Georgetown, Guyana – (October 8, 2017) Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon, on Friday evening, said that the training and enhancement of skills are essential components in maintaining safety in the aviation sector in Guyana as he commended the nine pilots and eleven engineers, who completed the initial and recurrent training, which was hosted by JAGS Aviation Incorporated to familiarise and re-familiarise the aviators with the operations of the PZL M28-025 aircraft, popularly referred to as the ‘Skytruck M28’.

Minister Harmon, who briefly addressed the successful aviators, said that training and the upgrading of one’s skills and knowledge are critical to any field. However, in a sector as challenging as aviation, it is even more prudent and necessary for such trainings to be held on a regular basis. He, therefore, commended the company for taking this step, as he noted that it will help to create a safer aviation industry in Guyana.

“I am happy to be here this evening to witness this ceremony, which is marking your competence with this aircraft. Sometimes as a passenger, when a plane takes off, you hope that it will land safely. The persons behind the aircraft, not just the pilots but the engineers, we take all of these things for granted because we believe that the certificate we received makes us capable but [it is important that we enhance our skills],” he said.

Minister Harmon expressed confidence that the newly trained pilots and engineers, who were certified to fly and conduct maintenance checks on the Skytruck will contribute to safer air travel to hinterland regions, especially in light of the recent spate of accidents involving domestic aircrafts, which provide shuttle services to far-flung locations.

Minister Harmon noted that this training will not only serve to boost safety in the sector but will contribute economically to the country as both people and cargo can now be transported from the Eugene F. Correia International Airport, using the Skytruck, which is a larger aircraft, to hinterland communities. This will not only significantly reduce cost for the average flyer but will also see more trading being done between the hinterland and the Coastland.

The Minister of State, who also holds responsibility for disaster risk management and disaster response at the Cabinet level, also used the opportunity to commend the company for their contributions to the relief efforts for the hurricane-affected countries, noting that it is demonstrative of a good private public partnership.

The Ground and Flight School Training course was held from September 16 to October 6, 2017 and is a follow-up to the successful completion of 146 hours of the M28 Skytruck Maintenance Course, which commenced on August 15 and concluded on September 18, 2017. It was conducted by Polish flight instructor, Captain Czeslaw Zywocki and was deemed one of the most advanced of its kind by acting Director of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Mr. Saheed Sulaman.

The Ground and Flight School Training programme was authorised and approved by the GCAA, while BK International Incorporated, through the office of its Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Brian Tiwarie facilitated the training sessions at his boardroom, located in Water Street, Kingston. The flight training was conducted at the Jags Aviation Incorporated’s facility at the Eugene F. Correia International Airport, Ogle, East Coast Demerara.

Mr. Christopher Kirkaldy, Flight Operations Inspector at the GCAA, was also able to benefit from the training. As part of his job description, he is required to carry out checks on aircrafts to ensure that they are fit for flying. With this training, he is now better equipped to conduct checks particularly on ‘Skytrucks’ for the GCAA.

Director of Jags Aviation Incorporated, Mr. Christopher Chung and other representatives of the company were also present at the event.

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