The country’s main port of entry, the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), has reported that it processed over 600,000 passengers last year.
The airport’s report on arrivals and departures quotes the Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson, as attributing the marked increases to “government’s sound economic policies and its unwavering advocacy for an enabling environment for investors including the introduction of a new airline.”
He added that other factors which contributed to this achievement can be associated with increased business interest in Oil and Gas, Agriculture and tourists coming in large numbers for the Easter Festivities, Bartica Regatta, Rupununi Rodeo, Christmas and Investment Forums.
With a total of six airlines currently serving passengers from the airport, between January 1 and December 31, 2018, a total of 630,143 passengers were processed as compared to 592,053 in 2017.
This the Corporation, says represents a 7% increase from the corresponding period last year. Additionally, for the first time arriving passengers represented a larger percentage of the total number.
New York City has been the dominant destination for outgoing and incoming passengers, accounting for 34 percent of passengers processed last year. This was followed by Canada, Aruba and Miami.
The airport says international passenger arrivals for 2018 was 325,800 or 9 per cent higher than 2017.
In 2012, the Guyana Government had secured a loan from the China Exim (Export-Import) Bank to fund the expansion and modernization of the airport.
The total project was put at $32.6 billion, with local funding at $5.8 billion. Already, $29.7 billion has been spent.
The project began in 2013 and was scheduled to be completed within 32 months. However, the deadline was extended several times.
For this year, $1.1 billion was budgeted to continue works. This funding is to cater for completion of the runway, taxiway and apron; construction of airside perimeter fence, car park, access road and storage bond.
The funding also covers landscaping.