Director General (ag) of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) Chaitrani Heeralall says seven airlines have signalled their interest in operating here.
The air service providers are FlyAllWays, InterCaribbean Airways, One Caribbean Limited, Jetair Caribbean, Skybus Airlines, Sky High Aviation Services and Guyana Rotorcraft Services Inc.
During a recent interview with the DPI, Heeralall said following the reopening of the airports last October, JetBlue Airways commenced operations, while American Airlines added New York, along with its Miami route. In the past two weeks the GCAA met with three prospective airlines to support the oil and gas economy and other related services.
“It is going to provide greater airlift capacity for Guyana and despite our population is small, the interest in Guyana now is very high. So, there is going to be high expectations that non-nationals are going to have interest to have investments in Guyana, so that is going to project in the transportation of their personnel back and forth and the airport expansion is going to be supportive of this increase demand,” she stated.
The acting director said the interest by the airlines will also boost socio-economic and cultural activities in Guyana.
“What that translate to is that it is going to boost our economy and encourage our social structures to improve meaning there is going to be job creation not only in the aviation sector, but it feeds into other sectors, as we talk about tourism for example, the hospitality sector. The extractive sector is also going to attract more people.”
Director of Air Transport Management, Saheed Sulaman said before the airlines start operations in Guyana, they must complete an economic, safety and security assessment.
“In terms of the timeline for the process, a complete submission for the economic requirement, we can do that in a matter of two weeks, maximum three weeks. For the safety assessment, the regulations require that applicants give us at least a minimum of 90 days notice for that. If they submit a complete package, it could be shorter and for the security programme in a matter of a month, I think the guys could turn that around,” Sulaman said.
Additionally, he said the timeline is also dependent on the applicant submitting adequate information. Sulaman said once the internal review and processes are completed, a recommendation would be made to Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill MP, who would then take it to Cabinet for approval.