Airport vetting firms for redevelopment

Airports authority goes to tender for work at Owen Roberts

The redevelopment of Grand Cayman’s overcrowded airport moved a step closer as bosses invited architectural and engineering firms to submit their credentials for the job.

The Cayman Islands Airports Authority is calling for interested firms to enter into a pre-qualification process ahead of the publication of an official business case which will define the scope of the work required.

Albert Anderson, CEO of the Cayman Islands Airports Authority, said the request for proposals, which went out last week, means the CIAA is ready to go with a list of qualified bidders to pick from once the business case is published.

An earlier strategic outline case provided the broad rationale for the redevelopment of Owen Roberts International Airport in Grand Cayman, as well as the smaller airports on the Sister Islands. It said Grand Cayman’s airport was aged, congested and increasingly unable to cope with passenger levels that are already double the intended capacity.

According to that strategic outline case, “The growth in passenger numbers over the years has meant that the existing capacity of the airport is inadequate. The provision of an expanded terminal and associated infrastructure is consequently overdue.”

The business case, which is expected to be completed by the end of this month, will involve a cost/benefit analysis on various options for the airport, including a new terminal building and expanded runway.

A series of public consultation meetings will follow the release of that document.

Mr. Anderson said the request for proposals is for firms interested in providing design and construction services. Other ongoing work includes the production of an “as built” survey of the existing buildings which will form the basis for the redevelopment.

“It is anticipated that tenders will be issued to the pre-qualified proponents in late August this year, leading to the first phase of construction commencing during the second quarter of 2015 and work proceeding through to 2019.”

He said the authority had also taken steps to handle overcrowding in the terminal in the interim – a frequent cause of travelers’ complaints.

“The CIAA has embarked upon a program to immediately improve the passenger experience through enhancements such as the installation of temporary structures at the arrivals and departures areas, and the provision of a covered airside walkway,” he said.

“The core purpose for the terminal development is to provide for an enhanced experience to the residents of, and visitors to, the Cayman Islands and to support the CIAA in its key objective to create a positive passenger experience at its airports. The tourism industry is a major contributor to our islands’ economy, and the benefits to be derived from the redevelopment of [Owen Roberts International Airport] extend beyond its immediate operations.”

1 COMMENT

  1. I am very pleased to read there is movement to improve Owen Roberts Airport. Since it will take years to complete, please try to streamline the Immigration process by having every position open when planes arrive. Perhaps planes can adjust their schedules, too? Too many times the last 2 years only 2 or 3 positions were open for 400-600 Visitor arrivals. Same for the Security line upon Departure……please find temporary solutions. Last Sunday the wait to clear security took 2 hours! I fear by the time a new facility is completed, the Tourists will have found other holiday locations.

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