Chief Executive Officer of Roraima Airways, Gerry Gouveia expects that flights between JFK and Guyana’s Cheddi Jagan International Airport will resume by Monday after a terminal and new ground handler have been identified.
He took responsibility for the problems that surfaced, saying that it was due to his desire to have Guyanese involved as the ground handler and catering service in New York. “As far as I was aware and all of the documents that I saw, all of the ducks were in a row and lined up. If I had left Dynamic to go and do their negotiation with their ground handler, I’m the one who directed them away…so from here I say to you, I take the blame for that,” he said.
A letter from the Port Authority shown to media personnel and travel agents at a news briefing Wednesday afternoon revealed that Dynamic Airlines did not get the required approvals before its inaugural flight on June 27 to New York. The Port Authority’s letter of approval is dated July 2 in response to a request by Dynamic Airways dated June 25 for the use of Boeing 767-200 aircraft. Signed by Airport Environmental Specialist at the Aeronautical and Technical Services Division of the Port Authority, Adeel Yousuf; the letter specifically grants approval for aircraft noise, weight and operational restrictions.
The carrier, operating scheduled charter operations between the US and Guyana, is also required to finalize business and emergency response matters with the JFK Commercial Development Unit and the JFK Aeronautical Services Unit. They include but are not limited to the execution of appropriate operating agreements, security deposits and other requirements including emergency plans.
In light of Dynamic Airways only now acquiring approval from the Port Authority, Gouveia conceded that the airline was in rehearsal mode and had started operations before it was ready. “If you ask me if we could have maybe done it slower and be more careful, in retrospect and in hindsight I would absolutely agree with you,” he told reporters.
Since Dynamic Airways was blocked from flying to JFK, it has been using that airport as a base from which to shuttle passengers by bus to and from Atlantic City International Airport in Jersey and Bradley Airport in Connecticut.
He assured that now that the New York Port Authority has given the green-light for Dynamic Airways to fly to JFK, steps are being taken to ensure that all of the requirements are fulfilled. “What is happening now is that they are finalizing the contracts for the terminal and the new ground-handler,” he told reporters. He said the ground-handler has since been fired after 10 pieces of untagged baggage raised concerns by the US Transportation and Safety Administration (TSA).
The Roraima Airways official declined to say whether Fly Jamaica sabotaged Dynamic Airways by pulling its permission at the last moment to use its terminal on arrival of the flight on June 27.
When the plane touched down at JFK Airport, passengers exited on air stairs while the aircraft was ringed by security vehicles and personnel. A bus that shuttled passengers to the airport building was also escorted by security.