GCAA and its allied aviation industry offer rewarding careers
Sep 29, 2019
Some years ago when Tourism began to be seriously promoted by the Private Sector and Government, it was recognised that Aviation was a sine qua non of that Industry. Similarly, today it is recognised that without aviation there would be no Oil and Gas Industry.
The importance of these two industries has led the majority of the population who had taken the Aviation Industry for granted to now realise its importance.
More and more students of the school and university systems have now grasped how important is the industry to national social and economic development and more young people are being enthused to make a career of aviation breaking out of the old mold of Law, Medicine, Engineering and ICT.
Very early after Independence, Venezuela felt it was an opportunity to seize a large part of Guyana’s territory and in addition to sabre-rattling and blocking investments from being made in Guyana, organised the so-called Rupununi Rebellion with the intention of annexing a large part of Essequibo.
The small number of aircraft the country possessed at the time was able to do yeoman service in linking the Coast and the Interior and transporting the Police and Military in time to quell the so-called rebellion. The importance of aviation to unifying the country and protecting our territorial integrity was emphatically realised for the first time.
Aviation has also played crucial roles in the development of the mining industry, forestry, tourism and agriculture and in other aspects of economic development and has been quietly helping in social integration. All these activities, in greater or lesser degree come under the aegis of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).
At this crucial juncture when Guyana is at the threshold of a social and economic revolution and when the GCAA has a pivotal role to play, Lt Col Egbert Field, the Director General of the Authority, has risen to the occasion.
Indeed, for each of the approximate four years since he assumed the post of DG, he has quietly worked to strengthen cooperation and cohesion with the various Ministries and other segments of the Administration. To work with disparate entities so successfully is attributable to Director General Field’s professionalism, helpfulness and ability to always arrive at acceptable compromise.
Director General Field’s most recent high profile achievement has been the organisation and hosting of the International Civil Aviation (ICAO) Air Transport Meeting in November last. Guyana was chosen to host this prestigious global event not because of its new-found Oil and Gas potential but for the significant strides the country had made in its aviation in recent years. The meeting was a memorable success and new doors of opportunity were opened.
A notable feature of the ICAO meeting was that it was held in conjunction with the African Diaspora Conference. The Guyana Chapter of the International Decade of People of African Descent Assembly hosted the African Diaspora Conference and decisions were taken to strengthen air connection between Africa and the Caribbean including Guyana.
In the five sections into which GCAA divides its activities – General, Safety Directorate, AYSEC Department, Air Navigation Services Directorate. Air Transport Management and Finance and Administration – there have been notable successes:
- 10 acres of land at Providence, EBD were acquired to construct a modern GCAA headquarters; a new Civil Aviation Act was passed by Parliament to strengthen GCAA’s oversight and enforcement capability; significant work was done to achieve safety compliance with ICAO which will move from 66% to 85% by end of year 2019; a Drone Unit has been established and regulations have been compiled to control this new form of aircraft; GCAA and ICAO have successfully worked on an Aviation Improvement Security Plan; Phase II of the Aeronautical Surveillance Infrastructure was established at Port Kaituma, Kamarang, Kaieteur and Annai; as part of continuous training, over 40 young persons were trained in Aeronautical Information Management, Air Traffic Control Assistants and others received upgraded training in the same field; a CO2 action plan was submitted to ICAO; and Air Services Agreements were negotiated with 17 states.
We took the unusual step of mentioning the activities and indeed, achievements of GCAA to give readers an insight into work of the Authority and to give aspiring entrants an indication of the interesting and worthwhile careers in the Aviation industry and GCAA.
With the expansion of the economy, rapid expansion of the Aviation industry will take place. For instance, Guyana because of its geographical location could be the aviation hub between South and North America. Guyanese will have to qualify themselves for these rewarding jobs or the Industry will have to depend on expatriate personnel.