Last Updated on Sunday, 26 June 2016, 17:14 by Denis Chabrol
In the wake of the unauthorized removal of two aircraft from the Eugene F. Correia International Airport and flying them overseas, Ogle Airport Inc. is downplaying concerns that there has been an apparent breach of airport security.
OAI spokesman, Kit Nascimento said the operators of Oxford Airways, who are eligible to enter airside with their airside passes, entered the airport, were screened by airport security and said they were going to put something on the aircraft. “No violation of airport security has taken place. Every licensed operator has access to his aircraft at any time with his airside passes,” he said.
Demerara Waves Online News was told that the planes underwent intensive maintenance on Friday.
Nascimento confirmed that the aircraft took off without filing a flight plan with the Air Traffic Control Tower or informing customs and immigration which have a 24/7 presence at the Eugene F. Correia International Airport. He insisted that the airport security was intact but a breach of national security. “It’s a breach of the country’s security in that they left the country without notifying either immigration or customs who are on duty at the airport 24 (days) seven (days per week),” he said.
Attorney-at-Law, Nigel Hughes, who is representing the aircraft owner, Orlando Charles, told Demerara Waves Online News that steps were being taken to alert all the relevant authorities overseas about the Guyana High Court injunction that prohibits the removal of the two Cessna 206 planes from Guyana without clearing customs, immigration air traffic control.
Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) Director General, Chitranie Heeralall confirmed that the planes, bearing registration numbers 8R-GTP and 8R-GMP ,were removed early Saturday morning without authorization and eventually landed at Anguilla, British territory in the Caribbean.
The aircraft are the subject of a High Court injunction obtained by Domestic Airways prohibiting their departure from Guyana. The plane, 8R-GMP, owned by Oxford Airways, damaged 8R-JIL, which is owned by Domestic Airways, while taking off from Ekereku Bottom.
Up to 4:30 PM, the planes were still at the Clayton Lloyd International Airport undergoing inspection to ascertain whether they were certified to depart for San Juan, Puerto Rico in keeping with a filed flight plan. The authorities in Anguilla have been already contacted by GCAA.
The prominent Attorney-at-Law described Saturday’s event as “frightening” and “simply unbelievable,” especially since it was only after Capt. Charles notified the GCAA and security authorities in Guyana had
“This is an unbelievable breach of security. If somebody can walk through the Ogle Airport at 4:30 AM and not be checked by anybody, walks straight on to the tarmac, get on board two planes and fly them out, it means that they can out any incendiary device on any aircraft that is sitting on that tarmac at any time and the Guyana Police Force and the Ogle Airport Authority, absolutely nobody has the capacity to stop it,” said Hughes.
Calls made to Minister responsible for Aviation, David Patters son went unanswered.
Hughes told Demerara Waves Online “it is the most chilling development that I have come across in recent time,” he said.