The new arrivals hall at the Owen Roberts International Airport – the latest piece in the jigsaw of Cayman’s $55-million airport upgrade – opened this week.
It is the second major wing of the new development to open to the public, following the new ticketing area which opened in December.
Construction crews will soon begin the tricky task of completing the work inside the original airport buildings.
Albert Anderson, CEO of the Cayman Islands Airports Authority, said the opening of the arrivals hall was another major milestone.
“I would like to say we are on the home straight but we are not quite there yet,” he said. “Things are going to get really tight inside the old terminal once we get things started in there.”
He said the new arrivals hall, which includes customs, baggage and immigration areas, already created a lot more space and convenience for passengers coming through the facility. There are five baggage carousels in the new building, as well as additional customs and immigration desks.
A Department of Tourism information kiosk has opened next to the baggage claim. There is still some work to do, including interior décor, art and advertising.
One of the next steps will be to knock through the dividing wall between the new building and the old baggage area to expand the immigration area further.
Mr. Anderson said there was some retail space inside the new arrivals hall, as well as multiple spaces in the departure lounge – the last major part of the project.
A decision on which businesses have won bids for space in the departure lounge is imminent, he added.
One of the first passengers to come through the new arrivals area this week was Director of Tourism Rosa Harris.
Stepping off a flight from Jamaica on Wednesday, following a business meeting, she said, “It is wonderful to see our international airport transformed. I have been through the full process this morning and there is a lot more space. It is beautifully designed.”