By Fareeza Haniff
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson has been mandated to review the expansion project of the Cheddi Jagan International (CJIA) Airport, but this will be done under a different model than the one presented by the previous government.
Minister of State, Joseph Harmon at a post cabinet media briefing on Wednesday, June 24, explained that the modified plans will see the expansion and extension of the runway to satisfy the international requirement for “large type aircraft landing and operating out of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport and a modified airport terminal which would allow us to complete the project within the funds
These funds were identified by the Exim Bank of China. Minister Patterson, according to Harmon, reported to Cabinet that based on the investigations conducted, the US$150 million identified for the project is far below that which is required to complete it.
In fact, Minister Patterson indicated several areas of financial expenditure which were not included in the original contract documents, Minister Harmon revealed.
These included a car park for US$2.7 million; terminal building for US$16 million; navigational aids required to change and upgrade at US$1.3 million; the existing Generator Building and Pump House to cost US$60,000; the perimeter fence and security lights at US$565,000; an additional US$250,000 to complete the relocation of the GDF electrical and mechanical engineering department.
The relocating of the airport operators and the other facilities cost US$510,000, among other expenditure, which adds up to an additional US$65 million to complete the project.
According to Minister Harmon, the previous government already spent US$30,000 on the project but the Ministry’s experts revealed that no more than six percent of the work was done even though at least 22% of the project cost was already spent.
While in Opposition, the APNU+AFC had always agreed that there is a need for an extended runway and better facilities at the CJIA but criticized the then PPP government for lack of transparency in the execution of the project.