The second phase of reopening the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) will commence from September 1, according to the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).
This will allow for the return of not only Guyanese citizens but permanent residents, international workers and diplomats.
Public Works Minister Juan Edghill on Wednesday announced that the Government has granted approval for several chartered Eastern Airlines flights to and from Miami and New York for the months of September and October.
“We have been able to resolve the issue of late or delayed flight approvals so Guyanese could know way ahead of time in the absence of continuous commercial operations when flights are available inbound and outbound,” the Minister said during a virtual press conference.
Details on the date and time of the approved flights will be published shortly by the Aviation Authority.
All persons who want to enter Guyana during this period are expected to fill out a repatriation form which is being used for tracking by the health authorities. They must also present a negative PCR COVID-19 test result.
Additionally, all flight attendants and handlers are expected to observe all COVID -19 protocols in place.
Minister Edghill informed that negotiations are still ongoing for flights to and from Toronto, Canada.
“As of noon, the latest communication is that engagements with West Jet and Caribbean Airlines are ongoing for a similar arrangement to be put in place, observing all measures of COVID-19,” he said.
The News Room understands that the GCAA is also negotiating with Caribbean Airlines Limited (CAL) to offer flights to islands in the region which have reopened their airports, particularly Barbados.
Both the CJIA and GCAA are currently exploring the possibility of acquiring mist (sanitisation) tunnels for arriving and departing passengers. There will also be COVID-19 test facilities at the airport.
“We want to ensure that, at the appropriate time, all the standards that are required for the full reopening of the airport are met, and we are in full compliance,” the Minister stated.
In response to questions from the News Room, Minister Edghill noted that there is no decision on the reopening of the airports for commercial flights.
In fact, he said “the commercial airlines have not yet said they are ready to start commercial operations.
“What we have currently are applications for charters.”
The airlines which previously provided operations out of the CJIA were American Airlines, CAL, COPA among others.
The CJIA and the Eugene F. Correia International Airports have been closed to international flights since March.
The only international airline which previously fly from the Eugene F. Correia International Airport is LIAT but the regional airline is experiencing financial difficulties.