CJIA expansion attracts int’l interest

30th September, 2013

GEORGETOWN – Several countries have shown interest in Guyana’s push to develop a new international airport, disclosed Robeson Benn, Minister of Public Works, who led a small delegation to the 38th International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) General Assembly in Montreal, Canada.

Representatives from Nigeria, Indonesia and other African countries quizzed Minister Benn on the opportunities that could be derived from the project. In-depth discussions were also held with Princess Stella Adaeze-Oduah, Nigeria’s Aviation Minister.

According to Minister Benn, he along with Director of Guyana Civil Aviation Authourity (GCCA), Zulfikar Mohamed and Guyana’s Ambassador to Canada networked with countries currently spending millions of dollars to either upgrade of build new airports.    

“….countries like Indonesia, Nigeria, Malaysia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, just to name a few,” he divulged.   

The summit, which began on September 24, saw the convergence of over 1,400 delegates brainstorming and discussing a range of critical global issues including how countries and operators will cooperatively manage the projected doubling of air transport traffic now expected by 2030.

“Importantly, the delegates endorsed the revision of global safety and air navigation, affordability and sustainability,” Minister Benn added.

Meanwhile, the unilateral taxes on airfares that were enforced by the United States and the United Kingdom created some unease among delegates – with St. Vincent leading the charge. The taxes imposed, aviation pundits opined, can be attributed to the significant airfare into the region and are a deterrent to the tourism industry.   

On the environmental front, international aviation is coming under more scrutiny from ICAO and sister agencies on its impact on the environment.

“ICAO has stressed repeatedly that aviation contributes just 2 per cent of global man-made greenhouse gas emissions each year and that approximately two thirds of this amount, or 1.3 per cent, are due to international flights,” the Public Works Minister explained.

The ICAO is a specialized agency of the United Nations. It codifies the principles and techniques of international air navigation and fosters the planning and development of international air transport to ensure safe and orderly growth. Its headquarters are located in the Quartier International of MontrealQuebecCanada.