Trinidad and Tobago’s Civil Aviation Authority is advising the Guyanese traveling public that they will now have to undergo full security checks while in transit to the United States in wake of an Emergency Amendment to the aviation security measures applied at the Last Point of Departure (LPD) for flights to the United States.
The TTCAA says the amendment takes immediate effect.
According to the TTCAA, the US TSA Emergency Amendment directs aircraft operators to screen all transfer and transit passengers and their accessible property at the Piarco International Airport as the LPD when travelling to the United States, prior to boarding the aircraft.
“Consequently, passengers originating from Guyana and other destinations transferring at the Piarco International Airport to the United States must undergo security screening together with their accessible property”, the release added.
It noted that the Emergency Amendment issued by the United States Department of Homeland Security, Transportation Security Administration supersedes the Memorandum of Understanding established between Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago for the Mutual Recognition of Aviation Security Measures, which allowed passengers originating from Guyana and transferring at Piarco International Airport, Trinidad, to continue their journey without undergoing additional screening.
The MOU between Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago was established in 2015 to promote a “One-Stop” Security Arrangement to improve the processing of passengers transferring at Piarco International Airport and the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) on Caribbean Airlines flights.
“To ensure aircraft operators comply with the United States TSA Emergency Amendment to screen all transfer passengers and their accessible at the Piarco International Airport as the Last Point of Departure into the United States, the Trinidad and Tobago Civil Aviation Authority in collaboration with the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority has suspended the MOU between Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago. The suspension is effective immediately.”
The Trinidad and Tobago Civil Aviation Authority (TTCAA) said it regrets any inconvenience to passengers traveling from Guyana and transferring at the Piarco International Airport which may have been caused by the suspension of the MOU as a result of the TSA Emergency Amendment.
Caribbean Airlines is the only airline that flies from Guyana and makes stops in Trinidad before going on to the United States and other destinations. Caribbean Airlines is headquartered in Trinidad. It currently offers just one direct daily flight to the US from Guyana.
That flight originates in Trinidad, comes to Guyana with Trinidadian passengers then goes on to the US. The announcement could also mean that those Trinidadian passengers coming to Guyana on that flight, will not have to deplane and go through Guyana security checks.
But although the new arrangement should only affect New York bound passengers, Caribbean Airlines passengers heading to Guyana from New York have complained about still being pulled aside and made to go through security checks before boarding their connecting flights to Georgetown.