Guyana to reopen airports on October 12 to commercial flights
By Kurt Campbell
The Guyana Government has taken a decision to reopen its two international airports for scheduled commercial flights commencing October 12, 2020.
The decision was taken during a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday and later confirmed by Public Works Minister Juan Edghill.
Edghill told the News Room via telephone that the current closure of the airports will last until October 11t following which it will reopen to international flights.
These changes are expected to be published in the Official Gazette on Thursday when the new COVID – 19 measures are released.
Edghill said the airports will be reopened with its own COVID-19 guidelines and measures which includes testing of all persons entering Guyana.
Guyana’s airports had remained closed since March 2020 with special flights being allowed to with hundreds of repatriated Guyanese.
Director-General of the Civil Aviation Authority Egbert Field told the News Room Wednesday evening that he supports the reopening of the airports when the current directives in place expire.
He said his support is conditional in that the airports should reopen with strict COVID-19 measures in place. Those measures should include testing at least three days before arrival and again upon arrival.
“I would approve of the airport opening but the strict COVID-19 measures must be in place. Individuals must adhere strictly to what the measures are and the Government must ensure that they enforce the necessary penalties to the individuals who become non-compliant,” Mr Field said.
He explained too that several considerations must be given to this decision which includes the increase in COVID-19 positive persons and whether airlines are ready to conduct operations into Guyana.
He cautioned that opening the airports does not mean that airlines will begin flying immediately.
“Because some have been inactive for some time and they would need to restart operations with the training of staff who would have run out of currency,” he explained.
Mr Field is confident that the reopening can be done safely with the workable measures and enforcement in place.