Cheaper passenger, cargo flights with expanded boarding corridor at CJIA


The extension of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport’s (CJIA) boarding corridor is almost complete and will be able to accommodate larger aircraft such as the Boeing 777.

Minister of Public Works Juan Edghill, during a visit to the airport on Thursday to inspect the expansion works, related that once fully complete,  it will allow for cheaper passenger and cargo flights.

“You can get cheaper airfares.

“In the economies of scale, you can start bringing in bigger aircraft [and] it will also benefit in the terms of the movement of products out of Guyana, the cost of airfreight could go down because with wider body aircraft you can carry more products and of course, in the economies of scale you can control the price,” Edghill said.

Ongoing works at CJIA (Photo: News Room/June 30, 2022)

Edghill stated that the government is currently in negotiations with other airlines that will be coming to Guyana.

“Rather than what we know as the regular planes that come to Guyana like JetBlue or American Airlines currently, we could have the wide-body, bigger body aircraft carrying 300 passengers at a time and that is why we insisted on getting those two airbridges,” the minister said.

The boarding corridor will also accommodate two additional passenger boarding bridges at the airport. The bridges are being procured by Total Solutions and are expected to arrive in the country on July 16, 2022.

Meanwhile, CJIA’s Chief Executive Officer Ramesh Ghir noted that the bridges will take another six weeks to be installed.

Edghill further explained that the new boarding corridor and bridges are important for Guyana’s future development.

“It must have the capacity to disembark and board in the same manner.”

“China Harbour I think would have worked much faster and with greater care, than they did before to accomplish this [boarding corridor] and that must be recognised,” Edghill stated while referencing the company’s past inefficiencies.

Project Manager for the Expansion Project, Carrissa Goodings revealed that the boarding corridor is 305 metres long and includes a waiting area.

The completed foundation for the passenger boarding bridges (Photo: News Room/June 30, 2022)

“What we have so far is all of the mechanical, electrical and plumbing works are in.

“We are still finalising today some of the testing and commissioning of the works but all of the other aspects in terms of pre-testing were done and we are just tidying up on those but as it is we have reached practical completion for the additional works,” Goodings explained.

The airport expansion project is being carried out by China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) and is several years behind its completion date. The US$150M contract for the project was signed in 2012 and construction commenced in January 2013.

Over the past few years, the project was delayed due to the remodeling and reviewing by the previous APNU+AFC government; the project was previously suspended during the period January 2013 to May 2015, since no budget allocations were approved by Parliament because the APNU and AFC withheld support.

L-R: Project Manager Carrissa Goodings, Chinese Ambassador Guo Haiyan and Minister Juan Edghill (Photo: News Room/June 30, 2022)

The company further claimed that the project was yet again affected by the General and Regional Elections of 2020; this was followed by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which significantly reduced the company’s workforce.

The company came under fire by the government in 2020 after an assessment found several inefficiencies in the works being carried out.

In December 2020, the government brokered an agreement with CHEC for the company to undertake $1.8 billion in works on CJIA at no additional cost to taxpayers.

The Cheddi Jagan International Airport with the new boarding corridor (Photo: News Room/June 30, 2022)

The agreement included the expanded boarding corridor, an extension of the Terminal Building to be converted into a commercial space for food courts and duty-free shops, and a modern façade covering the full length of the airport.

On Thursday, Minister Edghill revealed that the façade will now feature the colours of the flag and the ‘One Guyana’ logo. This is expected to be completed by September 2021 while the commercial center will be completed by February 2023.

Chinese Ambassador to Guyana, Guo Haiyan also accompanied Minister Edghill to inspect the works.

During brief remarks, the Ambassador pointed out that the services of the airport did not stop during the expansion.

“The other thing is that although there is a pandemic for the last two years, the company on both sides has overcome many difficulties to continue the construction and speed up construction.

“Both China and Guyana would like to enhance our cooperation in many fields and infrastructure will be one of the priorities,” the Ambassador said noting that developing countries face bottlenecks with infrastructure.



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