192 countries coming for ICAO Air Transport Meeting

…Field says 16 hotels booked, Guyana all set

GUYANA is all set to host for the first time the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) Air Transport Meeting from November 21-23, 2018, with several large companies indicating sponsorship of the event.

The conference will see discourse on maximising economic benefits of aviation, harmonising air transport regulatory framework, liberalisation of air cargo in the Region and globally, air transportation and tourism, and stimulating investment.
Moreover, on the final day of the three-day event, Guyana will also host an African Diaspora Conference which will speak to promoting air linkages to the African states and the diaspora, along with trade and infrastructure.

Director-General, Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Lieutenant Colonel (ret’d) Egbert Field speaking at a press conference Friday, said some 192 signatory states of ICAO are expected to participate in the meeting which is to be held at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre, Liliendaal.

He explained that preparations for the meeting, themed, “Promoting connectivity for sustainable air transport development” are advancing according to plan and revealed that thus far several major companies, including Caribbean Airlines and SOL Aviation Inc. have signed on as Platinum and Silver Sponsors respectively.

“We are looking to host a conference that is of international standards,” said Field, who disclosed that since the signing an agreement with ICAO to be host country, an ICAO scout visited Guyana to inspect the identified venue and a website has been created. Thus far, some 16 hotels have been locked in by the meeting’s secretariat, interpreters have been identified and a permanent secretariat is being set up. Currently, a temporary secretariat is housed at the GCAA office, High Street, Kingston.

Meanwhile, Franklin ‘Bobby’ Vieira, Director of Marketing and Operational Support, told reporters that there are five categories of sponsors: Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze and Lite. He noted that emphasis will be placed on tour, entertainment, coffee break, and stationery sponsors to name a few.
Caribbean Airlines and Sol Aviation Inc. are two of the meeting’s largest sponsors thus far, though major ground handlers out of JFK Airport, Swiss Port and MSN Aviation Services are also sponsors.

“ICAO is helping to gather sponsorship,” Vieira said, noting that the meeting will have international sponsors as well. He disclosed that a 40-page conference magazine will be published and distributed to the expected 600-plus delegates, who are to participate in the international meeting. Sponsors will be able to showcase their businesses therein.

Caribbean Airlines’ Head of Marketing, Alicia Cabrerea, said the airline as a platinum sponsor is pleased to be affiliated with the ICAO meeting. “We were very honoured to be considered as a sponsor. To showcase our commitment, we jumped to the opportunity and we are happy to say that we are a platinum sponsor committed to consistent service,” CAL’s head of Marketing stated. Similarly, CAL’s country manager Carl Stuart made it clear that CAL has the capacity to transport large numbers of persons coming for the conference, while noting that CAL has always provided a reliable service, not only to Guyana, but across the Caribbean and farther afield.

Other airlines such as American Airlines, which is scheduled to start operations here in November, will also be relied upon to transport participants to Guyana.
Meanwhile, Sol Aviation Inc. has donated $1M to the GCAA for the meeting. Its country manager, Liz Wyatt, in brief remarks said “It is going to be a marvellous opportunity.”
“SOL Guyana is the wholesaler of petroleum products; the one area of business we are not in, in Guyana right now is aviation,” said Wyatt, who noted that it is her company’s intention to enter the aviation sector.

She said health, safety and the environment are paramount to her company as “you don’t want to have bad fuel while 30,000 feet in the air.”
She said the meeting will showcase Guyana and all it has to offer and will provide an “amazing opportunity.”

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