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Guyana, United Arab Emirates ink air services agreement

Junior Minister of Public Infrastructure, Annette Ferguson signing the agreement with an UAE official

Guyana and the United Arab Emirates have signed an Air Services Agreement, paving the way for the operation of airlines between the two countries.

Junior Minister of Public Infrastructure, Annette Ferguson inked the accord in Montreal, Canada on Tuesday, November 24, 2015.

The agreement allows for operations by airlines from either State.

Ferguson, along with Chitrani Heeralall, Director General (ag), Guyana Civil Aviation Authority is currently attending the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) World Aviation Forum (WAF) 2015 at the ICAO Head Quarters in Montreal.

After the signing, Ferguson alluded to the UAE being the home of two of the world’s best airlines, Etihad and Emirates and hopes that at least one will operate into ‘Destination Guyana’.

The ICAO World Aviation Forum 2015, themed “Aviation Partnership for Sustainable Development” and is a timely event as ICAO, the United Nations Specialised Organisation for civil aviation recently launched its’ No Country Left Behind initiative to better identify and coordinate assistance to States so that all States. The ICAO WAF is a unique opportunity to harness aviation’s vast potential to stimulate economic growth in a manner consistent with the United Nations 2030 agenda for sustainable development.

Despite the clear economic significance and the demonstrated ability to serve as a foundation and catalyst for global connectivity and economic growth, only 2.5% of global 2005-2015 funding for infrastructure and services has aviation development.

The ICAO WAF 2015 brings together States and financial/development community to raise the level of assistance in the civil aviation sector. 

Many of the developed countries and the donor community have applauded ICAO’s No Country Left behind initiative and have pledged their continued support for collaboration, for rendering technical assistance and for aviation development as a whole.

Guyana will be seeking support from ICAO for technical assistance to improve the level of compliance with ICAO Standards.

Meanwhile, Minister Ferguson was invited by ICAO to moderate the session on investment and aviation development perspectives. She took the opportunity to inform the forum of aviation development in Guyana.

“Guyana like many States here, considers the growth and sustainability of aviation is a catalyst for improved social and economic activities and structures,” Hon. Ferguson stated.  

There was a similar call at the Aviation Conference held at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre in October 2015, for the recognition of aviation as the lifeblood of economic and social development in Guyana and for action to be taken to address the challenges the sector is facing including strengthening of the civil aviation safety oversight body. That conference also emphasised the need for a safe, sustainable and strong aviation sector for our national development for the benefit of all our people.

The Public Infrastructure Minister added, “Guyana joins with the rest of the aviation world to congratulate ICAO on this No Country Left Behind initiative and is heartened to hear from the developed countries, their pledge for continued support and collaboration with ICAO and its member States to ensure that No country is Left Behind”.

She also highlighted that “many States here share similar challenges in financing aviation projects to enable their economic development and I am sure our esteemed panel will share perspectives on Global investment and aviation development and encourage donors to assist in enabling economic development through financing of various aviation projects so that the spirit of the No Country Left Behind initiative of ICAO can be realized for the positive impact on the economic and social development of all States”.

Guyana’s two representatives at this Forum will continue their discussions to seek technical and financial assistance for Guyana’s aviation development.