An extended runway at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), coupled with a $518 Million Instrument Landing System (ILS), were commissioned on Sunday.
Public Works Minister Bishop Juan Edghill, who was among the Ministers present at the commissioning of the 3,360 metre expanded runway, explained that Guyana itself would benefit from the runway expansion since it can now be used to attract bigger aircraft and services. According to Edghill, it will ultimately open up greater opportunities for Guyana.
“Air traffic control and pilots will also benefit from situational awareness, enhanced warning, both in terms of predicting and resolving systems in the air and on the ground, an approach monitoring which will enhance airspace safety. Guyana the state will benefit,” Edghill said.
It was also explained by Director of Air Navigation Services Rickford Samaroo that the Instrument landing System will reduce flight diversion by 90 per cent. Meanwhile, CJIA Chairman Sanjeev Datadin explained what the ILS and the extended runway would mean for the airport.
“This new lengthened runway will now allow those larger aircrafts that have been coming to Guyana, to do so at their maximum capacity. That would mean they can carry more cargo and of course for the commercial airlines, it means they’ll be able to carry their full passenger quotas,” Datadin said.
“The ILS cost $482 Million, which comprises of a localizer and a glide path. And also, a precision approach path indicator which cost $36 Million. This new piece of equipment allows safer landing, with airplanes coming in now able to use their instruments to tell how high off the ground they are, at what angle their coming in and what is their exact path.”
Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond, Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn, who previously served as Public Works Minister and other officials were also in attendance.
It was previously explained by Project Manager of the CJIA Modernization Project, Carrissa Gooding, that the northeastern end of the runway’s asphaltic surface has been extended by 400 metres. This is in addition to 250 metres of the Runway End Safety Area (RESA). Additionally, the southeastern end of the runway was extended by 690 metres, as well as an extension of 90 metres of RESA.
The extended runway falls under the US$150 million CJIA expansion. The Public Works Ministry had entered into an agreement with China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) back in December, which would see the contractor doing US$9 million in additional works to further extend the airport at no cost to the State.
The new works involve an extension of the airport’s boarding corridor in order to accommodate the two passenger boarding bridges, providing the airport with a total of six boarding bridges capable of servicing aircraft such as the Boeing 777, Dreamliner, the Airbus and similar trans-Atlantic aircraft.
It would also see the terminal building being extended to provide accommodation for additional commercial space, such as food courts and duty-free shops. The extended building will feature a modern airport façade covering the full length of the departure terminal.