Govt should pursue Oxford Aviation pilot

Director of Roraima Airways Captain Gerry Gouveia is pressing the Government of Guyana to pursue to the “ends of the earth”, the Oxford Aviation Pilot, who took off on an unauthorised flight from the Eugene F Correia International Airport, less than two weeks ago.

Gerry Gouveia
Gerry Gouveia

In late June, 2015, pilot and owner of Oxford Aviation, Munidat Persaud and another pilot left the airport without permission for Grenada with two planes which are subjects of litigation. The pilots flew through Trinidad’s airspace undetected and without permission.

Gouveia, speaking to journalists on Thursday, said the pilots’ actions were disrespectful to the laws of Guyana.

“I want to tell you that as a Guyanese aviator, and operator at Ogle and a Guyanese citizens, I am appalled at the tenacity and disrespect this pilot paid to Guyana by using their pass to hack into the airport system and then breaking every law in Guyana and every international aviation law, by flying through international space without air traffic control”, he said.

Gouveia said the morning Persaud took off and was flying to Trinidad there were flights from Caribbean Airlines as well as Dynamic going in at the time. That, he said, could have caused a mid-air collision, since no one was aware that he was flying.

“I think the government of Guyana should pursue him to the ends of the earth and bring him to justice. What he did was atrocious, was disrespectful to our law.”

The aircraft, which are worth US$110,000 each, are owned by Oxford Aviation and were subjected to a court injunction by Phoenix Airways. The planes were however detained in Anguilla after flying through Trinidad airspace and landing in Grenada to refuel.

Gouveia had come out soon after the incident in defence of the management of the Airport and the Airport Security, saying that the security “did nothing wrong.”

“The Airport and the Airport Security are no way in violation of anything to do with what happened at Ogle (EFCIA) with these airplanes. It is the pilot who violated the Guyana Aviation Laws and the International Aviation Laws. He violated the privileges of his licence and the Government of Guyana should pursue him to the end of the earth to ensure this type of disrespect to our law and order is not allowed to prevail,” Gouveia had said.

In fact, he noted that the pilots took off without filing a flight plan and without notifying the airport security and immigration: “I want to stress that every licensed airport operator has access to their aircraft whether in hangers or on the tarmac… these aircraft were parked on the light aircraft parking facility that is available at the Airport.”

He stressed that all the airport security staff were on duty and would have allowed the men onto the airstrip because they had air flight passes.

The pilots, the official reiterated, did not notify the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA). The air traffic control tower was only aware of what was happening as the aircraft were taxing down the runway to take off.

There were also reports that the pilots, before departing with the planes, left forged customs documents.

The two planes departed the airport in the early hours of the morning, without clearance from Customs, Immigration and Air Traffic Control.

The aircraft bearing registration numbers 8R-GTP and 8R-GMP are subjects of High Court litigation in Guyana and were not supposed to leave the country.

Acting director general of Guyana Civil Aviation Authority, Chitranie Heeralall had confirmed that the aircraft left Guyana without authorisation between 04:00h and 04:30h.