CJIA expansion project to be completed in 2018

first_img…no additional finances will be required – officialGovernment had initially announced that the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) expansion project would have been completed by 2017, but this deadline has been further extended to the last quarter of 2018, due to several challenges that were encountered.Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CJIA, Ramesh Ghir, made this disclosure at the Public Infrastructure Ministry’s press conference held recently. Ghir said a slippage during the extension of the south-west runway was part of the challenges that caused this deadline to be extended.An artist’s impression of the expanded airport at Timehri“Towards the extreme south-west, where we are transitioning from the built up area to the swamp area, there was a slippage. That was not in the pavement area, as you can see. The aggregate work is still continuing, but it is being addressed,” CJIA Expansion Project Manager Carmichael Thorne said.Although there is worry that the extension would include an increase in the total sum to be expended on that project, Thorne clarified, stating that this will not be the case. “It is a time-only extension, so there is no cost attached to it…but the other issues are catered for in the contract,” he added.Meanwhile, Ghir noted that while certain aspects of the initiative will be completed earlier in the year, the airport expansion project will now be fully completed in December 2018.According to him, the extension of the north-east runway should be completed by July 2018, and the first 500 metres of the south-east runway by April 2018. The taxiways are set for completion in March 2018, the new arrival terminal by June 2018, while the existing terminal building by December 2018.Ghir explained that the new buildings should be constructed by midyear. In addition to that, renovation and rehabilitation works may run until the very end of 2018.The US$150 million project was scheduled to be completed within 32 months of its commencement in 2013. However, Thorne noted that the deadline was extended to December 1, 2017, since the project would have experienced several delays.In 2012, Guyana, under the leadership of former President Donald Ramotar, had secured a US$138 million loan from the China Exim (Export-Import) 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 Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson and the contracting company China Harbour Engineering Corporation (CHEC), it was announced that the project would be continued.Last year, Thorne had been optimistic of the project being completed by 2017. At a project update briefing, Thorne noted that of the US$150 million, only US$37.3 million had been expended to date. Of this amount, some US$33 million was spent by CHEC, which included US$1.9 million of local funds put up by the Government of Guyana. As it relates to the works being done, the Infrastructure Ministry’s project manager told media operatives that while the initial plan was for the northern end of the runway to be extended, because of difficulties with the terrain, a decision was taken to extend the runway from both the northern and southern ends, in order to minimise the cost.On completion of the expansion project, it is expected to yield two air passenger boarding bridges for passengers’ arrival and departure; a 450-person seating departure area; escalators and elevators, in addition to its extended runway that would cater for larger categories of aircraft.last_img read more