During the month of September, work was started in regards to the evaluation of compliance in the aviator sector in Aruba. A team of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) held various extensive sessions to go over every law and current civil aviations processes in order to being identifying points for improvement.
As was previously reported, the goal is for Aruba to become a leader of aviation in the Caribbean. In order to achieve this, the ministry of Transport together with the Department of Civil Aviation of Aruba (Directie Luchtvaart) committed to taking steps to improve the level of compliance with ICAO standards.
During five intensive days during which the ICAO experts as well as the team of Directive Luchtvaart Aruba began going over all the laws and processes that fall under Directie Luchtvaart, and with cooperation of ANSA (Air Navigation Services Aruba) and the airport, they dealt with for example issues of certification and monitoring at the airport, air navigation and flight operations and license, providing guidance and assistance on each of these themes.
By the end of the week, minister of Transport, Ursell Arends paid a visit to Directie Luchtvaard, where he met with the team from ICAO to get a summary of how the evaluation is going and how the team sees Aruba positioned for a possible audit that might take place next year.
The ICAO team assured the minister that they are very positive regarding the ongoing process and particularly satisfied with the team of professionals in the field, who are working with dedication so that together they can elevate the level of security in Aruba’s civil aviation. They admire the commitment from Directie Luchtvaart to implement a system that complies with the international standards of aviation.
It’s one thing to implement the system, another to support the system
An improvement point that was mentioned is the sustainability of the system that is to be developed and implemented. This cannot be only for the audit, it involves maintenance as well. ICAO’s team commented that in order to maintain these standards, Directie Luchtvaart requires financial resources as well as human resources. Trainings that will have to take place and take a long time, and this is why it is extremely important to invest in the professionals who have the capacity, as well as retaining these professionals, in order to support the system.
Another attention point is regulation, security guides that need to be adjusted, as well as legislation that needs to be strengthened.
The possible audit that will take place contributes to elevating the international classification of Aruba, which will open economic opportunities in the aviation sector, opportunities which for a long time already have the potential to be used to benefit the aviation sector in Aruba.
The government of Aruba and Directie Luchtvaart are taking steps to make all this possible, and one of these is to make the department autonomous from the government. This will open opportunities for the department to function more independently and be in a position to generate income that will contribute to better safety in aviation for Aruba.
Minister Arends thanks the team of experts from ICAO as well as colleagues from Sint Maarten who came to Aruba to partake in the sessions and collaborate to elevate the level of aviation security in the Caribbean. It is also important to note that the visit of ICAO in Aruba is making history by being the first team of experts consisting entirely of women, surely an achievement for equality, diversity and gender inclusion.