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New carrier not following regulationsNew carrier not following regulations

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As the debate between this country’s Prime Minister and St Lucia’s tourism minister continues over granting permission to newcomer Caricom Airways to fly to St. Vincent, local air carrier SVG Air has accused Caricom Airways of illegally using its general declarations on a flight from St Lucia to Martinique and back.{{more}}

A joint statement issued by Jonathan Palmer (Mustique Airways) and Paul Gravel (SVG Air) stated that it was “illegal for a carrier to use another carrier’s paperwork to gain entry into a third country, thereby fooling that country into thinking that the carrier is from another company.”

A copy of an SVG Air General Declaration document (which includes details of the crew, aircraft registration number and identity) provided to SEARCHLIGHT indicates that an aircraft PZ-TYL departed from St Lucia (SLU) for entry into Martinique (FDF) on October 27, 2010.

And according to the Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, there is documentation which indicates that there was one passenger – A. Chastanet.

“I have not been informed yet if the sole passenger was Allen Chastanet who is the Minister of Civil Aviation who has been taking on the Prime Minister of St Vincent,” Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said.

The Prime Minister again commented on the issue on Wednesday, December 1, at the opening ceremony for the Learning Resource Centre at West Wood.

“For the time, I don’t know if is Albert or Alfred. I always go on proof. But what is unmistakable is that the airline used declarations which it is not authorized to do,” Gonsalves continued.

The operators of the two air carriers also made calls for the owners of the newcomer Caricom Airways to comply with the regulations as they have had to.

The statement said: “If another carrier wishes to fly in our air space, and by air space we mean the OECS, they will have to comply with the same rules and regulations that all OECS carriers must adhere to.”

The statement cited some of the requirements which include that all carriers have an Air Operator’s Certificate granted by the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA), which certifies that certain regulations have been complied with.

“The carrier must have an approved maintenance facility with trained engineers in sufficient numbers to support the operation; Caricom Airways does not have such a facility.”

The operators also addressed the issue of insurance, detailing the fees that had been applicable to them. (DD)

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