Last Updated on Friday, 2 April 2021, 13:51 by Denis Chabrol
President Mohammed Irfaan Ali’s initials have formed part of the registration marking of the newly-acquired Bell 412Epi helicopter, officials said.
The helicopter, before leaving the manufacturers in the United States (US) to come to Guyana, had been assigned the US registration marking N840MT. But days after, it was assigned a Guyana registration marking, 8R-MIA .
While 8R is Guyana’s internationally recognised standard aircraft registration code, the last three characters are assigned by the local aviation regulator, the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).
In March, 2018, a Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Bell 206 helicopter had been assigned 8R-MAP in honour of former Chief-of-Staff Retired Brigadier Mark Anthony Phillips.
Under the then A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) coalition-led administration, the GDF Islander: 8R-GMN reflected then Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and the GDF Skyvan 8R-GBW for then Attorney General Basil Williams and 8R-GWJ for then Finance Minister Winston Jordan.
Top GDF, Guyana government, United States and private sector officials have welcomed the addition of the Bell 412 chopper to the defence force’s fleet, saying that it would assist in troop movement, long-range aerial patrols of land and Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ), search and rescue operations and transport of Guyanese regulatory personnel to offshore oil operations.