April 13, 2012
PM Gonsalves calls on CANAS to discontinue its monopoly for use of upper air space

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves has made a further call for the Trinidadian based Caribbean Air Navigation an Advisory Services (CANAS) to discontinue its monopoly on the collection of fees for the use of upper air space across the region.{{more}}

According to the prime minister, the entity, which had belonged to the state of Trinidad and Tobago, charges money for the use of the airspace across the OECS, including the two French territories Martinique and Guadeloupe.

“But we don’t get any of the money, so I want some of the money – it’s as simple as that,” Gonsalves said.

He further contended that he was not looking for charity, but wanted the entity to give this country the payment it is owed for the use of its upper air space.

Gonsalves also called for someone from this country to be on the board of CANAS so that this country would have representation in the decision making processes.

“If we don’t get it, we have an obligation to go to the International Civil Aviation Authority and take our dispute there. Trinidad and Tobago is a member of CARICOM, but I don’t want the dispute to go there,” he said, adding that he wanted to resolve the issue among ourselves.

This call comes after Gonsalves, in discussions with CARICOM Secretary General Irwin LaRocque, had indicated some issues that OECS member states were having with the regional bloc.

The issues raised include the absence of a proper enforcement of relevant CARICOM rules regarding protection of certain manufactured commodities from the OECS and the unfair competitive subsidies granted to Caribbean Airlines. (DD)