Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) is located in Timehri, 41km south of Georgetown; the capital city of Guyana, South America. An expansion and modernisation project, which started in January 2013, is currently underway at the airport and is scheduled for completion by August 2015.

The Government of Guyana (GoG), the airport’s owner, awarded China Harbour Engineering (CHEC), a subsidiary of China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), a $138m design and construction contract for the CJIA expansion project in November 2011.

The overall cost of the project is estimated to reach $150m. Up to RMB 825m ($130m) is being funded by the Government of China through the EXIM Bank of China. The GoG is further investing about $5.9m to facilitate the acquisition of supervision consultancy services for the expansion project.

Background of the Guyanese airport

“Cheddi Jagan airport started commercial operations in 1945.”

The existing terminal building has been operational for the past 30 years, and the runways are short and parking facilities congested. Cheddi Jagan airport started commercial operations in 1945, when it was known as the Atkinson Aerodrome, and was used for military purposes. It was renamed the Timehri International Airport in May 1969, following expansion from 1965 to 1968.

The airport was further renamed as Cheddi Jagan International Airport in March 1997, as a tribute to Dr. Cheddi Jagan, the late President of Guyana. The expansion will enable the South American airport to handle the increasing number of passengers. The airport witnessed a passenger traffic growth of over 42% from 2000 to 2012 and needs more space for facilitating the traffic growth.

Cheddi Jagan International Airport expansion plan

The CJIA expansion project primarily involves the extension of the existing runway and construction of a new terminal building.

The new terminal building will cover an area of 16,000m2 and will feature eight passenger boarding bridges, two elevators, a CCTV system and departures control systems. The passenger boarding bridges will improve the safety by providing separate levels for passengers and vehicles.

“The airport features two asphalt coated runways, including a 7,448ft-long runway.”

The airport features two asphalt coated runways, including a 7,448ft-long runway, which is being extended, and a 5,002ft-long second runway. Both the runways are 148ft wide and equipped with Intelcan’s SKYNAV N8000 Instrument Landing Systems (ILS).

The existing 7,448ft long runway is being extended to 10,800ft to make it a category Code 4E runway and to enable it to accommodate the BOEING 747-400 aircraft. Excavation and backfilling works for the runway extension are currently in progress.

The expansion project will also include the construction of eight international parking positions, which will also include a fixed place for cargo aircraft. Two elevators and two escalators will also be added. The construction of a site office at the airport was completed in 2013.

Contractors involved

Intelcan will supply and install the SKYSURV Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) for aircraft position measurement and reporting, and SKYCONTROL ATM for Air Traffic Control, as part of a contract awarded in February 2014.

Intelcan had also upgraded the communications and air navigation systems at the airport. It had supplied Air Traffic Management (ATM) Systems, Automatic Message Handling Systems (AMHS), Automated Weather Observation System (AWOS) and high-powered Distance Measuring Equipments (DME).