Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson sits alongside Junior Minister, Jaipaul Sharma, as they address reporters on Wednesday (Carl Croker photo) By Alva Solomon

ACCORDING to the FAA, in order to maintain a Category one rating, countries with air carriers that fly to the United States must adhere to the safety standards of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the United Nations’ technical agency for aviation that establishes international standards and recommended practices for aircraft operations and maintenance.

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In 2002, Guyana was downgraded to Category two rating as the country failed the meet the required rating but once all goes well, the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) will, in the coming months, re-apply for the coveted rating.

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On Wednesday, Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Jaipaul Sharma, told reporters at a press conference at the ministry’s head office at Wights Lane, that as part of projections for 2020, on-site inspections will be done by the GCAA this month.

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He said after this is completed, Guyana will re-apply to the FAA for the rating. Guyana scored in excess of 66 per cent at the last audit. “I believe they can do it,” Sharma said, noting that the new target is 89 per cent. “Reaching this level Guyana will achieve category one status,” he said. With a Category-one rating, the US authorities will permit direct flights from Guyana, an issue which persons have complained about on numerous occasions.

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For travellers, having to disembark while in-transit in another territory can be an exhaustive process.

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Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson, told reporters that the government is not contemplating granting flag-carrier status to Caribbean Airlines (CAL) although he noted the “faithful” service the carrier has provided to Guyanese. He said it is a question of value for money, noting that granting of the status “is a complicate issue.”

Patterson also addressed the issue of ticket pricing. He said he had an engagement with the travel agents in Guyana some three months ago, and they listed their challenges. He said they urged that he meet with the airlines operating here and this also materialised. Patterson said that the travel agents recommended a system to be implemented where the airlines must notify government before they hike their prices. He said there have been complaints about price increases noting that in other countries, such as Trinidad and Tobago, there is a notification process.

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He said that the travel agents have noted that the process “brings stability” and according to Patterson, he will further investigate the issue.VS Angel gigi russian