Airport expansion to start this year

The expansion project to Owen Roberts International Airport is targeted for completion by October 2008, CEO of the Cayman Islands Airports Authority David Frederick told Finance Committee Thursday.

He said they hope to go to tender with the main part of the construction for the project in about six months’ time. Construction for this main part of the project is expected to get underway toward the end of the year, he said.

The expansion of Grand Cayman’s airport is to address the country’s needs for the next 20 years. Its goals are to be expandable for the future; accommodate passenger boarding bridges; separate international and domestic passengers; separate arriving and departing passengers; relieve congestion; improve concessions; and accommodate Boeing 777 aircraft.

The first phase of the airport expansion project will include the expansion of the parking lot and improvements to the roads system. Mr. Frederick said he anticipates that groundbreaking can begin on this aspect of development by 1 July. New parking will be created to the east of the existing lot, he said.

Mr. Frederick gave an update on the upgrades at the request of West Bay MLA Cline Glidden.

In response to a question from George Town MLA Alfonso Wright, Mr. Frederick said that the new parking pay machines will be moved out to the actual parking areas eventually when re-development is completed. Currently these pay machines are by the wall outside the arrivals’ hall.

There will be a one-way system all around the outside of the airport once the new roads are established, Mr. Frederick added.

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