Suriname seeks US$205 million for airport expansion and modernisation

The government of Suriname led by President Desi Bouterse is seeking permission from Parliament to borrow US$205 million from the Exim Bank of China to expand and modernize the Johan Adolf Pengel International Airport (JAP) because the constitution of Suriname sets a limit on how much government can borrow.

To increase passenger and flight movements, the current airport infrastructure is inadequate. Against this background, Bouterse is seeking an amendment of the law that will grant his government permission to deviate from the obligatory national debt ceiling.

The airport must increase capacity and at the same time comply with international safety standards as laid out by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

The plan includes a new terminal that connects both the arrival and departure facilities, and doubling the current airport size. The terminal will have four passenger bridges, and efficient and modern transfer facilities, since the government wants to make Paramaribo a hub in the region.

The construction of a parallel taxiway that is full length of the runway will free the runway for incoming and departing flights. This will reduce delays because the main runway will no longer be used as a taxiway to and from the terminal. This will result in increased safety for the aircrafts and increase operational efficiency, the government said.

Four air-bridges will connect passengers to the main terminal and shelter them from rain and other elements.

China Harbour Engineering Corporation (CHEC) has been in talks with the government of Suriname to finance the upgrading of JAP, and negotiations are now at an advanced stage, Chotkhan told the media earlier this year.

Meanwhile, in neighbouring Guyana, CHEC has been awarded a contract of US$150 million to “expand and modernize” the Cheddi Jagan Airport (CJIA), but instead of the country getting a new terminal, the country is getting a rehabilitated terminal that is smaller than the original plan.

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