ECCAA Seeks FAA Guidance Over St. Vincent 747-400 Registration Plan

St Vincent, Barbados, Registered, boeing

Ainonline.com

By Chris Kjelgaard

The Antigua-headquartered Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA) is consulting closely with the FAA over a request by charter operator One Caribbean to put a 21-year-old Boeing 747-400 on the register of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).

The 747-400 was originally operated by Taiwan’s China Air Lines but went into storage at Victorville, California, in October 2017 with the U.S. registration N508BB. Soon after One Caribbean flew it to Saint Vincent’s Argyle International Airport on May 24, the aircraft’s owners asked ECCAA to re-register the aircraft.

One Caribbean already holds an aircraft operator’s certificate (AOC) awarded by ECCAA, but until it took delivery of the PW4056-powered 747 it operated just one aircraft, an SVG-registered Beech 1900D, on private-charter work.

Capt. Paul Delisle, ECCAA’s flight operations inspector, confirmed to AIN at the Caribbean Aviation Meetup conference in St. Maarten in mid-June that “the foreign owners” of the 747 were “desirous of putting it on a Saint Vincent AOC.” The aircraft was “physically in Saint Vincent, [was] presently being de-registered and they have applied to put it on the SVG register,” he said.

However, the request to certify the 747-400 was a big step for ECCAA, Delisle said. He noted that, as the airworthiness regulator for six member nations of the English-language Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and SVG), ECCAA today has oversight of six AOCs, 14 airports and just 41 aircraft. Six are helicopters—but none of the aircraft is a large commercial jet.

Delisle said ECCAA is taking a two-step approach to re-registering the One Caribbean 747-400. First, “We are discussing the whole plan with the FAA,” which originally awarded the Boeing 747-400 its type certification, he said. “We want concurrence” with the FAA on all matters relating to N508BB’s potential SVG certification.

One reason is that, 21 years ago, ECCAA’s predecessor certified a McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10 for the Antigua and Barbuda registry, for a company called Skyjet. However, according to Delisle, the aircraft actually was based in Belgium, from where it was leased to various carriers throughout the world.

The FAA took such a dim view of the situation that in 2002 it removed the Eastern Caribbean regulator from its list of approved Category 1 airworthiness authorities. “We had to stop that [Belgium-based] operation to get Category 1 categorization” back, said Delisle. “It’s a sensitive subject.”

Of necessity, ECCAA’s second step is to ensure that suitably trained inspectors are in place to certify the 747-400 properly. According to Delisle, ECCAA has three choices: to give existing staff additional training; to employ additional, fully trained inspectors; or to lease inspectors from another regulator.
However, Delisle added that ECCAA is planning to train at least one inspector for 747-400 certification and that it already numbers among its staff a former 747-400 pilot.

3 Comments

  1. THIS IS VERY INTERESTING REGISTERING A 747-400 AIRCCRAFT IN THE CARIBBEAN IS IA BIG JOKE AND OR IS A SCAM, IT TAKES YEARS TO BE FULLY QUALIFY TRAINED TO BE A MECHANIC THEN TO BE QUALIFIED INSPECTOR IN SPECIALIZE FIELDS NEEDED TO CARRY OUT SUCH FUNCTIONS. THIS IS AKIN TO SELLING FLAGS TO SHIPS, AGAIN THIS IS WHY THE FAA IS TAKING ANOTHER DIN VIEW OF ECCAA REGISTRATION. TAKE A VERY GOOD LOOK AT THE IMPLICATIONS HERE.

  2. It’s doable..Trinidad does heavy maintenance on jets..one Caribbean could contract out the heavy maintenance to a country such as Canada and bring in trained engineers from places such as the UK to do routine fixes..not a big deal ..we as black people lack will and confidence in ourselves..time to wake the hell up as a people..we can do it One Caribbean

  3. There are Vincentians living in the United States who are qualified to repair these jets. Some work for Lockheed Martin and Boeing.

    Further, the Caribbean needs a heavy lifting cargo aircraft to facilitate the movement of perishable goods within the Region. There are many business opportunities within the Caribbean for fresh farm produce and poultry. I pay $10 US for a breadfruit and $8 US for a coconut water where I live. There are real opportunities for farmers and fishers especially within the hospitality industry. Hotels and Caribbean people face one real challenge when in comes to food supply. The lack of a steady supply of fresh tropical produce. Whoever can master this is on to something.

    The issue is the aircraft must be to scale to operate profitably within the region.

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