This is terribly disappointing to say the least. The police are searching several homes close to the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) because six runway lights were discovered missing on Thursday night and up to late last night the lights had still not been found. This is atrocious and very, very hilarious since only a few weeks ago, new lights were installed after a few went bad. Several flights were delayed and a few were canceled. There was almost a collapse of air travel to and from Guyana.
It's an insulting development and we speak here not about the theft of the lights, but the scant disregard for security by airport authorities. One would expect that in a post 9-11 world, every bolt would have been under an eagle's eye. Guess not! And to think that people in Guyana and nearby Trinidad were plotting to blow up the JFK. What if they had wanted to target Americans arriving or leaving Guyana. The CJIA was also targeted by someone who warned of a bombing which was eventually dismissed by the government as a hoax.
CJIA Chief Executive Officer, Ramesh Ghir is being sheepish about the real issue of security. Someone needs to face the heat or are they going to wait for something catastrophic to occur before we beef up security or maybe we will wait for Uncle Sam to whip us mercilessly with his big stick before we lift a finger to properly secure the only major port of entry.
On the lighter side (no pun intended) of things, maybe the lights were resold by senior officials, but if they were stolen by nearby residents, passengers arriving at the CJIA will now be able to see a wider spread of Timehri before landing. Last time we landed at CJIA at night some months ago, the runway and it's extremities was like a bright torch in a dark and dangerous jungle.