CJIA upgrades almost completed for CWC
By Mondale Smith and Alex Holder
March 15, 2007
With just under two weeks to go before the first fixture (March 28) in the Guyana leg of Cricket World Cup 2007, and the expected arrival of thousands of visitors prior to that day, Chief Executive Officer of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Ramesh Ghir, is reporting, “We are almost ready for World Cup 2007.”
Yesterday, Ghir said that major developmental works are either completed or nearing completion in various sections at the port of entry to facilitate the anticipated heavy influx of visitors.
On the issue of airport traffic, he said that the facility has more than adequate parking facilities for private and large commercial jets.
“We tested the parking when we hosted 15 aircrafts for the just concluded Rio Summit …We don't anticipate that more than 15 aircraft will overnight as most of the arrivals are for one day and drop-offs.”
Ghir said that several changes are taking place to make for better and speedier reception, and accommodation of the tourists. “Parking will be no problem,” the CEO stressed.
Addressing concerns of sloth in accessing baggage from more than one aircraft, he added that a new conveyor system is being installed and will be operational by weekend.
The conveyor system will house two independent T-Shaped baggage carriers which will result in faster clearance.
“Separate belts would be used for different flights, making it easier for passengers to claim baggage. Added to that, we have recently installed three new immigration desks in the departures area.”
The airport CEO noted that the new desks are similar to those in the arrival area but they are much larger.
While most of the tourists will be coming to Guyana for the first time, those who will be visiting yet again will enjoy a new executive lounge which has been shifted to the eastern side of the airport.
This, CEO Ghir said, is part of efforts to create additional space in the arrivals immigration area. “This will be used to accommodate the overflow of passengers. It will also have a seating area and an information booth,” he said.
The airport is also currently installing a 25-tonne air conditioning unit in the Customs area to complement the existing units, which will be completed by Friday.
Also expected to be completed by weekend is the viewing gallery which should be opened to the public by next week.
“The viewing gallery will carry a food and beverage concession along with an entertainment arcade for children.”
For the general airport, the CEO revealed that a new public address system will be installed shortly, guaranteeing clearer reception. Flat screen televisions sets are also expected to be placed throughout the airport.
Security remains a major concern. The CEO said, “Additional ranks will be stationed at the airport during the World Cup period…We met earlier in the week with the Special Constabulary and other senior officers of the Guyana Police Force, who highlighted the essential requirements for the CWC period.
There is to be an additional location for vehicular parking. “We are preparing an additional parking area for the meeters and greeters of the tourists.”