Cayman to eliminate outbound immigration

Outbound immigration will be eliminated
at Owen Roberts International Airport later this year.

This will be achieved by the
installation of an Advance Passenger Information computer system, said chairman
of the Ministerial Council for Tourism and MLA Cline Glidden at the annual
general meeting of the Cayman Islands Tourism Association.

“The Current Immigration Law 2010 and
the amended regulations of 2011 contains a statutory requirement for all
commercial airlines to provide passenger and crew manifests electronically to
the Department of Immigration,” he said. “This communication of subject data
will be carried electronically by way of a data routing system directly to the
Department of Immigration.”

This Advance Passenger Information
system will eventually eliminate the need for paper-based manifests and support
electronic vetting and processing of passenger data for both arrivals and
departures.

“When this system is fully implemented
and performing to acceptable standards, the immigration department will look at
how this system can best serve to supplement our exit control,” Mr. Glidden
said. “One of the ways envisioned at this stage is a reduction of the
confrontational-style arrangements currently in place to a more risk-based
approach where the automated verification of data will mean that only those
persons of interest are subjected to actual examination or any other secondary
processing.”

The majority of existing passengers will
flow straight through to the departure hall, easing pressure on the queues at
peak times. The relevant Immigration Amendment No. 2 Bill, which introduces
these provisions, was passed into legislation on Thursday, 6 April.

“Cayman Airways and computer service are
in a testing process and once all airline carriers are able to seamlessly carry
that data, we anticipate an implementation date of mid-August 2011,” Mr.
Glidden said.

“There were operational issues as well
as legislative changes and now we have passed legislative changes to eliminate
outbound immigration and we are now waiting for the operational challenges to
be overcome.”

On another topic, Mr. Glidden said talks

are ongoing between the Cayman Islands
Government and the United States regarding the possible implementation of
pre-clearance for outbound departures from Cayman.

“Basically in order for the US to
consider this as an option for the Cayman Islands, we would need to have
approximately one million passengers moving in and out of the US to make it
feasible,” he said.

In 2010, according to figures released
by the Cayman Islands Airports Authority, there were 961,510 international
passenger movements to and from all destinations in and out of Owen Roberts
International Airport. Mr. Glidden said that the government was negotiating
with Washington regarding a possible lowering of the threshold.

As well as having to hit a certain
number of passenger movements, there are other factors that stand in the way.

“Additionally, we would have to
establish a US customs and border protection area within the airport terminal
which would have to meet the required standards to be essentially US
territory.”

Based on a model in operation in
Bermuda, the physical area required would need to be 15,000 square feet to
20,000 square feet.

“The immediate barrier is the additional
costs that the government would have to incur, which in these times of austerity makes this
option less of a priority,” he said. “However, the government remains open to
cost-sharing with the private sector if [they] believe it is of importance.”

A series of short-term improvements at
Owen Roberts International Airport will start in May, said the backbench MLA.
These include upgrading the public address system, a new fire alarm system,
renovation of all rest rooms, and water efficiency measures, ceiling replacement,
new air conditioning in immigration, customs and arrivals and a second baggage
belt to facilitate progress through the airport.

The recent reconfiguration of the
security screening process has eased peak pressure a little, but this is still
impacted by human resource and staffing issues, said Mr. Glidden.

Longer term, the Cayman Islands Airports
Authority and the Ministerial Council for Tourism and Development are in the
final stages of obtaining the requisite permissions for other improvements at
the airport.

“Other projects are being looked at,
such as expansion of the terminal building from the current 80,000 to 240,000
square feet to meet current and future passenger demands into the year 2025,”
he said.

Other improvements on the drawing board
are an apron expansion to include two additional parking stands for larger
aircraft, such as the Boeing 777 and 787, construction of a parallel taxiway
from the North Sound end of the runway to the main terminal apron to eliminate
backtrack and time on the runway and to more efficiently accommodate arriving
aircraft, and a 1,000-foot runway extension into the North Sound area.

The majority of existing passengers will
flow straight through to the departure hall, easing pressure on the queues at
peak times.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Can we get Redjet to services Grand Cayman?
    As low as USD 10.00 per one way ticket.. that’s amazing in these current hard times.

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  2. Just teach those who are using it that you don’t need to YELL into a microphone. That’s what distorts the sound. If they spoke normally, we’d be able to understand what they say. But no, they have to YELL into the microphone.

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  3. This is an excellent step forward in controlling our border. Electronic reporting and screening is of the here and now. Applied software should also easily prompt a red flag for individuals falling outside their required departure time..

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  4. Bettah watch out! Caymanians might rush to the airport and leave in droves if there is no check on outward migration. At a thousand per day it would only take about 2 months and the islands would be empty except for civil servants who remain wondering what happened.

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  5. THERE WILL BE NO WAY OF TELLING HOW MANY PEOPLE IS COMING INTO THE ISLAND AND NO WAY TO TELL if someone comes up missing. Computers only receive what honest people put INTO IT! Dishonest people WITHHOLD INFORMATION from computers!

    This so called mandate to bring back crimials to the island that have left and inviting deportees back is about as b BACKWARD and a STEP BACK into the DARK AGES AS I have ever seen.
    YOU BETTER GET THIS MAD MAN OUT OF OFFICE BEFORE HE GOES THROUGH WITH HIS PLANS TO FLOOD THE GATES OF THE CAYMAN ISLANDS WITH FOREIGNERS, DESTROYING THIS COUNTRY WITH CRIME AND TAKING THE BREAD OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF CAYMANIANS!

    MCKEEVA BUSH IS DETERMINED TO HAVE HIS WAY.
    ARE THERE ANY LOCAL MEN THAT CAN STAND UP TO HIM AND LET HIM KNOW ‘ IT WILL NOT HAPPEN’ BECAUSE YOU WILL NOT LET HIM.
    ITS TIME TO STAND UP LIKE MEN AND STOP ACTING LIKE SISSYS!

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Comments are closed.