Opposition MP for St. Michael North Ronald Toppin is questioning government’s inaction in addressing the negative aviation safety rating given to the island in 2010.
Making his presentation as Parliament debated the Civil Aviation Bill on Tuesday, he chastised government for not putting mechanisms in place for corrective action to qualify for removal from the Category Two status implemented by the International Civil Aviation Organization.
Pointing out that six years have passed since the Category Two status – “the lowest possible categorization that you can have” – had been set, the former Minister of International Transport cried shame that the aviation standard was no better in Barbados “today than it was eight years ago in terms of compliance with safety oversight standards as prescribed by the world International Civil Aviation Organization.”
“In seven or eight critical areas in July 2010, Barbados has failed and even if today, as a result of regulations laid last week, we say we satisfy the second requirement in terms of regulations, we are still falling short in respect of six and therefore are not any better today, some six years after an FAA audit was done. That is unsatisfactory,” he argued.
Admitting that it was not easy for any country to attain category one status, Toppin nevertheless pointed out that it has been achieved by Jamaica, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.
He therefore took to task the emphasis Minister of Tourism and International Transport Richard Sealy was placing on building the civil aviation industry, instead of attaining the Category One status.
“To think that you would have a prosperous civil aviation industry that is separate and apart from a categorization that you have in terms of your compliance with safety oversight standards as prescribed by the world body is to fundamentally misunderstand what the civil aviation industry is all about,” he said. (JMB)