FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 18, 2010
MEDIA INQUIRIES:
Michael Chapnick | (703) 875-4357

USTDA SUPPORTS AVIATION SAFETY IN THE CARIBBEAN

MIAMI, FLORIDA – Yesterday, USTDA awarded a technical assistance grant that demonstrates the Agency's continued commitment to aviation safety and economic growth in the Caribbean.

The technical assistance with the Executive Secretariat of the Caribbean Aviation Safety and Security Oversight System (CASSOS) will promote the development and harmonization of civil aviation regulations, practices, and procedures in the region by supporting a Caribbean Airport Certification Process whose objective is to develop or update master airport safety plans.

The grant for $207,000 was signed at a Western Hemisphere Conference on Haiti Civil Aviation, hosted by the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA). USTDA Regional Director Nathan Younge and CASSOS Chairman E. Anthony Archer signed the grant agreement on behalf of the U.S. government and CASSOS, respectively. FAA Senior Representative for the Caribbean Maria DiPasquantonio and Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Transport Specialist John Lewis signed as witnesses to the grant agreement.

"The USTDA grant will provide a tailored and individualized approach to help international airport operators in selected CASSOS member states meet International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) airport certification requirements," said USTDA Regional Director Nathan Younge. "These plans cover procedures for the operation and inspection of airport facilities, in order to ensure compliance with international standards."

The establishment of a comprehensive ICAO standard certification program in the Caribbean is expected to support the implementation of airport upgrades that will improve infrastructure, increase the level of air service to certified airports, and bolster trade between the United States and CASSOS member countries.

Headquartered in Kingston, Jamaica, CASSOS is a regional aviation organization that encompasses CARICOM. The CASSOS member states participating in this USTDA-sponsored project are Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname.

The opportunity to provide the USTDA-funded assistance under the grant awarded today will be competed on the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website. A link to the FBO announcement will be posted on USTDA's website at www.ustda.gov. Interested U.S. firms should submit proposals according to the instructions in the FBO announcement. CASSOS will select a U.S. firm to provide the assistance associated with their respective grant.

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The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. The agency funds technical assistance, feasibility studies, training, reverse trade missions and business workshops to support development of modern infrastructure and a fair and open trading environment. USTDA's efforts create an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development.

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