Aviation sector to get big boost
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Public Works Minister Juan Edghill (second from left) along with Chinese Ambassador to Guyana, Guo Haiyan (second from right); CJIA’s Chief Executive Officer, Ramesh Ghir and Project Manager of the CJIA Expansion Project, Carissa Gooding, inspect the 305-metre-long boarding corridor, on Thursday (Elvin Croker photo)
Public Works Minister Juan Edghill (second from left) along with Chinese Ambassador to Guyana, Guo Haiyan (second from right); CJIA’s Chief Executive Officer, Ramesh Ghir and Project Manager of the CJIA Expansion Project, Carissa Gooding, inspect the 305-metre-long boarding corridor, on Thursday (Elvin Croker photo)

–with expanded boarding corridor at CJIA

THE capacity of Guyana’s aviation sector will be significantly enhanced with the expansion of the boarding corridor at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA).

The new corridor, which will feature two boarding bridges, are set to facilitate D and E type aircraft.

The D and E type aircraft are the wide-body vessels that are used in transatlantic flights. These planes, according to Public Works Minister Juan Edghill, could carry more than 300 passengers at a time.

In noting that this type of infrastructural upgrade is important for the future of Guyana, Minister Edghill, following a tour of the airport on Thursday, said that this corridor will provide tremendous benefits to Guyanese, mainly through reduced airfares for travel and export.

He said that this type of expansion will allow Guyana’s booming tourism sector to benefit from an influx of visitors. This is the case, because the new air bridges will allow larger planes to arrive in Guyana, affording persons from other continents such as Europe and Africa easier access to Guyana.

“Passengers could get cheaper airfares because you could have wide-bodied aircraft and in the economy of scales, airlines could start bringing in bigger aircraft. It could also benefit the movement of products out of Guyana, the cost of airfreight could go down because the wider- body aircraft could carry more produce,” Edghill said.

The project was completed by the contracting firm, China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC).

In December 2020, after four months of resisting the government’s request to have the CJIA expansion project completed in accordance with the initial contract, CHEC agreed to conduct additional work at the airport.

With the company completing its side of the agreement, Minister Edghill noted that the final phase for the completion and opening of the new corridor is the installation of the air bridges; this aspect of the project is being undertaken by the Government of Guyana.

The air bridges are expected to arrive in Guyana on July 16, 2022, and will take about six weeks to be connected to the boarding corridor.

Project Manager of the CJIA Expansion Project, Carissa Gooding, said the entire expansion is about 305 metres long with two 15-metre-wide waiting areas.

Based on the particulars of the agreement, CHEC is also currently undertaking an extension of the terminal building to provide accommodation for additional commercial space, and a modern airport façade covering the full length of the airport’s departure terminal.

Minister Edghill said that works are progressing on the completion of both additional infrastructural works, noting that they are both on track for the estimated completion date.

The Public Works Minister in commending the work of CHEC, said that the company has worked much faster and with greater care to achieve the magnitude of work that was completed in keeping with its estimated completion deadline which was set for June 30, 2022.

In October 2021, CHEC had requested more time to complete the project, which had a December 2021 deadline, due to a delay in freight and other miscellaneous issues caused by global supply- chain issues. Based on this request, the Ministry of Public Works had granted an extension.

Chinese Ambassador to Guyana, Guo Haiyan, said that China is committed to working collaboratively with the Government of Guyana to continue improving and transforming public infrastructure for the benefit of Guyanese.

She noted that this project is another important “fruit” of the mutually beneficial partnership between Guyana and China.

“Both China and Guyana would like to enhance our co-operation in many fields and infrastructure will be one of the priorities, because as developing countries usually you would have a bottleneck in construction and we think our cooperation can help to fill this bottleneck,” Ambassador Haiyan said.

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