A call has been made for the creation of a Civil Aviation Authority in Barbados.
It has come from Director of Civil Aviation, Anthony Archer, who said international civil aviation authorities have underlined the need for an Authority in individual jurisdictions in order to maintain safety oversight and to assist countries in meeting their international obligations.
“What we are trying to do is to encourage Government to establish a Civil Aviation Authority which would allow more freedom to operate as we need to within the business of civil aviation,” Mr. Archer explained.
Noting that it was a very dynamic field, the Director pointed out that very often, decisions had to be made almost “instantaneously”.
“Although we are able, because of good relationships with other departments, to get some assistance, generally, the Civil Service is not built for the operation of a Civil Aviation administration,” he surmised.
In reflecting on steps taken by Caribbean countries over the years to maintain safety oversight within their jurisdictions, Mr. Archer said a number of states had come together in an effort to pool their resources for their mutual benefit.
To this end, he said that an organisation formerly called the Regional Aviation Safety Oversight System (RASOS) was formed which dealt with three areas, namely personnel licensing and aircraft operations and aircraft worthiness.
With some 18 tenets in civil aviation, which according to him, are explained in annexes to the International Civil Aviation Convention, Mr. Archer said after three years the decision was recently taken within CARICOM to expand the scope of that organisation and to give it a name change.
The new organisation now called the Caribbean Aviation Safety and Security Oversight System (CASSOS), has increased responsibility and governs all 18 areas.
The inaugural meeting was held in Guyana in February, with member states now in the process of identifying possible locations for its headquarters, which is temporarily housed in Jamaica, as well as finalising staffing requirements and its regulatory framework.
Barbados is the current chair and Trinidad vice chair of the organisation, and will hold those posts for a two-year period.