Civil Aviation amendment Bill read for the third time

DPI, Guyana, Monday, November 19, 2018

The Civil Aviation Bill#1 of 2017 was today read for the third time having spent more than one year in a special select committee for amendments.

In his response to criticisms by Member of Parliament, Gail Texiera, Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson, under whose remit the aviation industry falls, said the claims are all baseless and result from a lack of information.

“The report will show that we had 18 meetings and of the 18 meetings the member has only attended 4 meetings. The claim that the Bill is not ICAO compliant is not true sir, if the member had attended meetings she would have learnt and agree with us that the Bill is ICAO compliant,” Minister Patterson said.

Following the second reading of the Civil Aviation Bill 2017 in March of 2017 it was sent to Select Committee in the National Assembly as requested that it be sent.

The new Bill seeks to repeal and replace the Civil Aviation Act Chapter 53:01 and bring Guyana’s aviation law into conformity with primary legislation regulating civil aviation currently found in other parts of the world.

The Bill also makes provisions for the enablement of the Chicago Convention and the Agreement establishing the Caribbean Aviation Safety and Security Oversight System.

The Opposition side of the House had supported the minister’s move for the Bill to be sent to the Select Committee since Opposition Chief Whip, Gail Teixeira argued that there were fundamental issues in the Bill that needed to be addressed.

Responding to the issues raised by the Opposition speakers, Minister Patterson noted that the role of the minister has been reduced contrary to the Opposition’s assertions. Minister Patterson noted that approvals required in the system still have to go through the current established channels.

During the second reading of the Bill, the minister had pointed out that GCAA is a semi-autonomous agency and sets its employment requirements.

The Civil Aviation Bill 2017 was shared with and reviewed by the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation). Minister Patterson told the House that if the Bill is passed in its current form, Guyana would receive further credit from the international organisation.

Currently, Guyana is ranked above average in the Caribbean. The GCAA has stepped up efforts to improve the country’s aviation status.

Kidackie Amsterdam.
Image: Keno George.

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