The two Britten-Norman Islanders bought for the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) and commissioned on August 9, 2018, have never been used because checks are still being carried out on their airworthiness, Minister of State Joseph Harmon said Friday.
As per normal with commissioning ceremonies, it was expected that the aircraft would have been fully operational after the ceremony in early August.
But Harmon said while the aircraft were checked, engineers of the Air Corps wanted to take the entire aircraft apart and “they are still doing that.”
But he said the two aircraft will be in the air “in a short space of time.”
“Of course, you know safety is a major consideration for us, and we’ll not want anything to go wrong, when our soldiers, in fact, or many of the ministers of government who actually fly in these aircraft; you have to ensure they are safe,” Harmon stated.
The Department of Public Information had reported that the Islanders are expected to be used in search and rescue operations, evacuations, troop transport and tactical observation and will also be used to conduct surveillance throughout Guyana including the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).