In early 2001, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) audited the Trinidad and Tobago Civil Aviation Authority (TTCAA). One of the main deficiencies found was the lack of regulations.  As a result of the audit, The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago was downgraded from Category One – meaning that it does comply with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards to Category Two – that is, that it does not comply with ICAO standards. 

As such, the TTCAA restructured its organisation to include a team whose main purpose was to put the necessary aviation regulations and guidance material in place so that Air Operators would be able to manage their respective operation in a standardized regulatory environment.  It includes laws enabling the Government to adopt current regulations necessary to meet the minimum requirement of ICAO; procedures to carry out these regulations; programmes ensuring air carrier certification, routine inspection, surveillance, organizational and personnel resources to implement and enforce the requirements. 

This implied that once the TTCAA was re-audited by ICAO and corrected the cited deficiencies in the initial audit, that all existing Air Operators had to go through the recertification process under the new regulations – the Trinidad and Tobago Civil Aviation Regulations (TTCARs) – to have their Air Operator Certificate (AOC) and in some instances, Approved Maintenance Organisation Certificate (AMOC) reissued to show compliance.

Each Operator was mandated by the TTCAA to comply with such regulations.

The Process :-

To comply with the requirements of the TTCARs, a certification team was entrusted to write manuals and coordinate the efforts of achieving the necessary regulatory approvals from the TTCAA.  In total, eighteen (18) manuals were written – 8 for Operations; 3 for Engineering; 1 comprising both Engineering & Operations Depts. and 6 with respect to Security.

Another major part of the process entailed putting the necessary policies and procedures in place throughout the organisation but namely in the Operations and Engineering Departments where familiarization with the relevant manuals was of paramount importance. This is an on-going process as all our manuals are working documents – that as we use them, we may see where changes in the form of improvements or deletions may be necessary. As such, amendments will be done on a systematic basis and submitted to the TTCAA for approval and then amended into the respective manual. It must be emphasized that failure to comply with the TTCARs is outlined in Civil Aviation Regulation No. 16 – Compounding of Offences (Pecuniary Penalties) – Schedule 1 which lists 64 instances in which penalties could be charged to the Operator for contravening the regulations. On an on-going basis Inspectors visit our facility and conduct audits in various areas of our operations – stores, flight safety, quality, maintenance, training, technical records etc. to ensure that we are in compliance with the policies and procedures outlined in our technical manuals and by extension the TTCARs.