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T&T Civil Aviation Authority Bill

Tuesday, May 02, 2000

will explain how. The aviation industry is governed by an authority called the Air Transport Licensing Authority. It does not really indicate clearly in this Bill exactly what the authority is going to do until you begin to put certain things together. Clause 3 refers—

Sen. Baksh: Mr. President, for clarification, the Air Transport Licensing Authority is not the authority responsible for civil aviation in Trinidad and Tobago. Right now it is the Department of Civil Aviation. The Air Transport Licensing Authority deals only with routes, fares and regularity of designation.

Sen. D. Montano: Thank you. I will go on because my point is still relevant and the same. As I understand this document, maybe I am wrong, but he is going to have to correct my misunderstanding. Aviation document means any licence, certificate or other document issued by the Trinidad and Tobago Civil Aviation Authority to, or in respect of any person, aircraft, aerodrome or aviation related service. As I read that it would include a licence to fly; it would include in terms of the aircraft, a licence to land or to take off in terms of route and access and so forth, so that is what we are talking about. Clause 5(b) says:

“The functions of the Authority are— (b) to issue, renew and amend aviation documents.”

In other words, the new Civil Aviation Authority is going to be the organization that licenses pilots and aircrafts and I would assume, by extension certifies the air worthiness of the aircraft and also routes. That is how I see it, so in terms of looking at that, it seems then to take the authority away from the Air Transport Licensing Authority which is the creature that the Minister was referring to earlier. Is that in itself a bad thing? I would venture to suggest not necessarily so, but when you go on this is what it looks like.

The Minister kept using words like “independent” and “autonomous” and clause 11 says:

“The Minister shall give the Authority such specific or general directions, not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act and the Authority shall give effect to any such directions.”

In other words, this authority is not going to be independent or autonomous of the Ministry but must act on the specific directions of the Minister. In other words, in the exercise of the duties under clause 3 and clause 5, as I was indicating earlier, whatever they actually encompass, whether it is routes or licensing of aircraft or the certification of air worthiness, or the licensing of pilots,

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