Considering the increased inflow of flights through the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), the Guyana Oil Company Limited (GUYOIL) on Monday commissioned an Aviation Services Fuel Handling facility at the airport at Timehri.
President Donald Ramotar who officially commissioned the facility said that it will see a drastic increase in terms of the flow of traffic at CJIA, contributing significantly to the growing tourism sector.
Present at the event also were Minister of Finance, Dr Ashni Singh, Minister of Public Works, Robeson Benn, and several aviation sector stakeholders.
This US$3.5 million project is phase one of an overall venture which comprises the construction of the terminal at Providence, East Bank Demerara. This facility sits on one acre of land and includes storage filtration units, and office with trained and competent staff.
According to the Government Information and News Agency (GINA) President Ramotar reiterated that this project, which is part of a larger scheme that Government is embarking on to increase the inflow of traffic through the CJIA, will introduce competition in av-jet fuel services in Guyana.
“It is expected that this competition that is being introduced now will help to make aviation fuel prices more competitive, and to help also to increase the flow of traffic through the Cheddi Jagan International Airport…some people are saying we are investing in facilities like this when some roads in villages need to be repaired. While those roads are important, and we are trying our best to fix them, the investment into this airport is to help increase the revenue of our country,” the President explained.
Speaking on the modernization and expansion of the CJIA, President Ramotar said that this project is not a luxury, but rather, a great necessity; to not only enhance the services offered, but to increase the country’s revenues.
“We have a great tourist product, many of us have traveled and without boasting we can say that our product is as good as any…what we don’t have is the infrastructure to develop this product, and that is one of the reasons it is so necessary for us to have a modern international airport and a longer runway as the first essential investment to develop our tourism sector,” President Ramotar said.
The spinoff of this project is the establishment of a number of hotels across the country. In this regard, Government, through this year’s budget made provision to invest in a hospitality institute to train workers to provide quality services.
These investments will not only benefit the tourism industry, but every other sector. “That is what seems to be missing when these things are reported. It seems that what is not appreciated is the link to the other sectors in the economy, how much it can enhance revenues and how much more we can pour into the social sectors, build more roads and clean up the country,” he added.
GUYOIL has played a significant role in regulating the transportation sector. While they have done an outstanding job in road transportation, it is anticipated that the company will be more outstanding in the air transportation sector.
Minister Singh, who congratulated GUYOIL’s board and management for this signal achievement said that notwithstanding the challenges, Guyanese live in times where they ought to be excited for their country, where large local regional and international companies continue to express optimism in Guyana’s economy.
Minister Singh said that he is particularly pleased with this commissioning because there is a stereotype that the public sector cannot be outstanding. “I believe that GUYOIL is an example that defies that stereotype,” he stressed.
Over the past few years, Guyoil has moved its distribution of fuel all across Guyana. This company, which has been in operations for 38 years, has a staff complement of over 300, with 8 gas stations and 3 terminals.