The Cayman Islands Airports Authority has announced the planned expansion of terminal facilities at the Gerrard-Smith International Airport on Cayman Brac to accommodate direct international flights.
“The CIAA is delighted to announce that over the next few months, subject to approvals by the Central Planning Authority, our Board will oversee the commencement of enhancements and expansion of the Gerrard-Smith International Airport’s terminal facilities,” said Cayman Islands Aviation Authority Board Chairman Richard Arch. “The enhancements will allow scheduled non-stop service between Cayman Brac and the US and elsewhere. Additionally, the funds invested in the airport redevelopment will also have a positive impact on the Brac’s economy.”
The aviation authority has appointed Mr. Nicholas Johnson as project manager for the expansion. He will be working with Donal McGrath of BDCL Architects.
“Once the design and planning phases are completed the project will go out to tender for the submission of contractor bids,” Mr. Johnson said. “As the terminal facility is to remain operational during the construction phase, efforts will be made to carry out the additions to the facility with minimal interruption to passenger processing. The terminal building will extend to the east and west and there will be some temporary relocation, to allow for refurbishments to be carried out on the existing facility.”
Phase one of the project will accommodate a larger ticketing hall, enhanced passenger screening and hold baggage screening facilities and the addition of outgoing Immigration counters. The departure lounge will also be expanded to create additional retail space and a larger restaurant.
The renovation will also create office space for Cayman Airways as well as the airport’s security unit.
Phase two of the project will see enhancements to the arrivals hall for the Immigration and Customs Departments, as well as the creation of space for public health and agriculture.
“The expansion of the Brac terminal is being funded by the Cayman Islands Airports Authority,” said Jeremy Jackson, the airports authority CEO. “This project will undoubtedly provide a much-needed boost to the island’s economy which has seen its fair share of challenges since the passing of the devastating Hurricane Paloma in November 2008. We are confident that the ability to attract direct international flights, without the stopover on Grand Cayman for passenger and baggage screening, will provide even greater opportunities for local businesses in the years ahead.”
Cayman Airways currently operates a direct flight from Miami to Cayman Brac, but it does not fly direct back to Miami and must go through Owen Roberts International Airport on Grand Cayman due mainly to baggage screening issues.
“We had a Continental charter last November, but luggage screening was conducted manually and is time consuming for a jet flight,” said airports authority spokesperson Caren Thompson.