana.