No extension will be granted to the modernisation project at CJIA – Min. Edghill

The Ministry of Public Works will not be granting any extension to the ongoing modernisation project at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA).

According to Public Works Minister, Hon. Bishop Juan Edghill, the consultant and the Chinese contractor, China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), now have approximately five days to produce a revised work plan to put a timeline to every item that needs to be fixed.

Today, Minister Edghill along with Minister within the Ministry of Public Works , Hon. Deodat Indar, thoroughly inspected the CJIA facility. The project, which commenced during the PPP/C 2011-2015 tenure, should have been completed since December 31, 2018, by the former APNU+AFC Government.

Noting that the venture was “mismanaged and corrupted” during the last five years, Minister Edghill explained that “what should have been a new airport has turned out to be a renovated facility.”

“The concerns and the problems are many, but I think what is of great importance now is to see that is project is completed in keeping with the agreed scope that they have signed on to…. we are way past the completed date. We are in the period of liquidated damages and anything that could have gone wrong has already gone wrong,” the Minister stated.

He reminded that “The contractor was supposed to design, build and hand over to the Government of Guyana, a project that was financed US $138 Million from the Exim Bank of China and US $12 Million from the Government of Guyana.”

The Public Works Minister said the government has expended way beyond its amount and yet there is a low percentage of success. He emphasised that COVID-19 will no longer be used as an excuse for the stalling of the project.

“We need to get all the resources that need to be imported for the completion of this project. Getting the Chinese technicians into the country is no longer a problem. As much as the airport is not operating for commercial airlines, the GCAA has been granting permission for chartered flights.”

Meanwhile, following his evaluation of the project, Minister Indar also maintained that the Granger-led administration ignored a number of works which were originally mandated.

“They are four air bridges when there were supposed to be eight. There is an empty apron that supposed to have air bridges on it with a building next to it. At the moment, where the building is supposed to be, there is a generating facility for generators,” Minister Indar noted.

According to him, the PPP/C Government now has to remedy the current impasse.

Meanwhile, among those areas inspected were the Aeronautical Information Management (AIM), the control tower, the Communication, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) and the departure lounge.

Both Ministers witnessed protocols which were initiated by CJIA to ensure that COVID-19 precautions are observed by inbound and outbound flights.

The inspection exercise ended with a private meeting between the Ministers and the relevant personnel to ensure that the new Administration’s plans as it relates to the timelines are implemented.