Guyana Civil Aviation Authority issues new directive for operators of helipads/helidecks

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The Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has issued a new directive mandating all operators of helidecks/heliports/helipads to be subject to approvals in accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Annex 14, Volume II and ICAO Document 9261 ‘Heliport Manual’.

The directive was published in the Official Gazette of August 22, 2020, in the South American country.

The directive, No: GCAA/DIR/AGA/2020-01), signed by Director General of the GCAA Egbert Field, took effect on August 12, 2020 and supersedes the previous No: GCAA/DIR/AGA/2019/01 dated June 25, 2019.

The oil and gas industry both offshore and onshore is dependent on the service of helicopters in its operations for a number of applications including crew changes and fire and rescue operations. As such, the directive is applicable to all marine vessels including drill ships, oil rigs and Floating Production and Offloading (FPSO) units once in Guyana’s territorial waters as these are usually equipped with helipads and helidecks.

“The new directive will remain effective until cancellation or revocation by the Director General of Guyana Civil Aviation Authority,” the GCAA said.

According to the document, the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (the Authority) pursuant to the designation of the Director General of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority and in exercise of its powers under Section 15 (4) of the Civil Aviation Act 2018 and Section 85 of the Guyana Civil Aviation (Air Navigation) Regulations, hereby issues the following DIRECTIVE:

1. All operators of helidecks/helipads/heliports within the Territory of Guyana, being operated for private or public use, shall be inspected by, and granted approval to operate by the Authority.

2. The Authority shall use the Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Annex 14, Volume II and ICAO Document 9261 “Heliport Manual” (current edition), and any other relevant ICAO Documents as the basis of its inspection and approval process.

3. Operators shall request from the Authority in writing on the company’s letterhead and complete the prescribed application form to operate a helideck/helipad/heilport. Both the letter of request and the completed application form, along with the requisite (non-refundable) fee of GY$300,000 (US$1,500) must be submitted and paid to the Authority before the application to operate is processed and approval in the form of a license or formal approval letter is granted.

4. All helidecks/helipads/heliports shall be inspected by the Authority prior to the granting of a license to operate annually.

5. Each annual inspection for the renewal of a license carries a fee of GY$200,000 (US$1,000)

6. An ad-hoc or follow-up inspection which is requested by the operator or a follow- up inspection conducted by the Authority carries an inspection fee of GY$50,000 (US$250)

7. All costs associated with an inspection, that is, travelling and any other incidental expenses incurred by the Inspectors of the Authority shall be borne by the operator.

The GCAA noted that it may grant license extension taking into consideration the following: (1) duration or length of stay requested; and (2) restrictions arising from COVID-19 or other exigencies.

“Extensions may be issued after payment of the required fee to the Authority as follows:

▪ Extension of license for three months – GY$100,000 (US$500)

▪ Extension of license for six months – GY$150,000 (US$750)

▪ Extension for license beyond six months, but not exceeding twelve months, GY$200,000, (US$1,000).

It said that where the Authority is unable to conduct an inspection due to restrictions arising from COVID-19 or other exigencies, an operator who has no prior inspection or license from the Authority may be granted approval to operate by way of an approval letter. In such circumstance, the granting of approval to operate a helideck/helipad/heliport will be dependent on other considerations which may include, but not limited to, other licenses or approvals issued by another State’s Authority or Agency.

Approval letters may be issued after the required fee is paid to the Authority in accordance with the following:

▪ Approval for three months at a fee of GY$100,000 (US$500)

▪ Approval for six months at a fee of G$150,000 (US$750)

▪ Approval beyond six months, but not exceeding twelve months, at a fee of G$200,000 (US$1,000)

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