Eight Air Traffic Control Officers (ATCOs) who completed training in their specialized field last December are still to receive certification to assume tower control at the Ogle Aerodrome and the country’s largest airport Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA).
The Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) had announced earlier this month that the agency had certified eight new ATCOs and they would be assuming responsibilities at the country’s major airports.
However, a senior airport official had expressed grave concern over the GCAA’s statement since he was aware that the officers had not received certification to operate, and highlighted that other issues which needed to be addressed lingered.
Guyana Aviation was told that despite being trained and qualified to operate in the field, the ATCOs were being paid an assistant’s salary. It was understood further that since the course was completed last December, the officers have been functioning unsupervised since January without their certificates.
One ATCO who spoke with the blog said that they had to wait in an excess of two months to receive their licenses when it was supposed to be issued within 14 days of finishing the course. Added to that, he said, there has been no discussion on the benefits or leave due to them.
The ATCOs had dispatched no less than four letters to the GCAA and the aviation board seeking a resolution to the matter.
Head of the Guyana Aviation Board, Hugh Denbow confirmed to Guyana Aviation that indeed the officers had not yet received their certification.He said other issues also existed, but at the level of the aviation board it was decided that the officers were to be certified as soon as possible; while other recommendations were made to address other existing issues.
However, this decision was taken some time ago and the ATCOs say they are still awaiting their necessary credits. An air traffic controller is trained to maintain the safe, orderly and expeditious flow of air traffic within a country’s airspace.