The reopening of Guyana’s Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) to commercial operations is expected to see a doubling of passenger traffic over the next month and a boost to the country’s economic development.
According to a statement released by the CJIA, several carriers, including Caribbean Airlines, American Airlines and COPA Airlines, have applied for and received approval to resume commercial flight operations.
“This is a promising start to the reopening process, especially since, the airport experienced a 95% drop in passenger traffic and 1.4 Billion Dollars in revenue losses, over the last six months, due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the statement said.
In a recent interview, President Irfaan who shared his vision for striking the right balance in dealing with the pandemic said, “The balance requires very strong protocols, and I think, therein lies the trick to this pandemic; the protocols and enforcing the protocols.”
Minister of Public Works, Juan Edghill also expressed optimism that reopening the airport will indeed result in an economic growth shift for the entire country, as it continues to battle the COVID19 pandemic.
In preparation for the CJIA reopening, the airport obtained the Airport Health Accreditation (AHA) from the Airports Council International, Latin America and the Caribbean Region (ACI-LAC).
The ACI Airport Health Accreditation programme provides airports with an assessment of how aligned their health measures are when compared to the ICAO Council Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART) recommendations as well as with industry best practices.
This, CJIA believes, will give the airlines and passengers, alike the confidence that the safety measures implemented are in line with international standards.
Passengers arriving into Guyana are required to obtain a negative PCR test taken within seven days, prior to their arrival. Passengers with tests within four to seven days prior to arrival at CJIA will be subjected to a second PCR test.
Since the reopening of CJIA, all arriving passengers that took the on-site PCR test at the airport tested negative for COVID-19.