Passengers travelling to the United States of America will need to be at Owen Roberts
three hours before their flights.
The increased time needed was
advised by Cayman Islands Airports Authority in response to enhanced security
measures announced by the Department of Homeland Security of the United States.
Measures came into force Thursday,
8 April and will remain in effect until further notice.
The additional security checks will
include random screening throughout the check-in and boarding process utilising
explosives trace detection, advanced imaging technology for baggage, canine
teams, or pat downs, among other standard security measures.
These protocols are tailored to
reflect the most current information available to the U.S. government,
according to an advisory released by the airport authority.
The measures are part of a dynamic,
threat-based aviation security system covering all passengers travelling by air
to the US
while focusing security measures in a more effective and efficient manner to
ensure the safety and security of the travelling public.
The first flight out of Owen
Roberts is the departure to Kingston and Montego Bay, but as these new security
measures only apply to US-bound passengers the first flight affected will be
the 7:20am American Airways flight to Miami. The airport will be open from 4am
Caren Thompson-Palacio of the
Cayman Islands Airports Authority explained that it is not normal practice for
airports to discuss what new security measures might be.
“The USA’s new threat based aviation
system is intelligence driven and advisories are issued as and when a new
threat is detected.
“Twenty per cent of passengers will
be subjected to additional security measures, which have been implemented to
occur throughout the check-in and boarding process,” she said.
Ms Thompson-Palacio explained that
the Runaway Restaurant at the departure hall opened at 5am to accommodate early
morning departures and that the Hungry Horse Restaurant opened at 6am.
“Some of the duty free shops open
at 5:30am and others at 6am. They determine their opening times, not the CIAA,
but we do encourage them to do their best to ensure passengers are
Immigration opens at 5am (two hours
before flight time) as do the security screening check point. Therefore,
passengers who complete their airline check prior to 5am will experience a
delay in being allowed to enter the Departure Hall,” she added.