$1.6B for upgrades to hinterland airstrips

Measures seek to improve domestic tourism

Given the ease of access that hinterland airstrips afford, Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh, announced that $1.6 billion has been earmarked in the 2023 budget for the rehabilitation of those airstrips.

Three of these airstrips will be completed by the first half of 2023; they are Eteringbang and Ekereku Bottom in Region Seven and Karisparu in Region Eight.

Upgrades and maintenance of hinterland airstrips catered for in Budget 2023

Minister Singh said, “At the same time airstrips such as Paruima, Imbaimadai, and Matthews Ridge will be rehabilitated, while maintenance will be done at other locations in the hinterland.

During the budget presentation, the minister underlined hinterland and domestic tourism as a direct beneficiary of these upgrades, which is critical to ensure ease of access.

In 2022, government allocated $600 million towards the upgrade of airstrips in Lethem, Baramita, Paramakatoi, and Kaieteur.

These interventions, rehabilitations and upgrades will make the airstrips compliant with the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority’s minimum engineering standards.

Moreover, it will improve safety for travellers, aircraft, and personnel using the airstrips.

Over the years, travelling between the hinterland and the coast has been costly, making access to Guyana’s unique eco-tourism brand expensive.

As the PPP/C Government continues to deliver on its transformative agenda, the last two budgets have seen several investments in airstrip upgrades that will help to reduce the cost of travelling by air.

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