$2.5B set aside to further upgrade, modernise CJIA

The PPP/C Administration has budgeted $2.5 billion to further upgrade and modernise the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA).

Hon. Dr. Ashni Singh, Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance made the announcement during his 2021 budget speech on Friday.

Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for finance, Dr. Ashni Singh

The sum seeks to procure two additional passenger boarding bridges to accommodate transatlantic aircraft, thereby increasing the total number of boarding bridges to six.

Additionally, the investment will rehabilitate the airline and airport administration offices and outfit the commercial complex.

A $150 million allocation was made for the construction of a new administration block at Timehri and $187 million will be directed to the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority for the upgrade of the Timehri Control Tower and the procurement of a Safety Data Collection and Processing System, in addition to much-needed hardware and software upgrades.

Hinterland airstrips will also get attention under Budget 2021 with a $415 million investment to upgrade and rehabilitate the public infrastructure.

Since assuming office, the President Ali-led Administration has made the CJIA modernisation project a top priority as it seeks to bring the long-overdue project into conformity with the initial designs, after the APNU+AFC had substantially reduced the scope of the original contract.

In December 2020, perhaps one of the most significant breakthroughs was reached as Government brokered an agreement with China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) to undertake $1.8 billion in works at the airport at no additional cost to taxpayers.

The additional work entail:

An extension of the Airport’s boarding corridor in order to accommodate two more passenger boarding bridges, providing the Airport with a total of six boarding bridges capable of servicing aircraft such as the Boeing 777, Dreamliner, the Airbus, and similar trans-Atlantic aircraft.

The Terminal Building being extended to provide accommodation for additional commercial space such as food courts and duty-free shops. The extended building will feature a modern airport façade covering the full length of the Departure Terminal.

CHEC has further agreed to rectify and complete all outstanding remedial works within prescribed timelines.

Earlier this year, Minister of Public Works, Hon. Bishop Juan Edghill met the contractor, and urged the company’s representatives to adhere to the timelines so that the outstanding works could be completed.