Guyana has now entered into an air services agreement with New Zealand, which enables both nations to conduct international air transportation following a mutually crafted framework for operation.The agreement was signed by Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge and newly-accredited High Commissioner of New Zealand to Guyana, Anton Ojala.According to the Ministry, this agreement stems from a “joint desire” to widen the opportunities which are presented in international flights. Added to that are “the related parameters that will enhance competitive air transport services, trade, and economic growth”.Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge and High Commissioner Anton Ojala after signing the Air Services Agreement documentIt was mentioned that the countries have a long history of diplomatic ties, ever since they established relations on September 1, 1974.Last year, Guyana also signed a similar agreement with Ghana, allowing for direct flights and increased connectivity.Meanwhile, airline companies have also been signalling interest in the Guyanese flight markets, while current operators have increased the number of weekly flights to other destinations.Last December, American Airlines commenced operations in Guyana, one of its 19 destinations across South America.At that time, Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) Director General Egbert Field took the opportunity to mention that the carrier would advance Guyana’s tourism industry and increase the flight count to the North American continent. For him, bridging those gaps is essential for the country and its economy.Copa Airlines had also announced that it added another flight to its Guyana-Panama route with onward connections effective since December.With approval from the GCAA, Copa operates the additional flight on Fridays, adding to existing flights on Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday.Word was also circulating that Eastern Airline had applied for a chance to operate in Guyana, adding to the increased fleet which depart and arrive on a daily basis.These developments were made around the same time that Guyana stood as the host of the Air Transport Meeting, for the first time, at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre.The Air Transport Meeting addressed issues such as harmonising the regional air transport regulatory framework as well as the liberalisation of air cargo through regional and global approaches.
US airport protestor strips down for his rights. Image: AP Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T A peaceful protest that turned ugly when an airline passenger refused to pass through body-scanners in the United Stateswith text from the Fourth Amendment emblazoned across his bare chest, has resulted in the passenger suing federal and local authoritiesIn 2012 Aaron Tobey stripped to his shorts at a Richmond airport checkpoint in the US to protest security procedures – he didn’t want to go through the “naked” body-scanners, news.com.au reported.Across his chest read he had written, ‘Amendment 4: The right of the people to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated.’Mr Tobey said he was handcuffed and detained for 90 minutes by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials. After a disorderly conduct charge against him was dropped shortly following the incident, Mr Tobey chose to sue and the case has been sent to trial by a court of appeal, reversing a previous lower court judgement.“Here, Mr. Tobey engaged in a silent, peaceful protest using the text of our Constitution – he was well within the ambit of First Amendment protections,” Judge Roger Gregory said.“And while it is tempting to hold that First Amendment rights should acquiesce to national security in this instance, our Forefather Benjamin Franklin warned against such a temptation by opining that those ‘who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety’.”“We take heed of his warning and are therefore unwilling to relinquish our First Amendment protections – even in an airport.”The TSA is currently in the process of removing the scanners to which Mr Tobey objected.