CJIA’s $200M landing system, extended runway to be commissioned Friday

The Cheddi Jagan International Airport’s (CJIA) $200 million Instrument Landing System (ILS) and extended runway will be commissioned on Friday. This was disclosed by Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill, MP, during an interview on Globespan 24×7 Monday.

The ILS is a radio navigation system that provides short-range guidance to aircraft to allow them to approach a runway at night during bad weather. It guides airplanes down to the runway as low as 200 feet above the runway.

Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill, MP, and team on a site visit to CJIA in March 2021

“We have been able to train our air navigational people, we have just graduated a number of them, we have the instrument landing system, we have the extended runway in place, the GCAA [Guyana Civil Aviation Authority] they are putting out the new regulations which we have already engaged all of the airlines.

“So, the modernisation is not just the physical infrastructure of additional airbridges and restaurants but it includes the modernisation in technology in safety in landing and take-off under all kinds of conditions,” Minister Edghill pointed out.

The expansion of the CJIA had initially cost $30 billion or US $150 million. However, due to the additional work which had to be undertaken, the minister said that figure will be increased.

Recently, a $400 million contract was signed between the Ministry of Public Works and Total Solutions for the provision of two new boarding bridges. However, the Minister said COVID-19 has placed a strain on the December deadline for the completion of the project.

“Some of the shipping has been delayed because of what is happening around the world where the containers and shipping difficulties as result of Covid. We should have been much more advanced based upon the signed addendum we had last December but basically we are being constrained by shipping issues right now and we are looking forward to the completion of this project,” he explained.

Minister Edghill said the intention of Government is to deliver the state-of-the-art airport to Guyanese by December but due to several issues, it may be delayed by a couple months.

Nevertheless, he said the PPP/C Administration will continue to work to develop other airports across the country.

“We have to develop Ogle which we have already done. They have renamed it the Eugene F. Correia International Airport. We have to develop Lethem as a regional hub. People must be able to fly from the Caribbean to Lethem, on to South America as a regional hub.”

The public works minister said other hubs will be developed in the hinterland to ease persons having to use the Eugene F. Correia International Airport to get to a destination in the hinterland.