The Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) expansion project is still on schedule to be completed by December 31, says Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson.
Work on the runway which began in 2013, resumed in late 2016 after the loan was restructured under the Coalition government.
In a recent interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI), Minister Patterson said the new Arrivals and Departure sections have been opened to passengers. He added that two of the boarding bridges are operational while two others will be operational next month.
“There are other ongoing works at the airport: we’re preparing a new access road, a new roundabout at the airport and some internal works. So, CJIA is up and running. With the International Civil Aviation Conference Organisation (ICAO) conference coming up in November and American Airlines starting operations on November 14, we hope to show off the country and attract other carriers as well,” Minister Patterson explained.
The new Arrivals terminal became operational in September and is already receiving commendation from passengers.
The outstanding work includes placement of hoardings (billboards) and striping of the runway (to reduce the risk of aircraft over-shooting the runway, or over-flying during take-off). The striping can only be done after the laying of asphaltic concrete on the runway has been completed.
Further, when the project is completed other minor works will be done during the one-year defects and liability period, Minister Patterson said.
“… even when all the works are completed, there is a one-year defect and liability and commissioning period. Therefore, while, the project will be handed over, you would see a workman or two going around to ensure that everything is functioning. We’ve commissioned all the washrooms in the new terminal building, but after three months we have to check it up,” Minister Patterson said.
On completion, the $31.2Billion (US$150Million) expansion projected is expected to have four air passenger boarding bridges for Arrivals and Departures; a 450-seating Departure area, escalators and elevators in addition to an extended runway catering for larger categories of aircraft. The airport has also incorporated Guyanese craft and pictorial images in keeping with a request made by President David Granger to ensure that the airport is uniquely Guyanese.
Earlier in the year, the ministry had sought more than $346Million in supplementary funding to cater for two air bridges and see the project to completion.
Ranetta La Fleur