Passengers warned over months of inconvenience as airport expands

Work on the Owen Roberts International Airport terminal expansion is beginning to impact passengers. – PHOTO: TANEOS RAMSAY

Airport officials have urged passengers to be patient and warned there may be months of inconvenience ahead as work on the multi-million dollar expansion of the facility intensifies.

Temporary fencing had been installed near the entrance to the check-in hall Monday and passengers were being diverted around the construction zone on makeshift walkways.

Work is taking place to remove the large outdoor canopy that provides shaded cover for passengers waiting to get into the departure lounge. In the next few weeks, work will begin on expanding the departure lounge and check-in lobby, as well as construction of a new immigration and baggage claim area.

It is the first time that work on the $55 million terminal expansion, which is expected to take until late 2018 to complete, has moved into the areas used by travelers.

Passengers have been warned to allow extra lead time for their journeys.

Albert Anderson, CEO of the Cayman Islands Airports Authority, said, “There will be times when it will be very challenging for passengers to navigate through the busy airport, however, we ask that the public be patient with us as we continue to strive towards developing a world-class facility.”

The airports authority said in a statement that the construction work will be carried out in several sub-phases to enable the terminal to remain fully operational throughout the construction period. It said it was doing its best to minimize disruption to passengers but warned some inconvenience was inevitable.

The drop-off curb access and access to check-in hall doors 1, 2 and 3 are currently closed, and motorists who need to drop off passengers are being encouraged to use the short-term parking lot instead.

Signs will be in place and customer service officers will also be on hand to help direct passengers, the authority said.