Bajan veneer of compliance with international standards strikes again.
Our political and business leadership just doesn’t get it. The world has changed and even small countries like ours must comply with proper standards if we wish to have the benefits of international commerce and the respect of the international community.
Lately Barbados has taken it on the chin for failing to comply with international standards concerning tax avoidance, banking, trafficking in persons, insurance and the environment to name a few. Oh, the politicians squealed and puffed about the international politics behind some of the criticism, but the world is fast receiving the message that all is not as advertised ’bout hey in “First World” Barbados.
Now (and timed perfectly with the launch of Bajan air carrier REDjet) the FAA announces that Barbados fails to comply with ICAO safety regulations and downgrades us to Category 2. You know, like Nigeria. (Oh, wait. Nigeria was upgraded to Category 1 in August 2010. Sorry about that, Nigeria! Ok, so we’re in the same category as the Congo or Bangladesh.)
Squeal all you like about the international politics and business competition that might have pushed that decision: but if you can’t show the laws, standards and compliance – you haven’t got a leg to stand on. Oh well, we’re only talking about airlines and aviation safety here. Only our whole tourism based economy. That’s all.
You know what holds together our fragile tourism-based economy? Tourists. And tourists for the most part arrive via airlines. No airlines = no tourism, no money, no economy. It’s pretty simple, really.
And, as someone who has been part of commercial aviation for two decades I can tell you that the FAA has a very simple attitude to safety: Comply or get lost.
“Oh, you can’t show a record of your last hot section inspection? No problem. Just hand in your airworthiness certificate right now please. You’re grounded. We’ll get back to you in a couple of years. Thanks!”
… signed, your friendly FAA inspector
The FAA doesn’t care about speeches.
The FAA’s inspectors don’t care about indignant politicians or ruffling feathers or whether our economy collapses or not. The FAA only cares about one thing: compliance.
And that is the way aviation safety has to be.
FAA downgrades safety rating for Barbados
from Flight Global
The US Federal Aviation Administration has downgraded the safety rating of Barbados after determining the country fails to comply with ICAO safety standards.
FAA has assigned a category 2 rating to Barbados, which means carriers from that country cannot serve the US. Currently no airline from Barbados offer US flights, and the category 2 rating prohibits those carriers from establishing new US service.
The civil aviation authority of Barbados is currently conducting certification on an air carrier with the goal of serving the US, says FAA. Barbados-based upstart REDjet, modelled after Ryanair, previously expressed an interest in serving the US, but on 11 April stated it would launch 8 May serving Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad.
The downgrade results in Barbados lacking laws or regulations necessary to oversee air carriers in accordance with minimum international standards, says FAA, or that its civil aviation authority is deficient in technical expertise, trained personnel, record keeping or inspection procedures.