EDITORIAL – The Owen Roberts bemusement park

We’re not sure where to start on this editorial — at the entrance or at the exit.

OK, here’s a good initial point: Our fervent wish is that we could approach a parking machine at Grand Cayman’s airport and not be greeted with a warning sign, an error message or a device that is obviously nonfunctional.

Aside from the frustrations of dealing with parking at Owen Roberts (before or after hours of travel-related stress), there are the practical effects.

For example, if it is raining, and the machine on the right-hand side of a vehicle isn’t working, then you have to get out of the car and go to the machine on the left-hand side, which may or may not be working. The practical result of this parking lot minuet, of course, is you get wet.

(Unlikely, though a possibility, you could also be struck by lightning. That’s what officials are pointing to as the source of the current parking machine malfunctions — something or other got hit by lightning.)

One might have anticipated a greater return on an investment of $872,599. That’s how much our government spent on the parking system “upgrade,” concluded in March. As far as we can tell, motorists are experiencing the very same problems that have plagued the system for years.

We realize that most people who use the airport parking lot aren’t visitors, so tourism-related concerns are fairly minimal. That being said, residents also have rights and expectations.

A popular phrase in government tendering and budgeting is “value for money.” If you were to put a value on the parking experience at the airport, it would be close to zero. Ipso facto, the cost of parking, until the system is fixed, should be zero.

The Progressives could capitalize on such a “zero-tolerance” campaign, making it a plank in their upcoming election platform: “Free parking for all!” In fact, the Compass will donate the T-shirts, and for good measure, the bumper stickers, “I parked free at Cayman’s international airport!”

It could catch on …



  1. If the CIAA can not run a parking lot, how do we trust them to run something much larger such as the development of the new terminal or the expansions of the taxi and runway?

  2. I do not believe that all these issues are the result of the equipment. This equipment is used in many parking facilities and works well. Poorly implemented and installed equipment is usually to blame for failures of these nature. The Company that installed the equipment should have known the environmental issues we face and prepared for them including surge suppression. If the manufacturer has to send their own team then for sure it sounds like another company taking on a project they never should have. I have been a technician for over 25 years and some of the systems I installed as a junior are still operating today Why are companies bidding on projects without proven track records of professional technicians with proper qualifications? Just because you have an Electrical or Security Technician doesn’t mean they know every inch of the industy


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