A project to renovate and expand Grand Cayman’s international airport is halfway to completion, officials said this week.

The development will triple the size of the Owen Roberts International Airport terminal, allowing it to accommodate more than two million passengers per year. Currently around one million travelers pass through the airport annually, though it was originally designed for 500,000.

The project is split into phases over three years to allow the airport to continue operating as construction continues and is estimated to be completed by early 2019.

The Cayman Islands Airports Authority says work on phase one, which includes a new baggage handling and screening area, airline offices and a mechanical room, is done.

Phases two and three are scheduled for completion at the end of 2017. This includes an additional exit lane for short term parking, enhancing the ticketing area for future long-term expansion and new immigration, customs and baggage claim areas.

The final phase, to be completed in late 2018 or early 2019, includes an expanded departure hall, food court, VIP lounge and restaurant.

There are currently diversions in place around the airport parking areas as work continues.

Albert Anderson, CEO of the airports authority, said, “Our passengers, airport partners and staff have been very understanding and accommodating throughout this transition. We have inconvenienced them quite a bit, and we appreciate all of the support we have received while the necessary construction work is going on.

“A world-class terminal in the Cayman Islands is not far from sight now, and we look forward to sharing it with our residents and people from all across the globe.”

The CIAA has also put out to tender for design services to enhance the facility’s airside. Projects for this bid include strengthening the runway, remediating the airfield ponds, expanding the apron to the east and adding a perimeter road for airfield access vehicles, according to a press release.

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