Aviation safety will take center stage over the next two days as operators in the local industry gather for a conference that will result in the formation of plans and policies to take the industry forward and address new challenges that come with growth in the sector.
The conference is being held in an atmosphere of grief as the industry continues to mourn the recent deaths of two pilots who lost their lives in separate accidents.
As such, operators are being encouraged by Director General of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Egbert Field to learn from the mistakes of those accidents.
He said when accidents are investigated it is not to castigate or condemn the operator or pilot, but it is geared towards finding the cause and trying to prevent future accidents.
Field noted, however, that if there are wilfull mistakes by operator or pilot, action will be taken. “But that is not what the GCAA as regulator sets out to do,” he added.
He cautioned that the right approach to achieve improved safety is not a simple right or and reminded that safety management remains an exercise in which the right attitude and behavior are crucial.
He said it is not about following regulations and having the right manuals alone, but to ensure that there is a personal commitment on the part of each individual to safety.
Field also explained the Authority has been encouraging operators in this regard, but intends to go from encouragement to enforcement as the need arises.
He urged operators to look for more innovative ways to manage risks and not rely solely on the regulator to identify safety cracks.
With scores of local and international industry stakeholders attending the conference, Guyana will look to examine its achievements in the area of safety, the challenges faced over the last year and how the industry can become better.
The conference also coincides with ongoing discussions for a 2018 Civil Aviation Master Plan for the Industry.
Prime Minister Moses Naganootoo and Ministers David Patterson and Annette Ferguson, reiterated government’s commitment to the industry and its push towards bettering its standards.
Prime Minister Nagamootoo believes the conference on safety is timely, as the industry recovers from the two fatal accidents within the last two months.
He said safety remains the industry’s primary business and urged that for operators to be profitable they must provide safety on the ground and in the air.
“Air safety is not only about protection of passengers but from deadly terrorist threat, infiltration, and narco-traffickers,” he added.
PM Nagamootoo said despite the many achievements, the works in the area of safety are far from over.
Over the next two days, participants will engage in discussions on aircraft accidents, aviation safety, and shuttling operations among other pertinent issues.
The exchange of ideas and sharing of information are expected to be utilized to create a safe aviation sector and make operators more conscious of the need for safety. (by Kurt Campbell)