France Aviation Civile Services in the Caribbean

Since October 2023 France Aviation Civile Services (FRACS) has participated with the Antilles-Guyane Civil Aviation Safety Directorate (DSAC-AG) in the regional cooperation project between France and the East Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA). The challenge is to promote regulatory convergence with the aim of improving inter-island connectivity. ECCAA brings together six countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, Saint Lucia, Grenada, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. These six countries have a single civil aviation authority whose director general is Anthony Whittier. The ECCAA teams are very involved in participating in this project.

This cooperation covers the following four main areas: Search and Rescue (SAR), Accident Investigation (AIG), Ramp inspection (SAFA program) and single-engine commercial instrument flight in night or degraded conditions (SET-IMC).

This project is supported by the French Development Agency (AFD) as part of a FEXTE funding. The first phase consisted of the development of an inventory including the presentation of a comparative regulatory mapping between France and ECCAA. The second phase is nearing completion. French experts support ECCAA in the drafting of detailed roadmaps to support ambitions such as the approval of SET-IMC, the development of a JRSC (Joint Rescue Sub Centre) for SAR, the improvement of aircraft inspections or the establishment of an independent investigation office. The last phase will be devoted to carrying out concrete actions: workshops, training actions, proposals for an adapted regulatory framework, start of the SET-IMC certification process. The various activities must be completed by the end of 2024.

This project coordinated by FRACS with the involvement of two technical experts from DSNA and BEA working for FRACS (covering SAR and AIG topics) is an opportunity to promote and deploy French know-how and skills in the region. The cooperation carried out for the benefit of ECCAA allows FRACS to consolidate its expertise, to better understand the region challenges and to explore the possibility of other projects.FRACS has been working in the area for ten years regularly with OFNAC (Haiti), particularly for the establishment of an oversight authority. Recent participation in a seminar of French industrialists in Antigua also offers prospects for new collaborations in the Caribbean.