Persons travelling to and from Guyana by air could soon feel a bit more comfortable that they would be safer, while miscreants would experience greater difficulty getting past tighter security systems.
The United States and Guyana on Monday formally agreed to boost aviation security here through training, management and equipment.
Inked by Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson and American Ambassador to Guyana, Perry Holloway, the agreement will be executed by the US Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) and the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) to modernise Guyana’s civil aviation infrastructure.
“Our joint efforts will enhance security capacity for passengers, employees and other stakeholders involved in the airport transportation industry,” said Holloway. He explained that the accord would provide for improved employee and passenger inspection and possibly the provision of X-ray and other specialised equipment to search cargo and aircraft.
The accord see the US providing technical and managerial expertise to assist the GCAA in developing, improving, and operating its civil aviation security infrastructure, standards, procedures, policies, training and equipment. Holloway added that the US would provide resources, logistical support and equipment for facilities. “The signing of this very important document today signifies the strong commitment that our two governments have to keeping the skies safe not only in Guyana but in the United States but in the region as well,” he added.
Junior Public Infrastructure Minister, Annette Ferguson said the agreement was signed shortly after the GCAA hired three more aviation security officers. For some time now there had been only one, some thing said Holloway had been a concern for the US.
Patterson said US Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission, Bryan Hunt had said the TSA “had expressed some reservation at the pace at which the aviation security matters were being handled by the GCAA.”
Patterson said he asked the US for help with regulatory and oversight of the aviation and maritime sectors.
The assistance, he said, would assist Guyana in meeting International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards.