Our Team

Richard Smith

P. H. Richard Smith, MBE, FRAeS
P. H. Richard Smith, MBE, FRAeSDirector-General of Civil Aviation

Paul Henry ‘Richard’ Smith has over 30 years in the aviation industry, with experience in both the private and public sectors of the industry. He is a venerable veteran who is well known through the Caribbean region and internationally.

His career has been spent working with Civil Aviation Authority (CAACI) of the Cayman Islands with attachments and secondments to international training organizations and a stint with the national flag carrier – Cayman Airways Ltd., as a pilot.

The following is a history of his training and qualifications to date:

  • Joined the Cayman Islands Civil Aviation Department July 1976 as trainee Air Traffic Controller. Attended the Air Traffic Control Training Centre in Curacao, Netherlands Antilles and qualified as an Air Traffic Controller in 1977.
  • Appointed as Operations Officer in February 1982.
  • Attended FAA Academy, Oklahoma, USA in February 1983 and received certification in Airport Systems and Airport Master Planning.
  • Obtained FAA Private Pilot Licence, July 1983 from Sowell Aviation, Panama City, Florida.
  • Attended Cranfield College of Aeronautics in 1987 and received certification in Aircraft Accident Investigation Course.
  • Obtained FAA Commercial Pilot Licence, July 1988 from Flight Safety International, Vero Beach, Florida.
  • Attended Transport Canada Training Institute in 1989 and received certification in Aviation Inspector and Enforcement.
  • Attended the International Aviation Management Training Institute, Montreal, Canada in 1990 and received certification in Advanced Airport Management.
  • Qualified as First Officer on the B737-200 aircraft in 1993 and flew with Cayman Airways until 1996.
  • Appointed Director of Civil Aviation in October 1995.
  • February 2003 appointed to the Board of Directors of Air Safety Support International (subsidiary of the UK CAA).
  • Inducted to the Royal Aeronautical Society as ‘Fellow’ with the designation FRAeS.
  • Jan 2005 he received the Queens Certificate and Badge of Honour for his tireless efforts during and after Hurricane Ivan
  • June 2008 he was named as a recipient of the Member of the British Empire (MBE) awarded by His Excellency the Governor, Mr. Stuart Jack at the Queen’s Birthday celebrations.

He sits as the Secretary to the Civil Aviation Authority Board and is actively involved in monthly board meetings and strategic direction of the CAACI as the regulatory body for aviation in the Cayman Islands. In addition, he was nominated to the Board of Directors of the Air Safety Support Inc (ASSI) in February 2003. ASSI is a subsidiary company created by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (UK CAA) to facilitate the UK Government’s obligations to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) regarding the safety oversight of civil aviation in the UK’s Overseas Territories (OT’s).

Mr. Smith is the country’s foremost aviation official with authority delegated by His Excellency the Governor.