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

Tuesday, May 02, 2000

On August 31, 2000, Independence Day, we are going to open our New Airport—Piarco 2000. It is just one of the jewels in a crown of benefits and opportunities for our country and our interest and leadership in the provision of airlift infrastructure, not only in Trinidad and Tobago but the entire region. It is one component of our master plan for the aviation industry and this Bill is another. It seeks to facilitate another component, the legal and administrative framework, which is an essential component of the foundation on which we will build our aviation sector of the future.

11.30 a.m.

Mr. President, once again we are not just talking but demonstrating the high quality of good governance. We do have a vision for aviation as other sectors of the economy. Our social and economic policies must continue to provide tangible benefits for all our generations. Generations to come would also benefit from our continued best practices and excellence in Government. Thank you.

Question proposed

Sen. Danny Montano: Mr. President, I listened to the Minister’s speech with some interest as I think that legislation in this area, as he indicated, is desirable and is probably somewhat overdue. However I must say at the outset that I do have some difficulties with several of the provisions in this piece of legislation. It is not quite as innocuous as it might first look. Upon reading this, as the Minister says in his language, it is a bold step forward. It is part of their vision and so forth, but apart from saying somewhat clearly that the primary benefit of this piece of legislation is that the personnel under the Civil Aviation Authority are going to be moved away from the public service and effectively privatized within this organization, that would give the new organization the flexibility in the new corporate world that would be necessary. Apart from that change, he has really made no explanation as to how aviation in Trinidad and Tobago is going to be improved by this piece of legislation. I was here, except for a brief minute, and I heard his whole presentation, but I did not hear how aviation is going to be improved as a result of this piece of legislation. Perhaps in his winding up he will give some details. I would welcome his explanations.

When you read this, you have to read it more than once and perhaps speak to people who have some experience in the aviation industry to really capture what is going on, and the first thing I was advised, is despite the fact that the Minister said there was wide consultation on this Bill, the fact is that the major players in the aviation industry had not been consulted and this affects them directly and I

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