Aviation Authority clueless about Farley’s plans for a new air carrier for Tobago

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Aviation Authority clueless about Farley’s plans for a new air carrier for Tobago

Days after Tobago’s Chief Secretary Farley Augustine announced plans for a new airline to provide international and local flights from Tobago, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is now raising concerns.

Augustine told media during a morning show interview last week, that the proposal had “found favour with the executive, so we are at the stage of having the agreement finalised so we could sign the dotted line. As soon as we sign the dotted line, we will let people know about that.”

But according to a GML report, the CAA, the governing body responsible for aviation in T&T, said neither the director nor the economic regulation unit had knowledge of any arrangements for a new carrier to fly to Tobago.

Augustine acknowledged that the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) did not currently have an agreement in place and explained that the CAA was not yet aware of the plans because it was not at the appropriate stage for the agency’s involvement.

Augustine said the THA was actively negotiating the terms and conditions and would adhere to the legal requirements throughout the process.

However, former director of the CAA Ramesh Lutchmedial told the media house that he was perplexed upon hearing Augustine’s pronouncement because before initiating negotiations, the CAA must verify that the airline’s aircraft complied with European and American codes, which were the only codes accepted by the CAA.

He said contrary to Augustine’s claims, the CAA should have been involved from the start of the process to ensure regulatory compliance.

Augustine, meanwhile, asked: “How is this part of the arrangement any concern to them? Let us not jump ahead of ourselves. When we come to some agreement, then and only then will the CAA be engaged.

“We don’t intend to have an airline fly in here without them first meeting the legal requirements but we have to do our part and do the due diligence and the negotiations first before engaging CAA.”