Cayman’s aviation regulatory body has granted airport certifications to Owen Roberts and Gerrard Smith airports to bring them in line with amended international standards.
Airport officials said that prior to the certification by the Civil Aviation Authority, the airports met worldwide standards of efficiency, safety and security, and the certification is the result of ‘recent’ requirements by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
From November 2003, ICAO has required international airports to certify that they meet the standards set down by the organisation, which is a United Nations agency tasked with regulating aviation standards.
‘Airport certification is critical to our Islands as it signals to the international aviation community our compliance with global best practices and internationally accepted standards. This has a direct impact on our ability to attract investment and to function effectively as part of the global air travel trade,’ said Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Cayman Island Airports Authority (CIAA) Fred Sambula.
He explained that the airport certification takes into account all aspects of airport operations, including rescue and fire fighting services, air traffic control, telecommunication services, and meteorological services.
Mr. Sambula added: ‘The Cayman Islands as a UK Overseas Territory is also governed by UK aviation rules which are in tandem with ICAO. All Overseas Territories airports have to adhere to these standards,’ he said.
CIAA’s Senior Manager Air Navigation Services Walter Ebanks said that the process also entailed developing airport operations manuals for both airports, which outline standard operating and emergency procedures.
Certification for the airports in Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac came after the CAACI carried out a full audit of the operations at both airports during the past year.
The UK, and by association Cayman, is one of 190 countries that adheres to aviation standards set by ICAO.