Last Updated on Wednesday, 1 April 2020, 10:05 by Denis Chabrol
The Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) and the Eugene Correia International Airport (ECIA) will remain closed to international flights until May 1, 2020, in order to continue mitigating the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
“The closure of the airspace will greatly assist in minimizing the spread of COVID-19 by limiting international contacts,” the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) said.
The regulatory agency said the closure of the airspace would not affect domestic flights and international overflights.
The GCAA added that the airports would continue to operate only for cargo flights, medevac flights, technical stops for fuel only and special authorized flights.
In a letter to Aviation Minister David Patterson, the aviation regulatory body stated that the original two-week period (March 19- April 1 2020) was “very effective and assisted tremendously with slowing the spread of COVID-19 by limiting international contacts.”
GCAA noted that the number of COVID-cases both globally and regionally has risen particularly in countries that have ports of origin for passengers to Guyana.
“With our initial fourteen days about to expire and with the lessons learnt together with the prevailing regional and global situation, I hereby propose that the directive be extended for thirty (30) days after its expiration, until May 1st 2020,” the letter stated.
The GCAA noted that there has been a tremendous increase in COVID-19 cases globally, particularly in states which are traditionally the ports of origin for passengers to Guyana such as USA, Canada, Trinidad, Panama, Suriname and Barbados, as well as the continent of Europe.
On March 19, the airports were officially closed to international flights while domestic flights have proceeded.
The Government approved humanitarian flights to allow citizens desirous of returning to Guyana as well as facilitated the exit of nationals of countries such as Cuba and the United States.