The Director General of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Lt. Col.(retd) Egbert Field, has revealed that the timeline for the phased reopening of Guyana’s airports to international flights begins on July 1, 2020.
The revelation came during a presentation at a webinar hosted by GCAA on Monday titled “Path to Clear Skies” where aviation stakeholders discussed the resumption of aviation operations following the cessation of flights brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
July 1 will signal the start of the second of a four-phase plan for the reopening of the Cheddi Jagan (CJIA) and the Eugene F. Correia International Airports. During Phase 2 which runs until July 31, there would be limited incoming flights for citizens, permanent residents, international workers, diplomats and repatriation flights.
Procedures for flight operations during the ensuing phases have been drafted and will be published before the end of June. Field said that the phases are fluid and that he hopes to get buy-in from the various stakeholders who are being met with on a one-on-one basis.
Stakeholders including both of Guyana’s international airports, local air operators and international airlines revealed the procedures that they have adopted since the pandemic started and have committed to collaborate with local authorities for the implementation of new regulations to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Among the measures adopted by the management of Cheddi Jagan International Airport are the wearing of masks by passengers and staff, checking of body temperature, placement of social distancing markers, sanitization stations and the removal of seats in areas accessible to the general public. CJIA has suspended the use of boarding bridges for the time being but has not indicated when it will be brought back into service.
LIAT’s representative Sonya John announced that the airline is working towards making their operations cashless to further minimize contact with passengers.
American Airlines resumed operations into Antigua on June 4, and subject to approval by the local authorities, proposes to resume flight to Guyana on July 7.
Guyana closed its airports to scheduled international travel on March 18 as part of its fight against COVID-19.