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

Tuesday, May 02, 2000

The new authority would be able to capitalize on the many opportunities that would be available to us, through our membership in the International Civil Aviation Organization, (ICAO), and our own enviable strategic position; our improved air-lift infrastructure and communication facilities, including Piarco 2000 project; and the improved management that we have brought to the economy of Trinidad and Tobago, and that this Bill will ensure for the aviation sector.

By way of introduction, the Civil Aviation Division, which formerly functioned as the Department of Civil Aviation, is a department of the public service, established to administer and regulate national and international civil aviation. It does so in accordance with standards, recommended practices and procedures, established under the Convention on International Civil Aviation.

The division is responsible for the supervision of air traffic services, including search and rescue within the air space of one million square miles, extending from and including, the entire group of Caribbean islands out to the eastern reaches of the Atlantic ocean. The division is also responsible for the dissemination of aeronautical information of concerns to pilots and other air traffic authorities on a broad international basis.

Other functions of the division include training air-traffic controllers to graduate level, including the issuance of proficiency ratings to controllers; licensing of pilots, flight engineers and aircraft maintenance engineers; and the registration of locally registered aircraft. There are more functions performed by the division. These include the promotion of air-worthiness control, by the approval and monitoring of aircraft maintenance standards for locally registered aircraft, and the provision of flight operational standards.

The division also investigates aircraft accidents and incidents, approve the establishment of helipads and airports in Trinidad and Tobago; establishes flight- safety standards at airports, and maintains telecommunication and air-navigation equipment at use in several locations throughout Trinidad and Tobago. The division is also responsible for managing charter-flight operations through the issuance of journey permits to commercial, non-scheduled aircraft operators in charter operations.

Finally, it provides secretarial and administrative support for the air transport licensing authority. The purpose of this Bill is the better control and regulation of civil aviation. This is to be accomplished by the creation of a civil aviation authority that is removed from the public service structure. It will have greater autonomy and flexibility, and it will be better able to facilitate our development as

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