St. George's, February 2nd, 2011: Grenada and the United Kingdom are about to review an Air Traffic Services' agreement.
The review will take place on Thursday, February 3, during the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the two states.
The review is said to be of particular importance with the coming on stream of the European Union, to which the UK is a member.
The agreement, first negotiated in 2007, gives the United Kingdom the right to designate UK carriers to service the Grenada/UK route. As well, Grenada reserves the right to nominate any regional carrier to fly between this country and the United Kingdom.
Further, the agreement recognises the "Community of Interest' principle. It allows Grenada to designate a carrier of any CARICOM State, since Grenada may not have a national carrier.
Civil Aviation Officer in the Ministry of Tourism, Earl Charles, said the agreement falls under what is known as the "Open Sky Conditions.''
It means that the national regulatory bodies of the two nations have limited intervention in the market operations of the airlines, allowing the market to determine the terms and conditions under which carriers operate, Charles said.
“ In other words,'' he explained, "there would be no requirement for the airlines to submit schedules to the state for approval; nor can either state limit the number of flights and type of flights in operation.''
Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation, Peter David, has said that Grenada is looking forward to renewing the agreement with the UK
The European market, which includes the UK, is critical to Grenada's tourism industry, he said.
Minister David will sign the MOU on behalf of Grenada while the UK will be represented by British High Commissioner to Grenada, Paul Brummell.
Virgin Atlantic, British Airways and Monarch Airlines are among a number of carriers originating out of the UK and servicing the Grenada market.