ONCE testing goes according to plan, access to the upgraded Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) could commence with the official opening of the facilities new departure check-in area.
Senior airport officials told the Guyana Chronicle that testing of the airport’s check-in facility commenced Thursday to ascertain the operational readiness of the facility.
“We are currently doing tests on one airline to see if the facility, all the workers, electronics and everything is functioning. And if all goes well, it could be opened by this weekend,” the official said.
Word is that more than 10 check-in desks could be open by the end of the week, and all features associated with this area will be available.
Numerous Caribbean Airlines passengers have had the privilege of being the first to depart from the airport’s new and improved facility, after the carrier made good on a promise last week to be the first to operate from the new-look departure lounge.
A parliamentary tour hosted by Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson was held last Friday, where senior government personnel and other officials were taken around the new facility as construction work is winding down for the airport’s grand year-end opening.
The new-look CJIA airport takes into consideration additional space for aircraft parking, longer runway for takeoff and landing given the appeal for larger commercial liners in particular to land here. The facility caters for easier flight access with its two passenger boarding bridges, and larger passenger arrival and departure capacity, among other features, all in time to support the increased air traffic expected from the emerging oil-and-gas sector and the commerce that will accompany this new industry.
It was announced that while the multi-million-dollar airport expansion project is slated for completion by December 2018, sections of the facility that are done will be handed over by the contractor, China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), to the CJIA management in phases.
Those sections include the modernised departure lounge, which is currently being tested; escalators and baggage carousels that are already up and running; and elevator installations that are expected to be completed soon.
It is expected that by June, users of the CJIA will be able to access the new arrival terminal, while the fire and pump stations are expected to be completed and handed over the to the CJIA management around the same time.
Minister Patterson said during the tour of the facility that sections of the CJIA would be used as phases were completed and handed over. He said the roof of the airport and the fencing are still in the works.
Guyana Chronicle report.
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