As part of its ongoing efforts to provide enhanced air transport in Guyana, Roraima Airways on Friday commissioned its third Britten Norman trislander aircraft into commercial service at a ceremony at its aerodrome at the Ogle International Airport.The aircraft is the second of its kind to be assembled in Guyana by engineers and technicians attached to the Roraima’s Approved Maintenance Organisation (AMO) and is an investment of over US$700,000.The trislander, which is powered by three engines, was designed by British Engineers and manufactured in the UK on the Isle of Wight.This aircraft is ideal for operations in Guyana since it was designed to operate in rough terrain and take off and land on short unpaved runways.Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Roraima Airways, Captain Gerry Gouveia shared his remarks as he highlighted the fact that this aircraft boasts three engines, which is most suitable for short landing strips that are found in Guyana’s hinterland. He added that the aircraft is equipped with Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B), to improve safety and the improved acquisition means more fly time. The aircraft operated in New Zealand prior to Gouveia’s purchase.“My sons Kevin and Gerry, who are both Canadian-trained aviators, travelled to New Zealand and along with a UK engineer and engineer’s resident there, dismantled the planes and shipped them to Guyana. I watched in awe and total amazement as our local engineers, under the direct supervision of an engineer from the United Kingdom along with inspectors from the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) overseeing and certifying every step of the way, expertly reassembled these planes piece by piece. Today both of those planes are once again fully certified and licensed as airworthy by the GCAA,” Gouveia told invitees at the ceremony.“The first aircraft that was reassembled here in Guyana by our local engineers has flown in excess of 1000 flying hours since it was launched into service in 2016,” Gouveia said.“Because of the length of this aircraft’s fuselage, we are now able to transport pipes and other mining supplies without the need to cut the pipes or dismantle the equipment. We fly into the far reaches of Guyana’s hinterland day and night, saving lives and helping to build Guyana one day at a time,” said Gouveia.The CEO also stated that the trislander planes now form the backbone of the company’s operations and its customers have been expressing high levels of satisfaction as it relates to safety.“We have been the first to fully equip all of our planes with the ADSB flight tracking systems which allow not only our own operations centre to watch and track our planes in real time but also allow the air traffic controllers to see and follow our planes from take-off to landing.”Safety, Gouveia emphasised, has always been the hallmark of Roraima’s operations.The ADSB flight tracking system is backed up by the satellite spot tracking device which is also deployed in all of our planes. This device allows us to see and flight follow our plane’s location every two minutes,” the Chief Executive Officer said.Gouveia noted that these investments are sizeable and serve to create more jobs for Guyana’s young aviation and tourism professionals.“We cannot do this alone. We need our Government and its regulatory agencies to continue to work harder at creating the enabling environment so we could operate in a more predictable manner,” he said.The Minister within the Public Infrastructure Minister, Annette Ferguson emphasised the continuous growth in the aviation sector as she congratulated Roraima Airways on their achievements in the aviation industry.Guyana’s International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) rating has moved from 44.4 per cent to 64.4 per cent, with another scheduled evaluation in November.Also speaking at the launching ceremony, Chairman of the Private Sector Commission (PSC), Desmond Sears indicated that the new addition to Roraima’s fleet addresses the growing need for air services in a developing Guyana.“These flights will enhance our physical links with the hinterland and open up new business opportunities,” Sears said.The Chairman mentioned the complexity and diversity of services offered by Roraima Airways at the CJIA International Airport, which includes ground handling and aviation security to international airlines operating in Guyana as well as the Executive Lounge and airline catering coupled with the provision of international airline ticketing services, domestic tourism services and hotels and resort.Director General of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) Egbert Field in his remarks pointed out that his agency serves as both a regulatory and facilitating agency “and as facilitators we are committed to seeing the local industry grow. I will not turn my eye away from non-compliance issues, but it is imperative upon the Authority to ensure that business expands,” he said.Field complemented Roraima Airways on its expansion programme and its ongoing contribution to the country’s development.The Director General disclosed that amendments are currently being made to Guyana’s aviation policy among which is the provision that would require foreign owned airlines serving the country to obtain a local operating licence within six months of being granted permission to service this market. He explained that this amendment would allow such airlines to utilise local staff on board their aircraft, thereby creating job opportunities for Guyanese.