The Grenada Airports Authority (GAA) officially opened an Aviation Training Centre at the Maurice Bishop International Airport on November 29th, 2016 and the OECS Commission was represented in the first cohort of trainees.
The vision for this centre is to provide training opportunities in the field of aviation for the people of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique, as well as the wider region, at a reasonable cost.
In May 2015, the Government of Grenada signed an Agreement (MoU) with Vaughn College of Aeronautic Engineering, Aviation and Technology; the University of the West Indies (St. Augustine Campus); and Dublin School of Technology in Ireland (letter of support) to offer courses in various areas in the aviation field including aircraft maintenance, flight/airport operations and Tourism. It is recommended that the OECS partners with the GAA to promote the Training Centre as a regional institute.
The official opening of the Training Centre coincided with the first official training session, facilitated by the aviation consultancy firm, Airport Strategy and Marketing (ASM), in collaboration with the Grenada Airports Authority. Two 2-day training courses were held in the newly-commissioned training facility, as follows:
ASM Fundamentals of Air Service Development (November 29–30)
ASM Traffic Forecasting Data Tools and Techniques (December 1-2)
The OECS was represented at the ASM Fundamentals of Air Service Development course by the OECS Tourism Specialist, Dr. Lorraine Nicholas, as well as representatives from the Ministries of Civil Aviation and Tourism in Antigua & Barbuda; the Grenada Tourism Authority and the Grenada Airports Authority.
The OECS’ participation was largely supported by the European Union through its 10th EDF programme on Economic Integration and Trade of the OECS region. Other countries, including Suriname and the Cayman Islands, were also represented.
The course furnished comprehensive insight useful for route development and equipped delegates with the practical tools and techniques to attract new routes and increased business from airlines. In particular, trainees were taught the most effective ways to approach and present to airlines and how to articulate key selling points of a destination.
Opening remarks at the ceremony were delivered by the Hon. Clarice Modeste-Curwen, Grenada’s Minister of Tourism & Civil Aviation; Mrs. Wendy Francette-Williams, CEO of the Maurice Bishop International Airport, Grenada; Mr. Domenic Proscia, Vice-President of Training, Vaughn College of Aeronautic Engineering, Aviation and Technology; and Mr. Mike St. Laurent, Airport Strategy and Marketing.