Airport operations in the Sister Islands were inspected last Friday during a tour by Anthony Eden, Minister Responsible for Aviation.
Accompanying the minister were Permanent Secretary Andrea Bryan, Deputy Permanent Secretary Diane Montoya, Administrative Officer Satina DaCosta, Airport Authority CEO David Frederick, District Commissioner Kenny Ryan and MLA Moses Kirkconnell along with representatives from Health Services and Agriculture – departments that were also included on the tour, said a GIS press release.
Senior Manager, Airport Operations (Cayman Brac and Little Cayman), Mr. Rohendis Britton, and the Authority’s Senior Manager, Projects and Engineering, Mr. Brian Tomlinson, also joined the visiting party.
At the Gerrard-Smith International Airport in Cayman Brac, Mr. Frederick explained that the facility handles some 15,000 passengers annually. Operating as an international-class airport, the Brac’s air traffic control efficiency was upgraded several years ago, with staff increasing to five and equipment being enhanced to comply with UK requirements.
During the airport walk-through, the group met staff from other sections, including Customs, Immigration and security officers. They inspected the recently acquired baggage conveyor and noted that a power supply upgrade, complete with automated standby generator, was being installed as they visited.
‘I’m impressed,’ said Mr. Eden. ‘This airport is clearly efficient and well-managed. You can take pride in such high standards.’
On Little Cayman, the development of the new runway and airport facility were the focus of attention. While the grass strip was upgraded last year with the first spray-and-chip surface application, plans are under way to construct a new airport inland, on higher ground and further away from the Blossom Village buildings.
Bids are now in for the construction of the 4,000-foot runway and the overall project cost is estimated at $5.5million.
Mr. Kirkconnell noted that the development will significantly improve air services, and that the final product should facilitate appropriate-size aircraft arrivals for both of the Sister Islands.