The Government of Guyana has launched an inquiry into what has been described as the “unauthorized” departure of two aircraft from the Eugene F. Correia International Airport, formerly the Ogle International Airport, at Ogle, East Coast Demerara.
This announcement was made on Thursday by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, during the post Cabinet press briefing.
Harmon related that Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson, had advised Cabinet that an inquiry be launched into the departure of the two Cessna 206 aircraft with registration numbers 8R-GTP and 8R-GMP attached to Oxford Aviation. The aircraft departed the local airport around 04:00 hours last week Saturday morning.
Reports are that one of the aircraft was flown out of the country by its owner, Munidat Persaud, alias Raj Persaud. He is said to be the owner of Oxford Aviation and also owns and operates a flight school in the United States. Another individual piloted the other aircraft.
The aircraft were flown through Trinidad’s airspace and landed on the island of Grenada after which they departed for Anguilla. However, one of the aircraft was grounded in Anguilla.
That aircraft is said to be the subject of a court injunction reportedly filed by another aviation company called Fenix Aviation. There are reports that some time in the past the aircraft had collided with one of the wings of an aircraft belonging to the Fenix fleet at Ekereku in the Cuyuni/Mazaruni region.
The unresolved matter had forced Fenix Aviation to file an injunction.
The investigation launched by Government will not only look into the unauthorized departure of the aircraft, but attempts by two individuals to gain access into Oxford Aviation’s office at the Ogle airport.
According to the Airport’s Public Communication Consultant (PCC), Kit Nascimento, the two individuals’ entry was thwarted by airport security personnel.
Nascimento stated that on Sunday, two men were prevented from entering the OA office after it was discovered that one of them was wearing a security pass belonging to the Oxford Aviation’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Tricia Persaud.
After they were denied access in, the terminal building was locked since the company is said to owe the airport a “substantial” amount of money, according to Nacimento.
According to Harmon, “there are very serious matters in relation to security and the fact that the airport is an international airport that makes it even more important to ensure that our security procedures are tightened.”
It is expected, Harmon added, that the Public Infrastructure Minister will uncover “what happened, when it happened, who were involved and what decisions need to be taken with respect to making sure it doesn’t happen again.”
And according to him, “we trust that we will be able to get that report in a very short time.”