$70M helicopter taxiway commissioned at Ogle airport
─ to improve efficiency and aircraft operations
DPI, Guyana, Thursday, September 19, 2019
In what it calls its efforts to, “meet the requirements of Guyana’s fast-moving oil and gas industry,” Eugene F. Correia International Airport on Thursday commissioned a $70M taxiway that took 5 months to be constructed.
At the small commissioning ceremony on the taxiway, Kit Nacimento delivered the airport’s CEO, Anthony Mekdeci’s, written remarks. The CEO noted that the new Taxiway Foxtrot will connect the existing Taxiway Bravo and Taxiway Charlie to the main 4,200ft runway.
According to the CEO, because the airport has a single runway system that did not have a taxiway for helicopters. “The new airport will vastly improve the efficiency and economy of the aircraft operations when taxiing to and from the runway and greatly reduce runway occupancy time. It will also improve the safety of fixed-wing aircraft and helicopter operations at the airport.
Measuring 200 metres in length by 15 metres width, Runway Foxtrot will bear Pavement Classification Number 16-R/B/X/T and will be capable of accommodating LIAT’s ATR 72 aircraft, the largest aircraft that operates at the airport.
During his address, Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Hon. Jaipaul Sharma commended the efforts of the operators that have begun construction of helicopter aprons to facilitate services at the airport since the new taxiway is completed. These include Air Services Limited, Trans Guyana Airways and Jags Aviation.
Minister Sharma reiterated, “this that you are looking at today is local content at its best. This is the sector where everyone can see what local content is and what it can do.”
The minister also outlined the government’s pledge to addressing issues related to the airport. One of the topical issues, he said, relates to the reestablishment of the Airport Review committee that has not been in place for 17 years even though the airport’s lease agreement of 2001 dictates it must be formed.
“There is a commitment the CEO and Board [of Ogle Airport Incorporated] that they want this committee [established] and I can say here today that this committee will be constituted in the shortest space of time,” Minister Sharma stated.
Additionally, the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), which is the aviation sector’s regulatory body, was represented by its Director-General, Col. Edbert Field who mentioned that starting in October, an official from the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) will travel to Guyana to assess the operations of the airport, including its air traffic accommodation.
Director-General Field explained that this comes after GCAA would have reached out to ICAO for assistance in light of the airport being one of the busiest in the Caribbean region.
The GCAA head welcomed the taxiway’s construction since it will not only alleviate traffic congestion at the airport that mostly occurs within the morning hours but assist Guyana as its aviation sector continues to grow.
Moreover, DG Field acknowledged receipt of the airports 5-year developmental plan that has line items such as the widening and an increase of taxiways and increase in solar power. This, DG said, allows the GCAA to keep abreast with the developments in the aviation sector.
Ogle Airport Inc. has expressed its appreciation to the involvement of His Excellency President Granger and Commissioner of Lands and Survey Commission Trevor Benn for granting the airport a 50-year extension to its lease.