As plans are currently afoot to beef up connectivity between Guyana and other States, Minister within the Public Infrastructure Ministry, Annette Ferguson has made it clear that visitors who would be flying in on the new airlines would be required to be screened for infectious diseases.Ferguson made the announcement during an exclusive interview on the sidelines of an event hosted earlier this week.She said, “Once the new airlines come into Guyana, I know we have our Health Ports at the various (checkpoints with) Health Officers who will do exactly what is required of them, so in the event of anybody coming in with an infectious disease, they (health officials) know exactly what will be required.”When asked if the Ministry and the Government have any other concerns with regard to the increased number of airlines which will be and have begun flying intoMinister within the Public Infrastructure Ministry, Annette Fergusonthe country, the Minister responded in the negative.According to her, “I don’t think there is any concern, because, remember if you are talking about connectivity (and) getting people from one jurisdiction to another, this is heavily dependent on air transport, so with new airlines coming it will be a boost.”Ferguson noted that the boost would be not only for Guyana’s economy but for the transportation industry.Many persons have raised concerns about the increased number of airlines flying to Guyana, especially from the African continent.Just recently, at the Air Transport Meeting held here at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown, between November 21 and 23, Guyana signed an open skies agreement with Ghana, which will allow for direct flights to the country.In a recent interview with Guyana Times, Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) Director, Retired Lieutenant Colonel Egbert Field disclosed that the organisation was gearing up to sign another open skies agreement, this time with the African country Tanzania.He noted that already, the agency has signed open skies agreement with other South American countries which will allow for more airlines to fly here as well.“We’ll improve connectivity in the Region, especially with the South American Region, by reaching out to sign more air services agreements with the various States, because having air services agreements – that is the foundation or the platform which the airlines will be able to ride on,” the Director said.So far, agreements have been signed with Brazil and Ghana. In addition to Tanzania, the GCAA is also seeking to ink an agreement with Nigeria.The GCAA Director was keen to note that these agreements being inked were in keeping with this year’s theme of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) with regard to connectivity.When it comes to a time span for those agreements, Field said the required framework was already in place and was presently waiting to be finalised.
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