Aviation safety rating points to local deficiencies

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bimjim
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Aviation safety rating points to local deficiencies

Unread post by bimjim » Tue Jul 21, 2009

http://www.stabroeknews.com/2009/news/l ... iciencies/

Aviation safety rating points to local deficiencies
By Stabroek staff | July 21, 2009 in Local News

Guyana has been rated a Category 2 under the International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) programme, which means that it does not comply with International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards.

Guyana is among countries such as Bangladesh, Cote D’Ivoire, Croatia, Ghana and Indonesia, which are rated as Category 2 countries. This was in last year’s assessment which was issued on December 18.

The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) established the IASA programme through public policy in August 1992. FAA’s foreign assessment programme focuses on a country’s ability, not the individual air carrier, to adhere to international standards and recommended practices for aircraft operations and maintenance established by the United Nation’s technical agency for aviation, the ICAO.

Contacted for comment last evening, Transport Minister Robeson Benn said that he was in a meeting.

For those countries rated under Category 2, it means that the FAA has “assessed this country’s civil aviation authority (CAA) and determined that it does not provide safety oversight of its air carrier operators in accordance with the minimum safety oversight standards established by the ICAO.”

According to the FAA’s website, this rating is applied if one or more of the following deficiencies are identified: 1) The country lacks laws or regulations necessary to support the certification and oversight of air carriers in accordance with minimum international standards; 2) the CAA lacks the technical expertise, resources, and organization to license or oversee air carrier operations; 3) the CAA does not have adequately trained and qualified technical personnel; 4) the CAA does not provide adequate inspector guidance to ensure enforcement of, and compliance with, minimum international standards, and (5) the CAA has insufficient documentation and records of certification and inadequate continuing oversight and surveillance of air carrier operations.

Recently there have been several incidents in the local aviation sector. The most recent was the July 5 near miss involving a LIAT aircraft which was inbound to the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), Timehri and a Learjet which had minutes earlier departed the airport for Jamaica. Reports are that around 2 pm that day, the LIAT aircraft was proceeding to CJIA when it came within hundreds of feet of the Learjet. The Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has launched an investigation into that incident.

In addition, there have been calls over the years, which have grown urgent recently, for an upgrade of the air traffic control systems at the CJIA.

Calls have come from air traffic controllers as well as the Aircraft Owners Associa-tion of Guyana.

Concerns had been raised about the airport’s navigational aids including the Instrument Landing System (ILS), the Non Directional Beacon (NDB), Distance Measuring Equipment (DME) and the Automatic Distance Finder (ADF).

Meantime, according to the FAA, Category 2 consists of two groups of countries. One group consists of countries that have air carriers with existing operations to the United States at the time of the assessment.

While in Category 2 status, carriers from these countries will be permitted to continue operations at current levels under heightened FAA surveillance. Expansion or changes in services to the United States by such carriers are not permitted while in category 2, although new services will be permitted if operated using aircraft wet-leased from a duly authorized and properly supervised US carrier or a foreign air carrier from a category 1 country that is authorized to serve the United States using its own aircraft.

The second group is countries that do not have air carriers with existing operations to the United States at the time of the assessment. Carriers from these countries will not be permitted to commence service to the United States while in Category 2 status, although they may conduct services if operated using aircraft wet-leased from a duly authorized and properly supervised US carrier or a foreign air carrier from a Category 1 country that is authorized to serve the United States with its own aircraft. There is no other difference between the two groups of countries while in a Category 2 status.

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