New faces on airports, Airline boards

Moses Kirkconnell

The Cayman Islands Airports Authority board of director has been completely revamped, just five weeks after the People’s Progressive Movement-led government took office.  

The new chairman of the board will be Kirkland Nixon, the former Cayman Islands Fire Service chief and a previous member of both the airports authority and Civil Aviation Authority boards.  

Mr. Nixon said he was asked by Deputy Premier Moses Kirkconnell about 10 days ago to serve in the position. Mr. Nixon said he realises the airports authority has seen its share of challenges over the past year, but he believes it can be turned around.  

“Once you’ve got the right team in place, you can get the job done,” Mr. Nixon said. “We’re going to try and resolve the problems.”  

Mr. Kirkconnell said the next several years will be a crucial time for the airports authority. “They have the challenge to basically build three airports. … The challenges to that board are significant.”  

Longtime airline pilot and former Cayman Airways chief executive Thomas Guyton has been appointed as deputy board chairman. Other members of the board include Joel Jefferson, Nathaniel Tibbetts, Stran Bodden and Bruce Smith.  

Gone from the airports authority board are former chairman Richard “Dick” Arch, deputy chairman Steve McField and directors Frank Flowers, Roy Grant, Larry Bryan, Arnold Berry, Jewel Hydes and Langlie Powery.  

Some major upper-level management problems have dogged the airports authority since its chief financial officer, Shelly Ware, was fired late last year and her boss, CIAA chief executive Jeremy Jackson was terminated in March amid an expenses inquiry commenced by the board of directors.  

However, the expenses review was only part of the story. 
It was revealed later that the Cayman Islands auditor general’s office warned last year that the airports authority board had overstepped its powers creating risk that its decisions could be “conflicted or corrupt”.  

Auditor General Alastair Swarbrick also warned that potential conflicts of interest, including details of their own companies’ contracts with the airport system, were not properly recorded in authority financial statements.  

Former Board Chairman Dick Arch denied that the board acted beyond its legal remit in any way and said declarations of interest were made at every board meeting. 

Mr. Arch’s resignation in June was “part of the process” of a new government coming into office and had nothing to do with the ongoing situation at the airports authority, Mr. Kirkconnell said.  

“The new board will look at the overall operations of the CIAA, so it will be their mandate to review how it operates,” Mr. Kirkconnell said.  

In addition to the Cayman Islands Airports Authority board, new members were appointed to the Cayman Airways board 
of directors.  

The chairman, Philip Rankin, was reappointed by the Progressives-led government. Department of Tourism Director Shomari Scott was also reappointed to his position as a non-voting board member.  

Mr. Kirkconnell said Mr. Rankin agreed to stay on for another six months to one year to “ensure continuity” in the airline’s operations as it embarks on a more aggressive business plan that includes direct flights into Panama, Dallas and an increased number of flights to Cuba.  

“It was a sensitive time for the airline,” the deputy premier said, adding that it was likely a new chairman for the board would be selected after the transition period.  

Other new Cayman Airways board members included deputy chairman Norman Bodden, as well as directors James Tibbetts, Chris Kirkconnell, Andre Ebanks, Eric Bush and 
Stran Bodden. 


Mr. Kirkconnell


Mr. Nixon


Mr. Guyton


Mr. Bodden

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  1. When the going gets tough the best are brought on point. That is if you know who they are. Congratulations my Nixon, and thanks for your never ending service. I hope the objective is to keep Cayman Airways as our national carrier.

    John F. Levy

  2. Well this story is very interesting. For the past few months prior to election there was talk about Chairman Dick Arch having conflict and also Director Frank Flowers. All I can say is this set up board members is interesting. Firstly, Kirkland Nixon’s wife owns a duty free shop at the airport, Melba’s Duty Free. Deputy Director Guyton also has interest in Island Air and also owns Cayman Jet Holdings Ltd. which rents a hanger at the airport, if this isn’t conflict I don’t know what is. Another point to note is Chief Officer Stran Bodden is on both the CIAA Board and the CAL board, what do we call this? How can he be effective or unbias when sitting on these 2 boards. CAL owes CIAA tons of money and the Chief Officer has done nothing to attempt and resolve this issue. An individual cannot be effective on when sitting on these to boards in the same business.