Almost one year after they were purchased by the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), two used Skyvan planes arrived Thursday and are expected to go into regular operation very soon unlike the two Britten-Norman Islander planes that remain grounded since they arrived, sources said.
The army did not officially announce the arrival of the Skyvan aircraft, but sources said they touched down at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport shortly before midday.
The planes arrived already painted in dark green and bearing the GDF emblem on their tails.
The planes, regarded as workhorses and very suitable for Guyana’s interior terrain, have been assigned registration markings 8R-GWJ and 8R-GBW, sources said.
The Skyvan planes had been due to arrive in Guyana by last year end.
With the arrival of the two planes, the GDF now has three aircraft, one helicopter and two Britten-Norman Islander planes.
The Islanders arrived in August 2018 but have remained grounded ever since to allow for them to be routinely stripped, examined, serviced and reassembled.
GDF sources said one of the Islanders underwent that process, but developed engine problems during takeoff. A crucial part for that plane was due to arrive in Guyana very shortly.
Before arriving here, the planes had been operating in Brazil by Aero Star Táxi Aére.
Supplementary funding of GY$484, 239, 000 had been sought in 2018 from the National Assembly for the purchase of the four fixed-wing aircraft. Some GY$213, 885,000 from the GDF’s 2018 capital programme was utilised to meet the initial payments for the aircraft.