Jul 09, 2016 News
– New Arrivals Terminal Building to be constructed
Passengers who utilise the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) will soon be able to breathe a sigh of relief as the Airport is currently going through a transformation, specifically in the area of accommodation.
During a media briefing and tour conducted yesterday, top officials of the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, accompanied by Minister David Patterson and Junior Minister Annette Ferguson, announced that a new Arrivals Terminal Building will be constructed. This building is scheduled to be completed by March of next year.
The existing terminal building will be renovated to accommodate departures only. Meanwhile, the entire project has been slated to be completed by December 1, 2017.
These works detailed in the project, also include the extension of the runway; the construction of a new diesel generator room; construction of a new fire pump station; the implementation of a new boarding corridor with boarding bridges and several relocation exercises which are currently ongoing.
The tour saw members of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF); members of the Aviation Authority; a member of the Main Parliamentary Opposition – Bishop Juan Edghill; and officials of the construction company – the China Harbour Engineering Company Limited (CHEC) among others.
Cost incurred thus far
The US$138M Contract for the expansion of the CJIA was signed on November 11, 2011 between the Government of Guyana and China Harbour Engineering Company Limited (CHECL). The project is being funded through the EXIM Bank of China.
The Government of Guyana procured the services of engineering consultants – the MMM Group and CEMCO Inc. – taking the total cost of the project to US$150M.
Payments for services thus far, stand at US$37,336,277. However, it was explained that monies are currently in the process of being certified. When this process is completed, the total will be approximately US$54M.
The Project commenced on January 16, 2013 and works were expected to last for 32 months making the initial completion date – September 16, 2015. However, due to several delays, this has now been extended to December 1, 2017.
The runway extension, Apron and Taxiway
The runway, currently measuring 2270 metres (m), will be extended by 710 metres (m) to the north-east and 840m to the south-west.
The initial design of the runway was to have one end of the runway extended. However, there were some issues with the terrain and as a result, the design was amended to accommodate extensions on both ends.
This was explained by the Ministry’s Project Manager, Carmichael Thorne, during his presentation where he provided an overview of the project.
During his presentation, Carmichael provided a step-by-step breakdown of the works that were completed along with the ongoing works.
He stated that the excavation of humus was completed on April 3 this year while ground improvement works are expected to be concluded in the next three months.
Currently, sand backfilling is being done at the site. Thorne stated that by the end of this year, 90 percent of the filling will be completed. The remaining 10 percent will be completed by February.
Airside ground lighting works will also be completed by October next year.
The construction of the Apron and Taxiway is another vital aspect of the project, Thorne said.
He added that the main objective of extending the runway is to accommodate the landing of larger aircraft therefore the apron and taxiway should be large enough to accommodate parking. Apron and Taxiway works will be completed by August 24, 2017.
Personnel and Equipment
Minster Patterson said that there are currently 11 contractors tasked with the shuttling of sand and other equipment. He added that of this number, two are Chinese contracting firms.
One of these firms is the controversial Rong An Inc.
There are currently 260 workers of which 188 are locals and the remainder are foreign workers.
In terms of equipment, Thorne could not give specifics on the equipment being used in the construction process due to the frequent recruiting of sub-contractors.
However, during the tour, it was revealed that there were 125 dump trucks operating on a 24-hour basis shuttling sand from the sand pit to the construction site. Most of these contractors have set up camp and reside close to the sandpit.
The relocation of residents and buildings in and around the Camp Stevenson Base was also done to accommodate the expansion of the runway. During yesterday’s visit, workers were seen carrying out works on one of the two homes that are being built to accommodate the relocated residents.
As a gesture, Minister Patterson said that the water pipes will be extended to avoid residents from walking long distances to get water.
Meanwhile, it was business as usual for the law enforcement officers whose facilities were also relocated and completed. The Minister added that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved the diversion of a number of creeks to allow the expansion of the runway.
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