Author: Jeevan A. Robinson - MNI Media | Date: 22 January 2018
Some troubling concerns have been raised regarding the powers vested under authority of the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCA).
In a letter shared exclusively with MNI Media, issues around the validity of the some of the operations of the ECCA was submitted recently to the OECS and CARICOM Heads of Governments, the Federal Aviation Administration and the International Civil Aviation Organisation. In that letter the writer points to the question of whether the ECCA, if functioning without a Board of Directors, has the authority to make decisions and issue licences without such a Board, as is mandated by rules that govern the organisation.
Examination of the Antigua and Barbuda Gazettes dating back from 2010, make no mention of who the current members of the ECCA Board are.
The question now to considered in this regard is whether licenses, permits, and certifications issued by the ECCA are indeed valid based upon the Organisations operating procedures?
Also, is there an ECCA Board in place, and if so who are they? For if there is no ECCA Board in place presently, and there was none since 2010, then retroactively the ECCA may have quite possibly been operating in not so clear waters. This would have very serious implications for air travel across the Eastern Caribbean.
The full letter outlining aviation lawlessness that has been submitted to all OECS and CARICOM Heads is featured below:
Re: EPIC AVIATION LAWLESSNESS
Article 10 of the Schedule to the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority Act 2003 mandates that “The powers of the ECCAA shall be vested in a Board of Directors”. An examination of the official gazettes published between 2010 and 2017 confirms that since November 1, 2010 the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA) has been operating without a Board of Directors. This means that for seven long years, the quasi-government institution has been a law onto itself. Without a Board of Directors overseeing the activities of uncontrollable despots, unfortunately, there arises a situation of unimaginable chaos. The reticent aviation community has been severely compromised by self-seeking characters hoping to maintain god-like control whilst making up the rules as they go along.
Moreover, there arises the state of affairs of critical significance that none of the licenses, permits, certifications, etc., issued by this institution are valid and cannot be retroactively so. This means that air traffic controllers, engineers, pilots, charter companies, airlines, even the Caribbean’s beloved LIAT, are operating illegally and so is the rest of the aviation community. In addition, the poor condition of the navigation facilities and lack of operational ATC radar is a reflection of the negligence demonstrated by zero oversight. What we have here is a gross disregard for the seriousness of the welfare of our people. Our safety in the air is compromised and continues to be so as long as the Heads of Government
turn a blind eye to having proper controls in place.
Every year, the United States Federal Aviation Administration audits the ECCAA operations for compliance. The audits have been a worthless exercise costing the Governments and people endless since the outcome is the issuing of the Category 1 certification that has no value. Once a Board is not in place, nothing concerning a legal nullity is valid. This leads one to imagine the state of utter confusion and disorder if, God forbids, an international airline accident were to occur in any Caribbean “authorised” state - and the blame game amongst other issues that would ensue. The international airlines landing on our shores are at a tremendous risk - and oh how great a risk this is!
We need to address this seven year old white Trojan elephant before it cripples the rest of our society. Our small economies and tourism industries depend on the safety of aviation and like-minded officials. The ECCAA Act 2003 and the Civil Aviation Act 2003 are pellucid on the procedures that must be in place. When one steps outside the established laws, lawlessness begins and only ends in disaster. The complacency and negligence in rectifying these gross injustices placed on such small economies is mind blowing - especially since we have so much trust in our governments to do right for the betterment of society.
I write this letter only as a Concerned citizen.