The management of Cheddi Jagan International Airport Corporation (CJIAC) on Saturday officially commissioned its new arrival terminal at the Timehri airport.
Passengers arriving into the country were treated to local beverages by local companies BANKS DIH and DDL as they entered through the newly opened terminals.
The new Arrivals Terminal and Boarding Bridges were tested earlier this month to ensure all systems under the passenger treatment/loading conditions are acceptable to allow the identification of final opportunities for improvements ahead of today’s opening.
According to Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson he is pleased with the current development of the new services.
CJIA Chief Executive Officer, Ramesh Ghir deemed the official opening “a major milestone in the airport’s infrastructural developments.”
He said that the airport will now “process all arriving passengers through this new terminal.” Ghir made it a point to note that “departing passengers will also be using the boarding bridges.”
“So, in essence, from our operational point of view, we’ll be using the newer part of the terminal for both arrival and departures,” the CEO explained.
The 4,891 square meters terminal features 10 passport control booths, one elevator, one escalator stair, two functional boarding bridges, three baggage carousels, a spacious customs area and a public greeting hall to welcome the arrival of family and friends.
In February last, President David Granger and his Cabinet were given a tour of the airport, and were updated on the progress of the works.
During a presentation on the project, it was revealed that some US$114 million has thus far been expended on the airport, while an additional US$27 million would be spent before the end of the year.
The airport expansion works are between 75 and 80 per cent completed.
The Project’s Manager, Carmichael Thorne, during his presentation, stated that under the previous Administration, Guyana had secured a US$138 million loan from the China Export-Import (Exim) Bank to fund the expansion and modernisation project, for which the Guyana Government has injected some US$12 million.
However, when the coalition Government came in to power in 2015, the project was put on hold, but following discussions between the Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson and the contracting company, China Harbour Engineering Corporation (CHEC), it was announced that the project would be continued, but with a reduction in its design and capacity.