Fairview airstrip key link to hinterland tourism, expected to be completed shortly
GINA, GUYANA, Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson in providing an update on the Fairview airstrip project, said works are approximately 80 percent completed.
Fairview is located on the bank of the Essequibo River, and in the Iwokrama Rainforest Reserve. The airstrip is being extended to 4,500 linear feet that will be able to accommodate most aircraft flying in and out of the Eugene Correia Airport except the international flights, Patterson said. “So you have all the beech crafts, Islanders and Trilanders and the airstrip will be sealed so we could use it both in the rainy and dry season,” Minister Patterson noted.
The Minister pointed out that all the works are undertaken by members within the community. He added that the idea is to make Iwokrama a resort for tourists and to facilitate week-end trips. The airstrip was built in 2007.
Additionally, the Minister indicated that plans are underway to make the airstrip more eco-friendly. “We have to do more things, a surrounding roadway will be constructed so that the airstrip can be accessed from all sides. The airstrip has to be fenced and put up all the navigational aids, and in addition, we’ll be putting up a terminal building in the arrival building in keeping with the Iwokrama theme of Eco friendliness,” the Minister explained.
The Public Infrastructure Minister said his Ministry is working diligently to provide improved infrastructure across Guyana.
He added that the Ministry of Natural Resources has been participating to complete the airstrip. “The Ministry of Natural Resources has donated solar lights to the community …and we’re doing other work together with the community. Massive bush clearing is part of the scope of works to be done on the airstrip to facilitate better take off of aircraft.”
Senior Hinterland Engineer, Ministry of Public Infrastructure Naeem Mohamed told the Government Information Agency (GINA) that the airstrip was covered with vegetation and had to be cleared to facilitate better takeoff of aircraft.
Kato, Paramakatoi, Baramita, Port Kaituma, Kamarang, Kaikan, Ekereku Bottom, Eterinbang, Bartica, Fairview, Surama, Karanambo, Annai, Lethem, Aishalton and Mahdia are some of the communities’ airstrip slated for upgrade across the four hinterland Regions – One, Seven, Eight, and Nine. In the 2016 budget, over $1.26 B was allocated to upgrade the hinterland airstrips.
By: Ranetta La Fleur