For the sake of the $55 million airport renovation project, we can understand months of inconvenience. What we can’t understand is extorting passengers, for the sake of $2 a pop.

As Cayman Islands Airports Authority officials announced earlier this week, and as anyone who has been to the Owen Roberts International Airport recently will have noticed, work on the terminal expansion project is moving into areas being used by travelers — specifically the large outdoor canopy, departure lounge and check-in lobby.

During this phase of construction, officials advised passengers to arrive at the airport earlier than usual, and suggested, while drop-off curb access is closed, that motorists use the short-term parking lot to drop off passengers instead.

Fair enough. Safety first, expediency second.

What’s not fair, however, is that drive-in/drop-off/drive-out motorists are now being exposed to the chronically dysfunctional airport parking system — and are being forced to pay $2 for the experience!

(Not to mention, now having to park and leave their vehicles, in order to interact with the frustratingly unfriendly pay machines, before obtaining egress privileges from the oft out-of-order card reader machines at the exit.)

So far, the $873,000 parking system upgrade has amounted to an aggravation. Last month, we suggested that government set the cost of airport parking at zero until the system is fixed.

With exponentially more “just dropping-off” motorists about to feel bilked by the parking machines, even when they are functioning, now until the end of the departure lounge construction phase seems like an ideal time to offer complimentary access to the short-term parking lot.

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  1. I can’t imagine it would take much to reconfigure the system to allow free parking for the first 5/10 minutes with no resulting trip to the payment machine? That way true drop-offs don’t get charged, yet retaining the revenue from parking. If you were to just leave the barriers up I’m sure the car park would be full of long term users in a flash!

  2. I have been off the island for a number of months and I am amassed at reading this article. How can you be charged to drop off passengers. I for one will not pay and I am sure most people will not I assume that will create a problem which is the fault of the airport authority. Someone in charge I hope is reading this article and doing something constructive to fix the problem

  3. I aarrived from Miami today and the barrier at the exit to the Long Term Carpark had been left permanently up. Presumably the exit machines are out of order again, but Government will be losing much needed revenue as I’m sure a lot of customers (unlike me) will not be paying for their exit tickets. Furthermore, when I was paying the machine continually rejected my $1 notes so I had to put in a $5 note and get change (it accepted my $10 notes).

  4. I have seen many big Airports under construction of improvement and extension , and no access to the daily operations was restricted , and service was able to continue. This is when you plan your work and work your plan . Why is it that the normal pick up and drop off for passengers are not in service as usual ? I think that neither short or long time parking should be effected in any way by the construction, and be able to continue charging as usual.

    The question that Karen Richards asked , could some on the Island give her the answer , maybe she can’t get it from the Airport .