Extended runway at Ogle…Guyana can be ‘Brussels of the Caribbean’ – EU envoy
The Ogle International Airport connects Guyana to the rest of the region, which is the institutional precondition to becoming the ‘Brussels of the Caribbean’ and in a sense the heart of regional integration.
This opinion was expressed by Head of the European Union Robert Kopecký, while delivering remarks at the commissioning ceremony of the airport’s extended runway on Wednesday.
Kopecký asserted that days ago, during interactions in Paramaribo, Suriname, the vision of improving Nickerie’s airport to connect that friendly country to Guyana was made known to him.
Ogle International Airport presently has 10 scheduled international flights to Suriname. It is playing an important role in fostering trade and developing closer relationships with Guyana’s neighbour to the east.
By December, regional flights would enter the airport thanks to the expansion of the runway. The Ogle Airport Development Programme received 1.5M Euros funding from the European Union to extend the runway western direction by 2,200-ft almost doubling the length of it which is now 4,200-ft and 100-ft wide.
According to Kopecký, the process of developing Ogle Airport began over a decade ago. The initial thoughts of the programme were to support regional integration and communication.
“The founding to the tune of a total of 1.5M Euros made available towards the support of the development of the Ogle Airport, originated from the European Development Fund- Caribbean Regional Programme, which covers 10 different activities around the Caribbean,” Kopecký explained.
He related, “The Ogle Airport Development Programme constituted the backbone in the overall development of the Ogle International Airport…It facilitated the extension of the widening of the runway opening up for further regional integration with larger and more planes being able to operate out of Ogle Airport in the near future.”
The European Development Fund (EDF) also covered for supplies which will be incorporated into the upgraded network, and most importantly, runway lights for night operation.
He commended Ogle Airport Management and staff for their continued efforts to ensure the implementation of the programme and towards the further development of the airport. These in monetary terms exceed the EDF contributions, with considerable investments ongoing in the construction of taxiways, parking aprons, etc, Kopecký said.
“This is exactly the spirit of work the EU is looking for… To ensure the investments made are optimized with additional injections by the private sector,” he stated.