New helipad will boost tourism

A new helipad is in construction on
the shores of George Town.

The facility, which also features a
shop and office building, will be a big help in attracting tourists to see the
Cayman Islands from a unique perspective, according to Jerome Begot of Cayman
Islands Helicopters. He said he had been looking for somewhere to move to for
some time.

“It was very hard to find a place.
Either the landlords weren’t happy to have a helicopter [at other potential
locations] or something else, but after six or seven years I found all the
solution together, went through the planning and the paperwork and then we
started to build.

“We’re still number one in the
Caribbean for the sightseeing tour helicopter for the last six years now, but
it was the only one in the Caribbean that wasn’t close to the cruise ships, and
I was the only one picking up from the airport and going back to the airport,”
he said.

Cruise ships happy

Mr. Begot believes the increased
visibility of his operation will benefit his business after a relatively
difficult year. The helipad, which is scheduled to be open in mid-January, will
be situated between Burger King and the Lobster Pot restaurant at the north end
of George Town.

“I hope it’s going to give a new
lift to the north side of the terminal, and I hope it’ll bring people too because
they’re attracted by a helicopter. The cruise ships are very happy that I’m
going to be down town. The people from the cruise ships weren’t always happy
about taking a shuttle to go to the airport – some people don’t like that. We
tell them that Cayman is safe but sometimes they were a little [wary because of
other destinations’ reputation].

“For six years we’ve received the
best customer assessment in the Caribbean. For Cayman, it’s nice; people can
see everything in Cayman in 20 minutes [in the air]. I tell my customers about
Stingray City, about other attractions, and I try to dispatch them to do something
else in their six hours. It’s good for everybody; I’m not selfish
about that.”


Cayman Islands Helicopters are constructing a new helipad in George Town.
Photo: File


  1. I’m sorry, but this tourist attraction is yet another sign Grand Cayman has ‘jumped the shark’ as a vacation destination. If you are a young drunken yob on a cruise, you might find it amusing. However, if you have spent $20,000 bringing your family there for a few weeks, only to have that noisy contraption flying overhead disturbing your rest, not so much. ‘Good for everybody’? Hardly.

  2. By making a capital investment and expanding his operation, Jerome Begot is making a positive statement about the island in difficult economic times. This,in marked contrast to the majority of others who chose to make their money here only to take it with them when they leave. His investment takes courage and conviction as any businessman will appreciate. By making such a commitment, he not only encourages other businesses, who will feel positive as a result of his action, but he helps to promote those businesses by referring his customers to them. It’s time to take a positive view and applaud business acumen of this kind rather than look to discourage investment and entrepreneurs. Let’s stop complaining about the small things.

  3. What are they thinking of? I have heard complaints time and again from those on 7-Mile Beach as this awful noisy thing cruises back and forth over our heads. It is intrusive, obnoxious, and no doubt causing some of the sludge on our roofs. And I can only imagine how bad it is other places.

    This is an awful idea!!! And aren’t they supposed to keep this thing way out to sea and not near the beach?

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