Cost cutting at Aviation Authority as Ukraine war causes huge drop in revenue
The Bermuda Civil Aviation Authority is implementing cost-cutting measures after projecting a loss of 85 per cent of its income as a result of Russian sanctions.
Thomas Dunstan, the organisation’s director general, confirmed that two posts had been made redundant with consideration being given to more jobs.
Further cost cutting measures have taken place including vacant positions not being filled and a reduction of office space.
Mr Dunstan told The Royal Gazette: “The BCAA has been significantly impacted by the sanctions applied to Russia, which is projected to reduce our income by approximately 85 per cent.
“We have reduced our expenditure by implementing cost-cutting measures across the organisation including, for example, a move to reduced office space and not filling vacant posts.
“In terms of staffing, the BCAA has significantly reduced the use of overseas-based contracted inspectors and, to date, we have made two posts redundant, which includes one non-Bermudian and one Bermudian. We currently have 34 full-time employees.
“Revised financial and operational plans for the authority are under development for consideration by the board. While our goal is to retain as many jobs as possible, additional redundancies are possible.
“As an aviation regulatory authority we must meet international regulatory standards and ensure all core functions are carried out, and adequately staffed, to continue to be compliant with those standards.”
Back in March, Bermuda-registered aircraft leased to Russian airlines had their airworthiness certificates suspended as the invasion of Ukraine continued.
The BCAA said at the time that the conflict had made a “significant impact” on the ability to maintain safety oversight on Russian-operated planes on the Bermuda Aircraft Registry.
The BCAA said: “The airworthiness system has been restricted to the point that the BCAA is unable to confidently approve these aircraft as being airworthy.
“Therefore, as of 11.59pm on March 12, the BCAA has provisionally suspended all Certificates of Airworthiness of those aircraft operating under the Article 83bis Agreement between Bermuda and the Russian Federation.
“For any aircraft airborne at 11.59pm on March 12, the provisional suspension is effective immediately upon landing.”
Lawrence Scott, the Minister of Transport, told the House of Assembly in March that the BCAA could take a hit of $25 million over the following 12 months resulting from British measures put in place to punish Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine.
Mr Scott said at a press conference only days later that the figure could be closer to $4 million.
He said: “The $25 million was in the worst-case scenario if all 85 per cent of our total air registry was grounded, and that is not what is happening.”