Categorized | National News

Bahamas Under Pressure From ICAO –Civil Aviation Authority Needed

The government is under increasing pressure from the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to review and modernise the aviation sector, which according to the nation’s aviation chief is lagging behind in terms of adhering to set industry standards.

And Minister of Transport and Aviation Glenys Hanna-Martin said immediately implementing best practices is the only way ICAO will let up its pressure on the local aviation industry.

Mrs. Hanna- Martin, who made the announcement during her contribution to the budget debate in the House of Assembly this week, went on to explain that there has been much talk about the administration model the local aviation industry has been guided by, putting it on ICAO’s regulatory radar.

For instance, Mrs. Hanna-Martin explained that currently, The Bahamas employs a Civil Aviation Department, headed by a director, which assumes responsibility for regulatory oversight of airports across The Bahamas.

But also, she said, that same body is responsible for investigating aviation accidents and also the management and operations of government airports including air traffic control services.

“The recommendations point us in the direction of utilising the airport authority model which now owns LPIA to expand its remit to include airport operations nationwide so that there can be an undiluted concentration on airport redevelopment throughout the country, while at the same time improving the commercial viability of these airports and causing them to be self-sustaining economically,” Mrs. Hanna-Martin said.

This separation of functions, she said, is necessary so as to create a more transparent, effective and efficient aviation sector.

The recommendation from ICAO is that a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) be created to bring a concentrated regulatory oversight to our airports to ensure strictest compliance with the highest safety and security standards.

However, aviation policy will remain with the Ministry of Aviation, Mrs. Hanna-Martin said.

“We are now seriously reviewing these recommendations with a view to making final decisions on the structural changes that must be made if our aviation sector is to progress across our beautiful archipelago,” she said.

Mrs. Hanna-Martin continued, “The objective is to create a highly specialised, safe and efficient aviation sector which will facilitate our economic growth and create new career opportunities for our people.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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