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T&T Civil Aviation Authority Bill [SEN. THE HON. S. BAKSH]

Tuesday, May 02, 2000

freight. The corresponding increase in total passenger kilometres was 12 per cent in Latin America and the Caribbean alone, compared with a 4 per cent increase in the Middle East axis. The top 25 airports in the world, in terms of passengers throughout, handled nearly one billion passengers in 1998 as well as 10.7 million commercial air transport movements.

Airline revenues reached nearly US $300 billion for the first time. This is the best annual financial result since 1947. This amounts to a corresponding profit increase in the Caribbean and Latin America area of almost 4 per cent. Aircraft orders went up by some 23 per cent. The aircraft manufacturers cannot even fill those orders and there is a backlog at present. But it shows how the demand for aircraft capacity is growing in the Caribbean, Latin America and indeed globally.

Given our strategic geographical location as the gateway to the Americas, it is necessary that we create a local hemispheric aviation sector in Trinidad and Tobago that shall, in addition to local civil aviation services and regulation, offer services to external markets such as repairs and overhaul of aircraft and components, manufacture of aircraft components and subassemblies, logistical support, ground handling, fuelling, consultancy services and other ancillary activities. At the same time, while this Government ensures that the local civil aviation sector benefits from the expansion and growth taking place globally, it must not compromise safety standards. Our civil aviation activities must comply with the highest levels of safety standards and must be consistent with international standards and recommended best practices as well as other requirements under our obligations as a member state of the international civil aviation organization.

Mr. President, for the benefit of those unfamiliar with the international civil aviation organization and our role within that organization, I shall briefly summarize as follows. On December 6, 1944, 52 states signed the convention on international civil aviation in Chicago. After notification by 26 states, ICAO officially came into being in 1947. Later that year it became a specialized agency of the United Nations linked to its Economic and Social Council. Trinidad and Tobago became party to the convention in 1972.

The aims and objectives of ICAO are:

to ensure globally;

the

safe

and

orderly

growth

of

international

civil

aviation

  • to encourage the arts of aircraft design and operation for peaceful

purposes;

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