Criticism of CAA gets refuted

I refer to Roger Davies’ recent letter criticising the Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands for indulging in so called junkets in Orlando and Monaco.

I have been in aviation all my working life, as a naval pilot, CAA flight inspector, and for the last 40 years involved in the business aviation sector. I have worked closely with the CAA here on this Island during this time, both with the registration of aircraft and assisting them with unusual problems.

The Cayman Islands register is regarded as a most prestigious and respectable register, particularly for business aircraft owners and attracts clients throughout the world. It is a profitable enterprise and has a small number of dedicated employees led by the Director General Mr. Richard Smith.

Any aircraft coming on to the register has to be surveyed by their own technical experts, either from here, or from the European office and naturally the owners have to satisfy the most stringent due diligence requirements.

The annual National Business Aviation Association Convention, held in Orlando this year, is the most important and prominent forum for business aviation worldwide and attracts manufacturers, operators, and owners in their thousands. The Cayman Islands CAA has had a small booth at the convention these past few years, which is partly funded by other Cayman parties such as law firms and companies with aviation interests. The amount of business achieved far outweighs the cost of the presence and as the days are long at the convention hall, shift working is required hence the number of staff. I know that Mr. Smith operates under a very limited marketing budget.

I have been an attendee at the convention for many years, but have not attended the boat show in Monaco. However the clients for mega expensive boats from Europe and the Middle East who flock to the show are those same people who own or intend to own business jets.

It must therefore be a desirable presence for the CAA, as many of these people are looking for an aircraft register of repute and convenience.

So, Mr. Davies, please research your subject more carefully in future before launching into print with unwarranted criticism.

John Broadhurst