The Cayman Island Airports Authority is inviting the public to Tuesday’s official closure of the Owen Roberts International Airport’s iconic open-air waving gallery and observation deck.
The farewell ceremony takes place at the A-frame waving gallery from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The area is being closed as part of the ongoing airport expansion and redevelopment project, according to a press release from the Airports Authority, which adds that the closure is necessary to comply with international security regulations.
“The waving gallery has been an integral part of the airport for many years, and while we are saddened that it will no longer be an area for the public to greet friends and family, we realize this is a necessary step that we must take in order to have a world-class airport facility,” said Airports Authority CEO Albert Anderson.
The waving gallery has been in place since 1984 when the airport building was completed. The airport was opened to the public on Nov. 10 that year, followed by its operational opening on Jan. 26, 1985.
The cost of the airport project at the time, including the control tower and Civil Aviation offices, was $8.7 million, with $4.1 million funded through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank.
The architect was Chalmers Gibbs Martin Joseph Partnership and the contractor was Arch &Godfrey Construction. The Government Public Works Department supervised the project.
The current $55 million dollar airport expansion and renovation is being carried out in two main phases. The first phase, on the west end of the terminal, commenced in October 2015 and includes the construction of an area for baggage screening, airline administrative offices, a baggage pick-up area and a rooftop mechanical room.
The second phase consists of easterly and westerly expansions, and renovations to the existing interior of the terminal building.
Light refreshments will be served at Tuesday’s closing event and the public will have the opportunity to take photos from the waving gallery before the area is closed off, organizers said.