Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 03, 2021 (SKNIS): Senator, the Honourable Wendy Phipps, strongly supported the Civil Aviation (Amendment) (No.2) Bill, 2021, which was successfully passed in the Federal Parliament on Wednesday, December 01.
Minister Phipps noted that the Bill brings clarity to definitions such as the appropriate authority for aviation security and facilitation. The term facilitation was a key point of emphasis.
“It is so important that basically for persons who have not even looked at the Bill you can safely take it for granted… that everywhere in the legislation being proposed, where applicable, where other definitions are already in, put in either prior to March 2021, or thereafter. What we are asking for is that it becomes unequivocally clear that we want to include and ingrain and weave through the legislation the importance of facilitation,” said Senator Phipps.
Another point of emphasis is a clear outline of the role that the Minister with responsibility for Civil Aviation has in this regard.
“The legislation under review also seeks to better define the parameters for the functions of the minister by comparison to the parent legislation and it shows you how far and how long we have come. For example, in the parent legislation of 2004 it simply refers to the fact that the minister is to promote civil aviation by such means as the minister considers appropriate,” said Minister Phipps. “We are also seeking in this piece of amended legislation to expand and to clarify the powers of the aviation security inspectors as per Section 27 A. And, of course, this original section would have been inserted for the first time in March 2021.”
Senator Phipps added: “While this Bill is the basis of a pilot project, what I am hoping will come out of it is that it then becomes the basis of some omnibus legislation which will be duly applied across the signatory member nations coming under ECCA [Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority]. Essentially, ECCA, since its formation in 2003/2004, has had considerable success in terms of the civil aviation industry of the OECS,” said Senator Phipps. “This is highly commendable in terms of its track record since the formation of ECCA given that we have had very few air transport disasters, loss of lives etc. And we have been able to contain these to a minimum. And it is a proud accomplishment for the sub-region which we would like to maintain and which we are obligated to maintain.”
The Civil Aviation (Amendment) (No.2) Bill, 2021 had its first reading on September 30, 2021. December 01, 2021, marked the second time that the Civil Aviation Act was amended for the year, with the first amendment geared towards aligning the Federation’s legislation with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Annex 7.