Guyana inks air services pact with eight countries

Lieutenant Colonel (Ret’d) Egbert Field, Director General of GCAA and Mr. Benjamin Albert, Assistant Head of Division for International Air Transport, Federal Republic of Germany after signing of an Air Services Agreement.

GUYANA has signed air services agreements with eight countries, a move which paves the way for transnational air traffic to operate between these shores and other countries.

According to a release from the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), a delegation which was led by Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Egbert Field, Director General, GCAA, participated in the twelfth International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Air Services Negotiation Event (ICAN2019) which was held in Aqaba, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan from December 2nd to 6th 2019.

Field was supported by Mr. Saheed Sulaman, Director, Air Transport Management, GCAA and Oneka Archer-Caulder, Director Legal and Treaties Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The GCAA said that following negotiations, air services agreements were signed with Senegal, Seychelles, The Bahamas, Paraguay, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Greece and Spain.

The aviation body explained that the objective of ICAO Air Services Negotiation Event is to provide states with a central meeting place to conduct bilateral -regional or plurilateral- air services negotiations and consultations with other member states of ICAO.

Mr. David Benito Astudillo, Deputy Director General for Air Transport, Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Public Works and Transport, Spain, and Lieutenant Colonel (Ret’d) Egbert Field , Director General of GCAA, at the signing of an Air Services Agreement with Spain.

The eight agreements were initialed and Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) signed with these countries at the technical level pending signature at the ministerial level.

“These Air Services Agreements initialed and Memoranda of Understanding signed are provisionally applicable until the Air Services Agreements are signed by both parties and enter into force. This means that the negotiated agreements are immediately applicable for traffic rights between Guyana and these countries,” the GCAA said. During the meetings with multiple nations, GCAA initiated negotiations with six countries including Ethiopia, Jamaica, Bangladesh, Austria, Thailand and Belgium and continued with Sierra Leone whom Guyana met at ICAN 2018 in Kenya.

The GCAA said that sixty-one member states of ICAO participated in ICAN 2019 from five ICAO regions of the world – Africa; Americas; Asia and Asia Pacific; Middle East and Europe. The meeting was also attended by International Organizations and Institutions: International Air Transport Association (IATA); Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO); African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC); The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA); Arab Air Carriers’ Organization (AAC) and International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF).

Guyana as a matter of policy, negotiates open skies Air Services Agreements, granting up to fifth freedom traffic rights for passenger traffic and up to seventh freedom for all-cargo traffic.

An air services agreement is an instrument used by states to jointly regulate, facilitate and promote their international air services relationships for their airlines. Air Services Agreements govern traffic rights for international air services among airlines between two countries. These agreements are necessary for the development of a state’s international air transport network as they create the infrastructure that allows airlines of one state to access new markets and develop their network. The benefits of such connectivity include trade, global inclusivity, economic development, tourism growth, inter alia.

The next ICAN event is scheduled for Medellin, Colombia.