Guyana Civil Aviation Authority to probe overloading of aircraft

Last Updated on Sunday, 5 March 2017, 11:34 by Denis Chabrol

The Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) will be probing the alleged overloading of aircraft with drums of fuel from Eteringbang to Ekereku, but so far the airline in whose direction fingers are pointing has denied doing so.

GCAA Director General, Retired Col. Egbert Field told Demerara Waves Online News that his regulatory agency preparing to probe an informal report that was received about three weeks ago.

“I have heard of it. Whether fact or fiction, but we will have our inspectors going out there in a short while and just look over the situation, but you know when you are on the ground things don’t happen so I might be relying on information from the local residents and with that we might be launching investigations,” he said.

Field said the GCAA inspectors would be tapping into police records about cargo being shuttled between Eteringbang and Ekereku to ascertain whether the allegation is factual.

The GCAA Director General said his agency has not been told about any specific operator, but “we have just been told that aircraft are indulging in these practices.”  Generally speaking, the experienced aviator  said if aircraft are flying overweight could cause result in loss of control because of the need for more runway to take off and could lose an engine.

Chief Executive Officer, Gerry Gouveia denied that Roraima Airways’ planes are being overloaded with fuel on that route. “That is absolute nonsense,” he said, charging that Trans Guyana Airways (TGA) has a vested interest in flying fuel from Georgetown to those interior locations for GYD$80,000 to GYD$90,000 per barrel compared to fuel being sourced from Venezuela by small miners at GYD$40,000 per barrel.

Gouveia said on the 10-minute flight from Eteringbang to Ekereku, planes transport either four drums of diesel and one drum of gasoline or three drums of diesel and one drum of gasoline. “Eteringbang has a very short runway and there is no way that a plane could take off overloaded out of Eteringbang. Absolutely ludicrous,” he told Demerara Waves Online News.

He also said if planes rightfully take off into the wind, they would be entering Venezuela. Instead, he said planes take off in Guyana’s airspace with the wind behind them “which means more than anytime you can’t take off overloaded.”

Gouveia further explained that the Britten-Norman Islander could not take so many drums of fuel because of insufficient space.