Airport Timeline: Eight years of plans and promises

  • May 2005: Plans to renovate and expand Owen Roberts International Airport are first announced by then aviation minister Gilbert McLean. The cost is estimated at around $30million with 2007 the target completion date.
  • January 2006: The initial expansion plan is approved for go-ahead by the planning board.
  • May 2006: Then CEO of the Cayman Islands Airport Authority David Frederick sets October 2008 as the target completion date for the airport project. He says tendering will begin in six months.
  • January 2007: Details of the expansion plan are revealed for the first time. Government says target is to triple the terminal building size from 69,000 square feet to 205,000 square feet.
  • February 2008: Then minister for tourism Charles Clifford says discussions are also under way with a private sector group interested in extending the runway.
  • June 2008: The Cayman Islands Airport Authority board of directors says it has decided to delay the tendering process until financing is in place.
  • March 2009: Minister Clifford says work to triple the size of the airport will now begin in September 09 and be completed by 2012. The plan at this stage does not include any extension to the runway.
  • April 2010: The Miller Report recommends privatizing the Cayman Islands Airport Authority as a cost-cutting measure, with the Cayman Islands facing a growing financial crisis.
  • May 2010: The Cayman Islands Tourism Association highlights extending the runway and improving infrastructure at Owen Roberts International Airport as a pressing priority.
  • August 2011: The Cayman Islands Government signs a six-month exclusive negotiating agreement with a contracting company, owned by the Canadian Government, to develop the airport.
  • January 2012: Premier McKeeva Bush tells the Cayman Business Outlook that the airport redevelopment will commence in 2012 with the extension of the runway. He says the runway will be extended inland rather than into the North Sound as previously suggested.
  • October 2012: The Canadian delegation visits Grand Cayman and tables a proposal for a $200million project to double the capacity of the airport and extend the runway in exchange for a 30 or 40 year concession contract.
  • January, 2013: Tourism minister Cline Glidden said it was back to square one for the project after the UK Government made it clear the procurement process proposed for the plan was not sufficient. It is now forecast that a new tendering process, in compliance with the UK framework for fiscal responsibility.

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