LIAT flight LI521was greeted by showers of water by the awaiting Guyana Fire Service tender as it taxied along the runway, arriving from the Grantley Adams International Airport in Barbados.
The arrival of the fully-booked 50-seater Dash 8 aircraft was witnessed by Guyana’s Minister of Public Works Robeson Benn, who noted that LIAT’s operations at Ogle will help to address regional connections, one of the major barriers in the Caribbean.
During a press briefing after the landing, Benn said, “This venture has long been a dream and an initiative supported by both the government and private sector, which came together as a public-private partnership funded by the European Union.”
The flight saw many passengers who are visiting Guyana for the first time. They said the flight was smooth and welcoming. The passengers included visitors from the British Virgin Islands, St Kitts and Nevis, and other countries in the Caribbean.
LIAT says it will shortly introduce a late night and early morning departure to/from the Cheddi Jagan International Airport. Its LI 773 will depart the Grantley Adams International Airport in Barbados at 8:00 pm daily, arriving at the Cheddi Jagan International at 10:00 pm. LI 774 will depart Cheddi Jagan International at 5:00 am daily, arriving in Barbados at 7:00 am, its website stated.
The media were informed that customs officers assisted the arrivals through the process of being cleared within half an hour. The flight departed Guyana at approximately 3:30 pm.
Benn said he was very pleased with this development and thanked all who came on board to make this initiative a success. He praised the management of the OIA for their efforts in ensuring the passengers received a warm welcome.
He also noted that the CARICOM Secretariat showed great interest in this project, given its close proximity to the airport, making it a lot easier for members visiting for the frequent business meetings.
OIA head of security Harold Hopkinson highlighted that the airport has learnt from the Cheddi Jagan International Airport’s security mishaps.
“We will not make those basic mistakes… we have a competent team of persons that will stem the tide of illegal narcotics and drugs; we have the Customs Anti Narcotics Unit (CANU) and the police,” he said.
Hopkinson also said that there is a 24-hour security camera system set up and there are backup systems in the event of a mishap.