Over $300 million have been approved for the rehabilitation of several hinterland runways as the Guyana Government ramps up efforts to tackle the illegal entry of aircraft into the country’s airspace and subsequent landing of those aircrafts at unmonitored airstrips.
State Minister Joseph Harmon made the disclosure on Thursday during a Post Cabinet Press Conference.
Many of the airstrips to be rehabilitated are scattered along Guyana’s borders.
They include the Eteringbang airstrip for which some $76.2 million is the be spent and the Kato Airstrip for which a total of $65.6 million will be spent.
Other sir trips to be rehabilitated include those located at Kurupung, Paramakatoi, Monkey Mountain and Annai.
An illegal aircraft was recently discovered hidden by camouflage material and under trees at an airstrip in Yupukari.
Harmon said the Civil Aviation Authority and the Ministry of Public Infrastructure have been working to increase radar cover and reduce this type of illegal activity.
He said Guyana is also seeking international help to detect any aircraft that violates airspace and land on its airstrips.
The Minister said it was still a challenge to monitor over 200 square kilometres and the vastness of the country’s borders.
Speaking directly to the alleged overflights by Venezuela for supposed mapping operations, Harmon said Guyana is making use of the United Nations system.
He said once there is a violation then Guyana has a duty to report those violates, although sometimes these operations go unnoticed until the results are seen.
In this regard Guyana is depending on international cooperation with other countries and on people in communities to report.
He said until Guyana can do better, the Aviation authority will continue to use its limited resources to carry out surveillance.