New CJIA commercial centre to enhance travel experience – CEO

The Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) is currently undergoing construction to facilitate a state-of-the-art commercial centre designed to further enhance the travel experience of passengers.

This is part of the government’s comprehensive approach to transforming the airport in alignment with the country’s recently elevated stature.

Cheddi Jagan International Airport

Works on the modern commercial centre are 50 per cent completed with a March 2024 deadline.

Chief Executive Officer of CJIA, Ramesh Ghir told the Department of Public Information (DPI) on Tuesday that the upgrade is in line with providing passengers with a first-class experience.

“Passengers usually dwell at the airport for long periods of time and so they look forward to these concessions and services, which are available at the airport, as part of their airport experience. It is a custom that is currently experienced at airports worldwide and forms part of the passenger expectation.

“The duty-free shops, restaurants/bars, kids play area and other amenities are what contribute to an enjoyable and convenient way to spend time at the airport for the passengers. We believe that by offering passengers an expanded and convenient location to shop, dine, and relax during and before their flights, we can create a more positive and memorable airport experience. This is in line with our commitment to providing a world-class service to our passengers,” he explained.

Cheddi Jagan International Airport

The facility will house 15 concessions including currency exchange facilities, a restaurant and bar, food concessions, duty-free shops, kids’ play area, and ATMs. It will also include business, VIP, and executive lounges, as well as a presidential suite and a state-of-the-art conference room.

Additionally, the CEO noted that the upgrade will create new avenues for major investment.

“The commercial centre is expected to enhance Guyana’s image as a modern and progressive country by creating opportunities for investment and further boosting the economy. It is also expected to create jobs, generate revenue, and improve the airport’s infrastructure.”

Meanwhile, the government has added an extended boarding corridor with two additional boarding bridges along with an extended runway, which has significantly enhanced the airport’s capability to accommodate larger aircraft such as the Boeing 777, the Dreamliner, AirBus, and other trans-Atlantic aircraft.

Cheddi Jagan International Airport

The security systems have seen tremendous improvements when compared to previous years.

In addition, the government is working to digitise the entire immigration processing system by introducing biometric kiosks and electronic gates.

This project has commenced and is expected to be completed in early 2024.

Also, passenger numbers have increased exponentially for 2023 with more than 405,000 passengers, which is 14 per cent higher than 2022.

As such the CEO said, “We anticipate that our passenger numbers will continue to grow further with the hosting of Cricket Carnival in September.”

The modernisation of CJIA is a major investment in the future of Guyana as it is a critical transportation hub for the country, and the improvements will make it a more efficient airport operation for passengers and visitors.