CJIA closer to accommodating larger aircraft – expansion works almost complete
The Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Guyana’s main international air transport hub will accommodate more air traffic and larger aircraft as the $1.8 billion expansion work nears completion.
With the June 30 extended deadline for completion of works, the contracting firm China Harbour Engineering Company, is working assiduously to complete the final testing of electrical, mechanical, and plumbing works. The expansion work entails the construction of two boarding corridors, a curtain wall, and a superstructure. `
Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill, during an inspection on Thursday, related that once fully complete, the airport will allow for cheaper passenger and cargo flights.
“That was important for the future of where we are going as a country. Very soon you will hear about other airlines that would be coming to Guyana because we are negotiating that, we are discussing that, we are finalising that and we have to be able to develop. This airport that we inherited when we came into government did not have the capacity to accommodate Code D and Code E type aircraft and we wanted an airport that could accommodate that. We insisted with China Habour, we insisted and we can now accommodate that,” the public works minister explained.
He explained that the government will have to retrofit the superstructure and procure the two air bridges. The retrofitting of the superstructure is on schedule for completion in February next year, and will house the concession area for the airport. The air bridges are slated to arrive in Guyana on July 16 after some shipping delays.
“So, rather than what we know as the regular planes that come to Guyana, like what we do with JetBlue and American Airlines currently, we could have the wide-body, bigger aircraft carrying 300 plus passengers at a time, and that is why we insisted on getting those two air bridges,”
Additionally, Minister Edghill revealed that CHEC has agreed to do some additional work on the airport. “We are putting in a tint in the glass with the colours of the Flag of Guyana with the One Guyana logo… We were able to get that design, and that tint till be installed some time by September when it arrives in the country,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chinese Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Guyana, H.E. GUO Haiyan, said infrastructure will be one of the priority areas of cooperation between the two countries.
“Developing countries would usually have a bottle neck of infrastructure, and I think our cooperation will help to prop the bottle neck and we are happy to make more contribution to the development of Guyana,” the ambassador stated.
When the PPP/C Government took office in August 2020, works on the CJIA were stalled. His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali visited the airport and made interventions to resume work.