Guyana chronicle – One of the aircraft that departed the Eugene F. Correia International Airport (EFCIA) without authorisation is still grounded in Anguilla, while the other has been flown to San Juan, Puerto Rico on Sunday morning. A reliable source has informed this newspaper that the aircraft, registered 8R-GTP, departed Anguilla for Puerto Rico on Sunday morning.On Saturday, two Cessna 206 model aircraft, owned by Oxford Aviation and bearing registration number 8R-GMP and 8R-GTP, left the Eugene F. Correia International Airport at Ogle at approximately 05:30 hrs without appropriate air traffic clearance for departure.
The two pilots, identified as Guyanese Munidat Persaud and an overseas operator whose name was given as Vladimir, flew through Trinidad and Tobago’s airspace undetected, grounded in Grenada, and, upon continuing their journey, were held by authorities in Anguilla, after attempting to make another stop in that country.
Officials in Guyana have commenced an investigation into the matter.
However, the other Cessna 206 was barred from departing because it did not have the required airworthiness certificate as a result of a violation of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) regulations.
Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Annette Ferguson, on Sunday confirmed that indeed one of the aircraft is still in Anguilla while the other remains in Puerto Rico.
There is a High Court matter involving the aircraft, and their owners are barred from leaving Guyana. That matter involves an incident which occurred at the Region Seven airstrip at Ekereku, near the Venezuela border, in which one of the two aircraft in question ran into a Cessna 172 aircraft, registered as 8R-GHJ. This latter aircraft, owned by pilot Orlando Charles of Domestic Aviation, sustained structural damage during the incident, and that matter has been in the courts for some time.
Veteran aviator Captain Gerry Gouveia said the pilots’ action was “in total violation and disrespect of Guyana’s aviation laws”. He also noted that it is intriguing that Grenada accepted the pilots without approved documents, and he said it should be looked at carefully.
Local pilots never breached any of the airport’s regulations, and moreso Guyana’s aviation laws.
Guyana‘s air traffic control services does not provide radar coverage, but rather handling based on radio communications with pilots, a form of air traffic control (ATC) known as procedural air traffic control.
At Ogle, the pilots usually request an ATC clearance from the tower at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) at Timehri in order to operate outside the airport’s boundaries. To fly outside of Guyana, such requests have to be made days in advance, and would require coordination between Guyana and the ATC agencies in the countries whose airspace the aircraft would transit.