[Letter, Trinidad] Deserving Chaconia for Maj Gen Brown

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[Letter, Trinidad] Deserving Chaconia for Maj Gen Brown

Unread post by bimjim » Fri Sep 27, 2019

https://newsday.co.tt/2019/09/27/deserv ... gen-brown/

[Letter, Trinidad] Deserving Chaconia for Maj Gen Brown
Arthur Dash


Congratulations are well in order for retired Maj Gen Ralph Brown, former chief of defence staff, who was awarded the Chaconia Gold Medal on the 43rd anniversary of TT becoming a republic.

In March 2004, Brown was appointed chairman of the board of the TT Civil Aviation Authority (TTCAA), a position he held until 2010.

Brown immediately took up the mantle from the first chairman Ian Brunton and hit the ground running, providing strategic leadership for the transformation of the TTCAA into a world class aviation organisation.

The first goal was to complete the establishment of the TT Aviation Safety Oversight System in accordance with the stringent requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organisation. This was completed in August 2005 and TT was subsequently upgraded to a category one country by the US Federal Aviation Administration.

The second goal was the construction of a centralised ultra-modern civil aviation complex at Piarco to house all the TTCAA facilities which were geographically spread throughout several locations in old buildings.

Funding was a major problem and capital loans from the financial sector were impossible due to the preconditions. Brown led the TTCAA team which successfully negotiated a disengagement of Intercaribbean Aeronautical Communications Ltd (IACL), a private company owned by American Airlines, British Airways, Air Canada and BWIA, which fixed and collected air navigation charges for services provided by the TTCAA and over which it had no control.

Simultaneously, on Brown’s initiative, a special purpose company, Caribbean Air Navigation and Advisory Services Ltd, was formed in 2005 to take over the functions of IACL. Revised air navigation charges were negotiated and agreed with the International Air Transport Association. This provided a significant revenue stream that is being used to fund all the TTCAA capital projects.

The centralised world class ultra-modern civil aviation complex with an administration centre, training school, area control centre and an iconic air traffic control tower were completed in 2010 under Brown’s watch.

All the ageing air navigation aids were replaced with modern equipment and a full instrument landing system was installed in Tobago for the first time.

A state-of-the-art air traffic management system which included primary and secondary radar systems were acquired for use in the new area control centre.

Brown also commissioned a job evaluation exercise for employees of the TTCAA and oversaw the establishment of a pension plan for employees. With the implementation of the evaluation exercise, all TTCAA employees received generous enhancements to their remuneration packages.

Today, as a result of Brown’s leadership, the TTCAA has firmly placed TT on the world map as a First World aviation country. The TTCAA is well poised to discharge its international treaty obligations as a major air navigation services provider. Its employees work in very comfortable and modern facilities and enjoy remuneration packages that are superior to that of comparative jobs in the wider public sector.

Brown was a modest, disciplined and compassionate leader and a firm believer in meritocracy.

His legacy is placing the TTCAA on a sound financial footing to fund all its operations. The TTCAA is perhaps the only state agency that never borrowed money and has a healthy cash reserve to propel it to financial self-sufficiency.

Retired Director-General, Civil Aviation

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