The following is a response issued today by CEO of Roraima Airways Captain Gerry Gouveia. AA, to comments made by Attorney at Law and businessman Jerome Khan:
Mr Jerome Khan asked the question “Where was the good old Captain, when the Timehri Airport was renamed.”
I was sitting in Parliament, as a witness and listening to the raging debate for and against the proposal to change the international airport’s name.
The rightful place to debate such an important action as renaming an International Airport. I am a mere pilot so I would not dare enter into a debate with an eminent lawyer and successful business executive like Mr Jerome Khan.
All I would venture to say is that Branding in business is extremely invaluable .
If your family owns an airline, an aviation maintenance company , and is the major shareholder in the airport in which you operate and by a stroke of coincidence the airport is being rename in your Family name, and Mr Khan with his high qualifications and business sense is saying there is no economic branding benefit what more could I say?
By the way, I am not an easy believer in “COINCIDENCE”. The coincidence of the Correia’s being a major shareholder in the airport and the airport being renamed “CORREIA” baffles my mind.
As far as I am aware and as far as I was told this idea to rename the airport is purely the initiative of the President and I do not think the President would deny that fact. Even Mike Correia is publicly “claiming” that he was just as surprised like everyone else when the President publicly pronounced on it for the first time.
Might I remind Mr. Khan that the ogle airport lease was also executed during the same period that as he slanderously claim “that the acquisition of state properties was done at below market price”.
What I would like though is the evidence, not just hearsay, evidence that this man E .F. Correia is worthy of this esteem honour.
The honour to have this airport name after him and by extension to further brand Guyana. Show me the evidence that he was a professional aviator.
Show me the evidence that he contributed in a significant manner to aviation development in Guyana. Show me the evidence that he contributed in any significant manner to our national development. Show me the records of his distinguished service to Guyana that warrants Naming our country’s second international airport after him.
Convince me that he is distinguished enough and his contributions to our country is of such magnitude that warrants this honour. Show me the evidence, convince me and I will publicly bow before the sign at the airport.
Until then, I say this is the most outrageous, undemocratic and low blow to the majority of the aviation stakeholders.
There was no consultation. In fact, as of now there is wide-spread disagreement with our airport being named after the major shareholder who is already exercising anti-competitive and dominance behaviours at the airport.
Mr Khan, this is Business – not Politics!