Govt still insisting that TT owes air navigation fees

The Barbados Government is sticking to its claim that Trinidad owes it outstanding air navigation fees.

Speaking in the Senate today, the Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and International Transport, Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner, reported that since 2005, through a subsidiary company – the Caribbean Air Navigation and Advisory Services – the Trinidad and Tobago Civil Aviation Authority has been collecting air navigation fees charged to aircraft operating in the region’s the upper airspace.

While denying reports of an “air war” between Barbados and Trinidad, she pointed out that Eastern Caribbean states had also disputed Trinidad and Tobago’s claim to the collection, management and control of the fees and were suggesting that the fees that were collected be shared equitably.

The Government Senator told fellow legislators that the issue was raised at the recently concluded Directors of Civil Aviation meeting in December 2015 in New Orleans, USA, where it was agreed that by December 18, 2015, Barbados, France, the United Kingdom and the Organisation of the Eastern Caribbean States would inform Trinidad and Tobago about their share of the fees.

Garner said there were reports that the Trinidad and Tobago Civil Aviation authorities had been collecting in excess of TT$200 million per annum in navigation fees.

During the last sitting of the House of Assembly, Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Richard Sealy had charged that the Trinidad and Tobago Civil Aviation authorities owed Barbados some outstanding fees and called on them to forward the cheque to Barbados.

However, when contacted by Barbados TODAY, the Director General of Civil Aviation in Trinidad and Tobago Ramesh Lutchmedial said as far as he was concerned, there were no outstanding navigation fees due to Barbados.

Ramesh Lutchmedial
Ramesh Lutchmedial

He pointed out that the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) was the body responsible for assigning airspace territory and as far back as 1950 it had assigned the Piarco Flight Information Region to Trinidad and Tobago.

Lutchmedial also highlighted Article 15 of the Chicago Convention to which Barbados is a signatory, saying “ a country can only charge airlines if they provide a service to the airlines”.

“We only charge airlines for services we provide above 24 500 feet, so therfore we don’t owe Barbados or any other Eastern Caribbean state any money because we are not collecting monies for flying in their terminal areas or for any services that we provide,” Lutchmedial explained.

3 Responses to Govt still insisting that TT owes air navigation fees

  1. Alex Alleyne July 7, 2016 at 6:21 am

    Is Barbados going to collect , that’s the question.

  2. BimJim July 7, 2016 at 10:35 am

    “Navigation fees” are charged to aircraft owners for the use of navigation facilities – VOR, NDB, ILS, etc.

    Piarco/Trinidad is only ONE of the many locations which provides facilities to airliners up and down the islands, and this is Trinidad interpreting a situation to their own benefit and ignoring or giving the finger to the rest – as they have done for decades with all Treaties and Agreements, including within CARICOM and ACS. Trinidad couints on nobody else making a fuss to challenge them.

    There are MANY airlines who have to pay navigation fees and never touch Trinidad – what about those?

    This is business as usual – just the regional bully stealing everybody else’s lunch money again. Barbados will eventually back down and give the T&T bully what they want, just like all the other members of CARICOM and OECS.


    More like CARIGONE. And a LONG time ago.

  3. jrsmith July 7, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    The more our nation get involve with (Trinidad) the more dangerous and frightening it becomes to live in Barbados.. my feeling our politicians have done this to us..


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