Safety remains top priority in Guyana’s aviation sector – Min. Edghill

As Guyana’s aviation sector experiences exponential growth in passenger and cargo transportation, the government remains steadfast in its commitment to safety.

This commitment was reaffirmed during the National Aviation Safety Seminar held at the Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, Georgetown, where Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill, emphasised the three pillars of aviation safety: training, monitoring, and proper management.

Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill at the national aviation safety seminar

“In all the growth and experience of Guyana, safety remains our number one priority. We [government] have been able by way of professional training, to put in place regulations, [and] strong monitoring. I will dare say that with proper management of the aviation sector, we are a shining light in this part of the world,” the minister said.

Minister Edghill emphasised that aviation plays a crucial role in facilitating a substantial amount of trade, particularly in terms of the value of goods.

Before the pandemic in 2019, over a third of all international trade and an estimated $6.5 trillion in cargo value was transported by air.

In Guyana, domestic aviation played a significant role in the amount of trade that was carried out between the hinterland and coastland. More than 95 per cent of all domestic aviation is conducted between these two regions.

Attendees of the national aviation safety seminar

In 2022, the total international freight traffic experienced an increase compared to passenger traffic. International freight grew by approximately 4.7 per cent, amounting to 9,797 metric tonnes, an exponential increase from 9,354 metric tonnes in 2021.

International passenger traffic to and from Guyana also experienced a growth rate of approximately 77.9 per cent, which represents an increase of 399,483, from 71,564 passengers in 2022.

At the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), international passenger traffic increased by approximately 77.5 per cent in 2022 to a total of 657,249 passengers compared to 370,187 passengers in 2021.

Additionally, Guyana welcomed 149,020 passengers in the first six months of 2023, an increase of 16.2 per cent. The highest number of arrivals were recorded in March and April.

Attendees of the national aviation safety seminar

Minister Edghill anticipates that the number of arrivals will surpass the previous record of 314,727 visitors observed in 2019.

Meanwhile, Director General of Guyana Civil Aviation Authority, Lt. Col (Ret’d) Egbert Field highlighted the country’s commendable strides in safety compliance, following assessments by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

Field said Guyana was lauded for its 77 per cent compliance rate in 2020. In 2021, ICAO dubbed Guyana number one among the 35 states of Latin America, North America, South America, and the Caribbean.

Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar was also present at the seminar.