The Boeing 747 – 400 which landed here on May 24th and is an investment venture between local and foreign investors is now registered outside of SVG.
According to Prime Minister Gonsalves during a conversation with one of the principal shareholders, he was told that the 747- 400 is currently registered in Barbados.
He said the investors noted that could not wait on ECCA, the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority. They were moving to slow Gonsalves said investors told him.
Capt. Paul Delisle, ECCAA’s flight operations inspector, confirmed that the request to certify the 747-400 was a big step for ECCAA.
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 St Vincent), 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 was taking a two-step approach to re-registering the One Caribbean 747-400. First, “We were discussing the whole plan with the FAA,” which originally awarded the Boeing 747-400 its type certification, he said. “We wanted 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.”
Gonsalves noted that the company has an application before the aviation authority for a 34 seater aircraft.
The company is expected to receive another 30 seater by the end of July, these aircraft would be used for travel within the region.
Gonsalves, said they are working with ECCA so they can we move expeditiously.