FAA helping to address problem of illegal air charters
The Department of Civil Aviation is working closely with the Federal Aviation Administration(FAA)in the United States to address the problem of illegally operated air charters, according to Director of Civil Aviation Captain Pat Rolle.
He recently met with the regional manager of the FAA.
Rolle said a system is now being devised that could identify people involved in this illegal activity.
“All of the US aircraft that are operating in The Bahamas outside of their region and operating with maybe some discrepancies in ownership, we have come up with a system whereby we can start identifying those aircraft to the FAA and getting the FAA involved,”he said.
“It would appear that most of the aircraft that are involved are[registered in the US], even though they are operated by local operators.”
Concerns about illegal charter operations were renewed in October last year after a small aircraft crashed in Lake Killarney killing all nine people onboard. It was revealed that the charter company operating the flight was not properly registered with the Department of Civil Aviation.
Rolle said with between 240 and 250 small aircraft operating in the country on a daily basis, it is difficult for the department to say how many of them are illegal charters.
He explained that a tracking system could change that.
Rolle said the FAA will also put in place a system that will police the number of US seaplanes that are operating in The Bahamas.
Rolle said he will meet again with FAA officials in the next couple of weeks to put the computer-based programs together for the tracking system.
“And once that is completed we would have a document that both sides can agree on and work to ensure that most of this is stopped,”he said.
“Both sides agree that it is going to be very difficult because we now have to get involved with the passengers and the flying public.”
Meantime, Rolle said a matter involving the operation of an illegal charter company has been forwarded to the Office of the Attorney General for consideration.