Plans are already underway by management of the Ogle International Airport to have it renamed the “Eugene F. Correia International Airport” in spite of objections from key stakeholders at the airport.
Chairman of the board of directors of Ogle Airport Inc (OAI), Michael Correia Jr, told reporters on Friday that this name change requires a number of regulatory and administrative changes.
As such, the airport’s management team has already written to the Public Infrastructure Ministry as required by the lease agreement and is presently awaiting Minister David Patterson’s endorsement of the process.
He reiterated that it was President David Granger who suggested that the name of the Ogle International Airport be changed to “Eugene F. Correia International Airport” while the Head of State was at the official launching ceremony of the TGA Beechcraft 1900D on September 17 last.
“Following the President’s announcement, the Secretary of the OAI Board wrote to all the shareholders on the matter with “no objection” responses being received from all of the shareholders who are not on the Board. When I then put the matter to the Board, two members initially expressed reservation before the Board unanimously agreed to the proposed name change. The Board subsequently advised the President of its decision, after which we received a letter from Air Services Limited with a reversal of their position,” Correia explained.
He posited the fact that a “Correia” was chosen for the Airport to be named after is not the important issue.
Meanwhile, Vice President of the newly formed National Air Transport Association (NATA) during a media briefing on Wednesday stated that the President had made a suggestion but that it was declined, given the disadvantages it would present to other operators.
He also suggested that President Granger may not have taken into consideration such disadvantages when he made the proposal for the airport to be renamed.
“Every single operator around this tabled has written a letter against the renaming of the airport,” Captain Gouveia said.
He further noted that NATA is “unanimously” against the idea of renaming the airport.
On Friday Michael Correia Jr announced that OAI is not owned by government but rather by a private company.
According to Correia, the airport is owned by Ogle Airport Inc by virtue of a lease issued by the Lands and Surveys Department for 441 acres for a period of 25 years, which commenced on July 17, 2003.
However according to legal opinion a “lease cannot transfer ownership”, so the government still owns the airport.
This story written by Kristen Macklingam was first published by Guyana Times.