Editorial for 10 January: Back to the drawing board

Two public projects that are absolutely crucial to the
development of the Cayman Islands’ tourism-related infrastructure are
officially back to square one.

This can in no way be considered good news, but the re-set
does offer at least some ray of hope.

If the Cayman Islands cruise ship tourism product is to
remain competitive in the modern world, few will doubt that a cruise ship
berthing facility – wherever it is to be placed – is needed sooner rather than
later. Also, improvements to the Owen Roberts International Airport complex,
particularly the development of a longer runway for larger aircraft – again,
wherever that might happen – is key to ensuring Cayman keeps up with its many

If we look at these matters in the best possible light, it
could be considered a positive that with assistance from the United Kingdom the
bidding processes used to secure these facilities will be proper and should deliver
best value for money. Residents should be assured that Cayman will get the
best-quality product, even if the procurement process takes a bit longer.

Some might find it easy to blame the UK now, but what has
been the true cause of the delay – particularly with the cruise berthing
facility development – is the relative indecision of successive governments
over the past decade in simply getting the project done. Once a proper bidding
exercise is carried through under the oversight of the UK, there should be no
more indecision.

This will also give the UK a chance to prove its oft-stated
position that the Mother Country is not merely seeking to obfuscate these
developments and is truly interested in helping the Cayman Islands. If the port
berthing project hasn’t at least gotten off the ground within the next year,
we’ll know the truth of the matter.

They may not all be around to see it through, but we believe
members of the interim government have started the territory down the right
path in getting these crucial projects done and getting them done right.

It’s time to cast aside the blame game and move forward with
the projects truly needed to revive the local economy.