First set of stranded Cuban passengers return to Cuba

GINA, Guyana, Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Director of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Lt.Col (ret’d) Egbert Field said safety deficiencies uncovered after the Authority’s inspectors conducted oversight inspections following reports on non-standard procedures by Easy Sky airline were what caused the suspension of its operations.

The GCAA Director General stated, “In the interest of public safety, immediate suspension was necessary. Since the suspension, the Authority has met with the airline’s management and Roraima Airways – the local ground handling agent, and outlined several short-term safety deficiencies which must be addressed before recommencement of operations by Easy Sky.”

On April 21, 2017, the GCAA suspended the operations of Easy Sky after unveiling significant safety deficiencies.

Following the rectification and completion of the short-term safety deficiencies by Easy Sky, Field said that approval was granted last evening to the airline to conduct limited operations under the oversight of the GCAA to effect the evacuation of the stranded passengers.

The first of the evacuation flights was conducted today by the airline at 11:45 hours.

The Government, through the Ministry of Public Infrastructure and the GCAA has been working closely with the Cuban Embassy and the airline to ensure that the stranded passengers are looked after as a matter of priority.

Fields said the GCAA will continue to monitor the operations of Easy Sky until all the passengers are transported.

Some 433 Cuban passengers were initially stranded at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) over the weekend and into Monday after the Honduran-based airline Easy Sky’s Boeing 732 aircraft’s weight and balance appeared to be in question. This observation by local aviation officials prompted the move to suspend flights until the issues were rectified.

Field emphasised that the agency remains committed to ensuring that air travel, in and out of Guyana, is conducted in the safest possible method, in keeping with international best practices.

By: Paul McAdam