September 26, 2020

CIAA Statement on ORIA Design Concept Concerns

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Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands (12 March, 2015) Now that plans for the Owen Roberts International Airport’s () expansion project design concept have been revealed, the Cayman Islands Airports Authority () has received many messages of support as well as some concerns from the public regarding the new design.

These issues include the removal of the waving gallery, canopies and the lack of jet bridges in the concept design plans. The decision was made to eliminate the waving gallery due to current security regulations that do not allow for it to continue. Although we realize that this unique feature was very popular with Caymanian travelers and their families, it is a sad fact that the world today demands that much more stringent security regulations need to be implemented to meet world class standards.

As far as the canopies are concerned, the CIAA acknowledges that this is important to our travelers, especially whenever there is rainy weather, and we are looking at ways that we could include canopies within the current budget of CI $55 million dollars.

The jet bridges are also a great convenience for passengers and they are something we would like to do, but at this time we cannot make them work within the budget that we have. The estimated cost is CI $20.5 million for the jet bridges and the infrastructure that supports them, which includes elevators and escalators. This amounts to approximately 40% of our overall budget and they do not address the main issue we have which is terminal congestion. Jet bridges are also very costly to maintain, however, if funding becomes available they will be able to be added at a later date.

Concerns over passengers with disabilities has also been raised, since jet bridges would make it easier to embark and disembark on the plane. This issue is something that CIAA takes very seriously, so we are currently exploring other options in order to be able to cater to the needs of disabled travelers.

CIAA has been dealing with the lack of capacity at the airport and the resulting congestion for a number of years. Which at times, has caused some frustration for our travelers. Therefore our primary goal during the design phase of our redevelopment project was to make the best use of the funding to create more space and modernize our facility.

CIAA is very excited about the current plans, and we look forward to public’s full support in the future as we strive to make our airport a world class facility that we can all be proud of.

See relates iNews Cayman story published March 11 2015 “ airport plans revealed” at: https://www.ieyenews.com/wordpress/new-cayman-islands-airport-plans-revealed/

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