Hotline, tracking device for aircraft following accidents

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After two aircraft accidents within three days, the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) is implementing stricter monitoring system and a hotline to cater for reports misconduct against pilots or operators.

At a press conference Tuesday at the GCAA’s High Street Georgetown office, Director General of the Authority, Egbert Field said “given the recent turn of events,” meetings were held with operators and pilots and it was determined that stricter measures need to be put in place.

“The Authority is not able with the human resources in house, to monitor the out-lying areas such as the interior and the hinterland effectively,” Field said.

As such, the GCAA has implemented a hotline which can be reached on telephone number 592-608-4222. This hotline will be managed under a campaign titled ‘See something, Say something, Step up, Save a life’.

“The public will be asked to report on any untoward movement or any activity which does not conform to regular practice of operation of aircraft,” the Director-General said.

Director General of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority, Egbert Field

These calls can be made anonymously and will be followed by investigations and sanctions against anyone found culpable.

“Sanctions will include but not limited to revocation of licences or air operators certificates.”

Field noted that in the past, several complaints were received from persons about violations, but there was no formal channel to make those reports, thereby hindering any further investigation.

The Civil Aviation Authority will begin utilizing its newly acquired Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) System, which is used for tracking aircraft movement within the local airspace.

There are four sub-stations located at Kaieteur in Region Eight, Annai in Region Nine, Kamarang in Region Seven and Port Kaituma in Region One while the main station is located at Timehri.

The Director-General explained that “our air-traffic controllers will be able to track aircraft in at least 75 to 80 per cent of Guyana from ground level to 60,000 feet, thus, noting any aircraft deviating from its standard route or indulging in any activity contrary to the regulations of our airspace.”

The ADSB system is currently on test and will be fully implemented by July 2019.

According to Field though on test, the system can still be effectively used.

A meeting is set for Thursday will air-traffic controllers to sensitize them on the diligence which must be paid to the system.

Sixty to sixty-five per cent of the aircraft in the local industry are equipped with the system.

The Director-General admitted that the capacity of the Authority is limited and cannot effectively manage the hinterland regions.

Meanwhile, the GCAA is asking operators to pair Senior Pilots or those with beyond 10,000 hours on the job with Junior Pilots to form a mentorship programme.

With this initiative, the seasoned pilots will pass on their professional qualities to the junior pilots.

The industry operators were asked to develop this programme and submit it to the GCAA by March 31.

Aircraft Accidents Investigator, Paula McAdam along with others from the GCAA are investigating the two aircraft accident which occurred on February 18 and February 21, 2019.

On the afternoon of February 18, a Cessna 182 crash landed at Nismes on the West Bank of Demerara after the aircraft ran out of fuel. The Pilot Lincoln Gomez and a police officer, Michael Grimmond survived the crash.

However, the second accident on February 21 left the pilot, Randy Liverpool dead. The incident occurred at Eteringbang, Region Seven where the plane exploded upon landing.

Upon completion of the investigations, a report will be submitted to the Ministry of Public Infrastructure which has responsibility for the aviation sector.

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