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T&T Civil Aviation Authority Bill

Tuesday, May 02, 2000

the major regional hub for cargo and passenger operations in this region. The idea of a civil aviation authority is not new. Previous Governments considered it, but, to date, we have not been able to achieve that.

In 1991, the committee was established to look at the establishment of such an authority. This committee sought, and I quote:

“to establish, as a matter of urgency, a single, autonomous (National) Civil Aviation Authority comprising Divisions that generally respect the separateness of roles and the functions of the Civil Aviation Division, the Airports Authority of Trinidad and Tobago, the Air Transport Licensing Authority and the Secretariat of the Standing Bilateral Negotiating Committee respectively.”

Unfortunately, that was in 1991 and since then we have not been able to bring that particular legislation to this honourable Senate.

Our Medium Term Policy Framework dated 2000 to 2002 document states as follows:

“Over the next triennium, Government will continue to propose strategies for the further development of air, sea and land transportation.

With respect to our transport, Government is at present pursuing the development of an aviation policy to guide growth in the aviation sector. Government shall also undertake institutional restructuring of the Civil Aviation Division and revision of the air transport legislation to foster increased efficiency and safety in the aviation environment.”

11.05 a.m.

Mr. President, our Government is fully aware of the importance of aviation to the sustained economic development of Trinidad and Tobago and, indeed, our region. This is why we are so actively pursuing the development of our aviation sector. You will recall that over the years we allowed BWIA to run at a continuous loss. Over the years, as Sen. Daly in his absence would say, we did not deal with the problems associated with the present facilities at Piarco Airport. We are looking after the airlift infrastructure and also the modernization of the aviation sector through the revolutionizing of the civil aviation division to become a full- fledged civil aviation authority.

Let us look at the regional and global factors that have influenced this Bill. In 1998 scheduled air traffic increased by 8 per cent. The world’s airlines are estimated to have carried 1,448 million passengers as well as 26 million tons of

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