Gov’t going ahead with CJIA expansion

An artist's impression of the new CJI Airport.

Gov’t going ahead with CJIA expansion

Friday, 12 July 2013 – Demerara Waves – Government intends to go ahead with the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) expansion project in light of the fact that the hefty sum of US$20M has already been invested for mobilisation, field and laboratory works, Minister of Public Works, Robeson Benn said on Friday July 12, 2013.

The project represents the latest of government’s ongoing efforts to transform and modernise the infrastructural landscape of the country; including the East Bank and East Coast  four-lane highways, which are under construction.    

The entire G$5.6B allocated to the transport sector programme was slashed by the Parliamentary opposition during the consideration of the 2013 National budget estimates, despite the pleas of the government and the benefits that a modern airport will bring to this country.  Of the amount, G$5.3B was budgeted for the upgrade, expansion and modernisation of the CJIA through the construction of a new terminal building, aprons, air-bridges, taxiways and the extension of the runway by a further 3,500 feet.

Minister Benn explained that the US$20M is earmarked for China Harbour Engineering and work is ongoing however, the heavy earth moving and other works have not yet started. “It’s either we let the money go down the line and forget about it or do it, but the question is whether Guyana needs the project or not,” Minister Benn said.

He posited that the project has to go ahead. “We cannot stop the engineering refinement, and when we get the go-ahead we are now doing all those things,” he said.

This US$150M project is funded by the Government of China through the China EXIM Bank.
Minister Benn said that the budget cut has delayed the taking of certain steps between the company and Guyana, in terms of payments and signing of agreements.

The CJIA upgrade and expansion project comprises a  new terminal building measuring 16,000 square meters, that will have eight  passenger boarding bridges, two  elevators; and CCTV and departures control systems.
The project also involves the extension of the airport’s main runway by 3,500ft to a final length of 10,500ft, capable of accommodating the Boeing 747-400 aircraft and the construction of eight International Parking Positions including a dedicated position for cargo aircraft.

The Governments of Guyana and China inked the framework agreement on October 31, 2012 for a US$130M (RMB 825M) loan from the Chinese Exim Bank to fund construction of the project. Once completed, it would ensure that the CJIA is able to meet the needs of projected traffic for several years into the future, along with becoming a hub for regional and continental traffic.  It will allow the country to boast a state of the art airport comparable to any other part of the world.

Jobs will also be created as several auxiliary services are anticipated and the country’s tourism potential is likely to be bolstered with the influx of visitor arrivals. Annually an average 4,000 international flights and 600,000 passengers arrive at the CJIA, and these numbers are expected to double in the near future and by the year 2030, triple.

From 2008 to present the CJIA has benefitted from investments totaling $1B. It has a new ProVision security scanner and a modern Air Navigation System at the airport’s Control Tower that was recently commissioned.

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  • Clyde Duncan  On 07/13/2013 at 4:39 am

    Build it and they will come!!

  • Thinker  On 07/13/2013 at 11:37 am

    It would be interesting to find out exactly how they project “these numbers are expected to double in the near future and by the year 2030, triple”. Growth in eco-tourism? a destination for International conferences? At present most of the arrivals appear to be overseas Guyanese visiting relatives for family occasions. Once you don’t have close relatives in Guyana, there is no incentive to visit except to show children/grandchildren where you grew up. So unless there is precise identification of growth sectors, this, like so much in Guyana, must be taken with a pinch of salt.

  • de castro  On 07/13/2013 at 2:43 pm

    My sentiments are similar Thinker but let’s hope the research statics of the triple
    by 2030 is correct if not it is another “white elephant”
    I personally would prefer to see some figures “present” and “projected”
    for next five years before commenting further…..
    I remain optimistic…

  • sirenagx  On 08/04/2013 at 1:10 pm

    It seems that what looks like admirable projects appear somewhat premature based on current conditions in Guyana. However, now the best chance of the airport suceeding, would be if the proposed Hospital, Hotel and a robust eco tourism plan is put in place, to help provide the increased traffic they need for the success of these projects. The implementation of good ideas is always a problem for the government, among other factors. Since we are in, lets hope for the best. Just saying.

  • de castro  On 08/04/2013 at 11:08 pm

    Politicians and economists seldom decide.
    Politicians use the deciding factor to promote their popularity…even
    political correctness gets priority.
    Economists will only advise but seldom decide.
    A feasibility study and its recommendations is the way forward…
    with the media being informed of the recommendations….
    Openness by all concerned in the decision making ….
    If a success they will be reelected.
    If a failure they will be de-selected.

    A day a month or year is a long time in politricks

    The public will judge them at the ballot box.

    Politics has everything to do with sound economic judgement.

    Cynically yours

  • gobin  On 09/25/2013 at 4:25 pm

    The CJIA expansion must go ahead, drugs to ship and money to steal.
    September 23, 2013

    Dear Editor,
    The Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) expansion project will be going ahead as planned. This is the kind of vehicle we need in Guyana to fill the pockets of our respective politicians and friends and to enhance cocaine shipments . We have been stagnated for such a long time that many people just cannot get out of their inertia to increase cocaine exports.
    Guyana has changed over the last decade more cocaine is being shipped. As a boy, the sight of an aircraft used to fascinate me. Now it is the norm because I know that aircraft is taking cocaine to North America and increasing our GNP. I remember too, airport visits used to be quite novel – now it is out of necessity to put cocaine on the aircraft.
    We all know that the political opposition voted down the entire transport section budgetary allocation of $5.6 billion for the Public Works Ministry. What this now means is more duress for areas such as the Ogle International Airport expansion project, the purchasing of key equipment for the CJIA and the CJIA expansion project, along with repairs and maintenance to hinterland airstrips that would be adversely affected. After all we still don’t have radar in the country, we don’t have an ILS system, we only have one VOR, our airstrips are unlighted and unpaved, this is not conductive to cocaine shipments.
    In this point of air travel, gone are the days when Ogle used to be remote and agrarian. The place is just like any other airport, just teeming with activities and drug smugglers.
    It was reported that the transport minister indicated that there is some money from last year’s $20 million that was approved and advanced by the National Assembly. The minister also explained that the project, in many ways has started – the contractor is on the ground and loads of equipment are already arriving. How can we stop now or even wait? Our cocaine needs to be shipped now and BK needs to sell stone to prevent the country from getting Goadee!
    It is vital that Guyana’s capacity to accommodate larger categories of aircraft and ship larger loads of cocaine be on board. This will result in the country’s potential as a hub for flights to and from North and South America and further afield, whereby enhancing our distribution of cocaine capacity.
    Yours sincerely,
    Some Idiot.

  • de castro compton  On 09/25/2013 at 6:41 pm

    Wow wow goblin …hope u r wrong……!

    However a question I must ask…..

    What rate of interest will the Chinese be receiving

    RMB 825m…..???

    Is that the interest or the capital……???

    ECB (European central bank) lends at .75%
    BOE (bank of England) lends at .5%
    FED (US central bank) .25%

    All these figures can be verified on Google ….
    WB (world bank) rates vary on who is borrowing
    IMF (international monetary fund) rates vary on who is borrowing…

    BRAZIL defaulted twice on these two above in as many decades
    The interest rate was a staggering 33.3%

    Today BRAZIL is a member of both above and is now a money lender….

    Guyana economics is in the dark-ages in secrecy….questions that need

    I despair in exchanges like these…

    Is there any honest politician left in Guyana.

  • gobin  On 09/26/2013 at 12:34 pm


    > Dear Sir
    > Re: Nuclear Power Plant in Guyana
    > I have turned my thoughts for many years upon this important subject, and maturely weighed several alternative schemes, I shall now therefore humbly propose my own thoughts. I have been assured by a very important person of my acquaintance who sells Puja items in a store based in Florida (Fip), that a nuclear power plant can be a very profitable business indeed.
    > I do therefore humbly offer it for public consideration, that a public-private partnership be the best method to fund a nuclear power plant. The government may, at the taxpayers’ expense, pump in as many billions of dollars as is needed to construct the nuclear power plant; thereafter a publicly-listed (Berbice Bridge Company Inc or Shite Global Inc?) company may be set up to run the nuclear power plant, leasing space in the nuclear power plant for a nominal fee from the government. This space may be used to construct a lavish casino to guarantee profits, which may be easily explained as an essential measure to increase our GDP growth and create a great many jobs, during this period of economic uncertainty. Of course increased security will be needed of which Roshan K the soup drinker can provided these services by undercutting the competition, underpaying his employees and getting a sole sourced contract from his buddy pal Bharat.
    > It is my intention that the large amount of warm, tepid water used for cooling the nuclear power plant not be put to waste. A species of fish (Hassar?) tolerant of warm water may be grown in the nuclear power plant for food.
    > I reckon that it will be beneficial for this company of ours, to partner with a business selling iodine tablets, radiation dosimeters and other nuclear protection paraphernalia – lets say the New Guyana Pharmaceutical Corporation (Ramroop’s & Jagdeo Empire). In the unlikely event of a nuclear leak, there will be ample income opportunities for our partners. This can potentially be a win-win situation since we can sit in the boardrooms of both companies.
    > Lastly, a significant stock of cable ties can be ordered to function as key maintenance equipment. In the event that a build-up of highly-pressurised steam occurs, I would not recommend venting such steam due to “safety reasons”, as the steam is liable to cause damage, just as smashing a fire extinguisher against a mini bus window would cause it to shatter to bits. A better remedy would be to use cable ties to secure the reactor vessel as well as the reactor building. Should there be a loss of the reactor, we can place six naked politicians each from the PPP and the PNC in the nuclear core, they can then proceed to rub their collective battys together to generate a nuclear reaction, similar to the hot air they generate in Parliament.
    > The public may be assured that the highest standards of safety will be upheld in the daily operations of the plant.
    > Should I have the honor of being appointed as the CEO of the nuclear power company, I will be taking a huge pay cut from my previous job and suffer tremendous sacrifices. I profess that I have not the least personal interest in endeavoring to promote this necessary work, having no other motive than the public good of my country, wink wink.
    > Future CEO
    > F. Katahar.

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