Planes disappear from Correia International Airport
The Police have launched an investigation into the disappearance of two Cessna 206 aircraft from the Eugene F Correia International Airport without clearance from Customs, Immigration and Air Traffic Control on Saturday morning.
Guyana Times understands that the aircraft bearing registration numbers 8R-GTP and 8R-GMP are subject of a High Court litigation in Guyana and were not supposed to leave the country.
Acting Director General of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority, Chitranie Heeralall confirmed that the aircraft left Guyana without authorisation while adding that the planes left Guyana between 04:00h and 04:30h.
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.
One of the pilots was identified as Munidat Persaud, a Guyanese who owns a flight school and charter service in the United States. The other pilot Guyana Times understands is not licensed to fly in Guyana’s airspace.
However, speaking on behalf of the Eugene F Correia International Airport, Kit Nascimento related that all security protocols were followed on the morning when the aircraft departed.
“At approximately 04:00h this morning (Saturday), two staff attached to Oxford Airways presented their air flight passes at the airport security scanner and entered the airport. The men told the security staff at the scanner that they were going to their aircraft to put some stuff on board”, Nascimento explained.
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 airstirp 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.
“In a most sophisticated country, if an aircraft takes off from any airport improperly, the military would intervene but we don’t have an airforce that would go up and bring these planes back,” Nascimento highlighted.
He also confirmed that the aircraft were escaping a court injunction filed by Phoneix Airways while adding that the aircraft were intercepted in Anguilla.
The pilots Guyana Times understands will be brought back to Guyana where they will be handed over to the Police to assist in their investigations. (Bhisham Mohamed)