Big boost for air services between Guyana, Saudi Arabia

— with signing of agreement between two nations

A NEW air services agreement between Guyana and Saudi Arabia has paved the way for the expansion of aviation services between the two nations.

According to a post on the Ministry of Public Works’ Facebook page, the new agreement was signed by Guyana’s Minister of Public Works, Juan Edghill and Minister of Transport and Logistic Services for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Saleh Bin Nasser Al-Jasser, on the sidelines of the Future Aviation Forum 2022 in Saudi Arabia.

Guyana is being represented at the forum by Minister Edghill and Director of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority’s Air Transport Management, Saheed Suliman.

Saleh Al-Jasser opened the forum which was organised by the General Authority for Civil Aviation in Riyadh. The ongoing conference, which has over 2,000 participants from 60 countries, focuses on three main topics: innovation, growth and sustainability in the civil aviation sector.

In addition to the engaging discussions during the course of the conference, there will be the signing of over 50 agreements and Memoranda of Understanding, and the launch of several new policies and strategies for the development of the civil aviation sector.

Testimony to the seriousness of the forum is the new agreement between Guyana and Saudi Arabia. The two nations established formal diplomatic relations on February 22, 2012.

While the new agreement will enhance air services between the countries, Guyana has already started to lay the foundation for transformation of the local aviation sector.

It was reported that in keeping with its plan to raise the standards of the local aviation sector and improve accessibility across Guyana, the government has set aside $2 billion in Budget 2022 for enhancement works in this economic area.

This year, based on the budget, $600 million will be spent on the rehabilitation and maintenance of hinterland airstrips at Eteringbang, Karisparu, Paruima and Ekereku Bottom.

The works to be done on those airstrips are intended to make them compliant with the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority’s minimum engineering standards. Further, this will improve safety for travellers, aircraft and personnel using the airstrips.

He said that the government has placed emphasis on modernising the Cheddi Jagan International Airport to fully comply with air transport standards required for a world- class international port of entry.

As it is now, works include rehabilitation of the international apron and construction of a taxiway; construction of an administrative building with conferencing facilities; offices for the airlines and other supporting agencies; a duty-free bond and the construction of a new office complex to accommodate CJIA’s employees.

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