|Civil Aviation stalwart, E. Anthony Archer (second from right) receives his award for??his sterling contribution to civil aviation in Barbados. Also pictured left to right are President, Airline Association, John White; Director of Operations, GAIA Inc., Joseph Johnson; and the Minister of International Business and International Transport, George Hutson. (C. Pitt/BGIS)??|
Government is committed to the development of civil aviation in Barbados, and a restoration of its reputation as a leader in the region.
That is the word from Minister of International Business and International Transport, George Hutson, as he addressed the Civil Aviation Department’s awards ceremony and cocktail reception to honour recent retirees.
Minister Hutson said his ministry would continue to stand by the Department and invest in its development, recognising the "proud history" Barbados once had as a leader in Caribbean aviation. He recalled: "Barbados was the first country in the region to install and implement RADAR Control Air Traffic service and also to install the navigational tool known as a Very High Frequency Omni-directional Radio Range."
However, he noted that over the past 10 to 20 years, "we have allowed our dominance to slip".
The International Transport Minister said he wanted to restore Barbados to its traditional leadership role and envisaged that this could be realised through the establishment of a Civil Aviation Authority. He divulged that this would "facilitate a more dynamic civil aviation unit" which would be more responsive to the needs of stakeholder partners and International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) policy amendments.
Mr. Hutson stated that the establishment of an Authority – a recommendation of the ICAO since 1994 – would move Barbados towards a re-classification as a Category one ??jurisdiction by the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) of the United States of America.
"If Barbados is to attract the new technologically driven aircraft, our Civil Aviation Department must be responsive to the new navigation technologies which are satellite based," he stressed, adding that staff must also be trained in the application of any new technologies.
He lamented on the "less than ideal" working environment the Department’s staff had to function in, but shared the good news that approval had been granted for the construction of new office facilities to house the Civil Aviation Department, the Meteorological Department and the Air Transport Licensing Authority.