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OECS Authority Keen to Work with FAA to Restore Category 1 Status

OECS Authority Keen to Work with FAA to Restore Category 1 Status

OECS Media Release

The Authority of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) met on Sunday, May 10 to review the recent announcement by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that it has assigned a Category 2 rating to OECS Member States under its International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) programme.

The Authority noted with appreciation that the FAA clearly stated in its announcement that “OECS carriers can continue existing service to the United States”. Therefore, as a practical matter, aircrafts that now fly to US airports, including the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, are not affected.

The Heads of Government expressed their keen intention to work closely with the FAA in resolving the issues that would restore the OECS’ Category 1 status that has been in place since 2007. 

They recalled that, following a comprehensive review last year of the regional Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA), the FAA had made 14 key recommendations to ensure the maintenance of Category 1 standing.  Eleven of the recommendations were fully addressed, leaving only three which required legislative changes.

The three remaining recommendations made by the US FAA are being addressed.   

They also observed that the change in status to Category 2 does not affect the day-to-day running of regional airports and airlines, and that other outstanding matters, affecting ECCAA, are regulatory issues and do not call into question the safety and security of the region’s airports and airlines.

Nonetheless, the Heads expressed their determination to regain Category 1 status for the OECS in order to gain new, direct and profitable routes into the United States for OECS air carriers.  In this regard, they instructed that the Board of Directors of ECCAA and other relevant government agencies should immediately engage the FAA to satisfy the requirements it has identified.


Note to Editors: 

The meeting, Chaired by Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister the Honourable Gaston Browne, was attended by Dr. the Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica; Honourable Allen Chastanet, Prime Minister of Saint Lucia; Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris, Prime Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis; Dr. the Hon. Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; and Honourable Clarice Modeste-Curwen, Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Grenada. 

Also in attendance were Honourable Mark Brantley, Premier and Minister of Tourism, Nevis; Honourable Denise Charles, Minister of Tourism, International Transport and Maritime Initiatives, Commonwealth of Dominica; OECS Director-General, Dr. Didacus Jules; Director General of the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority Mr. Donald McPhail; Mr. Bardouille, Interim Chair of the Board of Directors of the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority; and other officials.

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The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is an International Organisation dedicated to economic harmonisation and integration, protection of human and legal rights, and the encouragement of good governance among independent and non-independent countries in the Eastern Caribbean. The OECS came into being on June 18th 1981, when seven Eastern Caribbean countries signed a treaty agreeing to cooperate with each other while promoting unity and solidarity among its Members. The Treaty became known as the Treaty of Basseterre, so named in honour of the capital city of St. Kitts and Nevis where it was signed. The OECS today, currently has eleven members, spread across the Eastern Caribbean comprising Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and The Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Martinique and Guadeloupe. 

The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
Morne Fortune
Saint Lucia