By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] –Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson, who is also responsible for the transport sector, does not believe the drama at the Ogle International Airport will escalate.
Several operators at Ogle are condemning a decision being taken by management to implement a policy document, detailing the intention to seize the assets of operators who owe the airport. That has been dubbed as “draconian” by some of the operators.
The Management however is claiming this is not the case and operators owe millions of dollars in fees hence decisive action must be taken.
Questioned about the developments at the airport by iNews, Patterson said that he is scheduled to meet sometime this week with one section of the dispute.
“It is something that is engaging us,” he stated adding “it’s a matter that can be resolved with discussion and consideration by both sides; I don’t think it will escalate any further.”
On the issue of renaming the airport, the Minister stated that it was a mere suggestion by the President and something for the operators to consider.
“It was a suggestion by the President, not a directive…it was intended for debate and discussion between the Parties and I think that this question will continue.”
Recently, the newly formed National Air Transport Association (NATA) had stated that President David Granger’s suggestion to rename the airport would present disadvantages to other operators.
It was stated that the President might not have taken into consideration those disadvantages when the idea was proposed.
Chair of the Board of the Ogle Airport Inc (OAI), Michael Correia later stated that shortly after the President made the announcement, the Secretary of the OAI Board wrote to all stakeholders with “no objection” responses received, including Gouveia, “who called me personally to offer his support.”
“When I put the matter to the Board, two members initially expressed reservation before the Board unanimously agreed to the proposed name change. The Board subsequently advised the President of its decision, after which we received a letter from Air Services Ltd with a reversal of their position.”