20 Apr 2021
In 2020 the Civil Aviation Authority Bahamas (CAA-B) made several important advances despite the COVID-19 pandemic, including:
The Bahamas Travel Health Visa website updates users on the protocols to follow when travelling to and from The Bahamas in light of the Emergency Powers (COVID-19 Pandemic) (8) Order 2020 (for further details please see "Efforts to restore and boost air travel"). The protocols have resulted in an increase in the number of arrivals to The Bahamas.
On 16 March 2021 the following acts took effect:
The CAA-B is working diligently to implement these acts in preparation for the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) audit, which is scheduled for October 2021. The acts are expected to improve, and in some instances rectify, certain deficiencies in The Bahamas' civil aviation sector and thus increase the country's ICAO score (for further details please see "Dawning of a new age: proposed legislation shapes future of aviation”).
On 25 March 2021 the Civil Aviation Regulations (CARs) took effect and the Civil Aviation General Regulations (CAGRs) 2017 and its schedules were repealed. The CAA-B has afforded operators, organisations and service providers various transitional arrangements – which will apply until 30 September 2021 – to facilitate their compliance with the CARs, including the following:
The CAA-B has assured industry stakeholders that they will be consulted on and able to assist with the transition phase.
This project is ongoing. The timing of its launch will depend on the successful implementation of the aforementioned acts and the upcoming ICAO audit results.
Negotiations between the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, the CAA-B and the Federal Aviation Administration regarding the collection of overflight fees are ongoing.
The implementation of revised travel protocols has enabled The Bahamas to open its borders. The government is optimistic that the trend of increased arrivals to the country will continue, despite the aviation industry's ongoing challenges.
The new legislation and the CAA-B's ongoing projects and negotiations evidence its commitment to guiding and assisting the industry. These developments will place the country on a strong footing as it emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Llewellyn V Boyer-Cartwright