Aviation body suspends shuttle flights to interior locations
In light of the three recent plane crashes in the interior that left two pilots dead in two months, the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has suspended all shuttling operations into interior regions until aircraft operators have submitted documented procedures and policies for review and approval.
Miners and hinterland residents, as well as airline operators, are expected to be majorly affected by this temporary ban but Director General of the Aviation Authority, Egbert Field maintains that the suspension was necessary.
“This is not a knee-jerk action. If it was after one incident this decision was taken, that would have been knee-jerk … but it’s after three and we have given it careful thought but we will be working hard to bring back things to normal,” he said.
This will be the first time the Authority is moving to document the procedures and policies of shuttling operations in Guyana.
“Initially when we had a few aircraft, shutting was at its minimum. Now it has grown rapidly, tremendously so it is time to have it documented,” he explained.
The Director General at a press conference today said he expects documents on procedures and policies to be submitted within the few days and after being reviewed, officers would then have to check to ensure what is in the document is physically in place.
These documents should outline what system is in place for refueling planes in shuttling operations, the condition of the facilities, the qualifications of the persons loading the aircraft, the qualifications of the engineers, among others.
Field also assured that the Authority will be strictly enforcing and monitoring this ban and warned that violators will face severe sanctions.
Sanctions could vary from the revocation of air operators’ licences or suspension of the pilot.
Field emphasised that, in spite of the negative impacts, the suspension is critical to the investigation into the three plane crashes.
He noted that a preliminary analysis found that a commonality between the crashes was the shuttle operation.
Captain Imran Khan of Air Services Limited perished in a plane crash in Region Eight on Sunday last. He was laid to rest today.
Last month, Captain Colin Martins of Roraima Airways died in a plane crash in Eteringbang.
Earlier this month, Dominic Waddell of Wings Aviation suffered injuries from a plane crash at the same location.