The Cayman Islands Airports Authority is planning to upgrade the Owen Roberts International Airport airfield. - Photo: CIAA

The Cayman Islands Airports Authority and IDL Projects Joint Venture have signed a $30 million contract for airfield upgrade works at the Owen Roberts International Airport.

The contract signing took place this week and was publicly announced on Wednesday in a CIAA media statement.

The IDL Projects Joint Venture, the CIAA said, is a three-company partnership which includes local businesses Island Paving and Dart company DECCO, and Canadian-based firm IDL Projects, which specialises in airports and infrastructure.

“This newly formed partnership of the CIAA with IDL Projects Joint Venture brings focus to the continued airfield upgrades and improvement of Cayman’s beloved airport, ORIA, for the people of the Cayman Islands,” the authority said.

According to the CIAA statement, the project works will commence early next month and are expected to take approximately eight months to complete.

Last month, the CIAA applied for planning permission to begin its airfield upgrades.
In August, the CIAA announced its planned runway work had to be rescheduled to take place outside of normal operating hours, thus negating the need to close the airport one day a week as had been originally announced.

“The apron work will be the first of the five sub-projects to begin, followed by the runway rehabilitation and extension in January 2020. The works will not affect the airline schedules,” the statement said.

Deputy Premier and Minister of Tourism Moses Kirkconnell, commenting on the signing of the new contract, said in the statement, “This is an extremely important next step on our master plan for the airport expansion. Our extended ramp and taxiway will make the airport more efficient and expedite departures and landings.”

CIAA Chief Airport Operations Officer Wayne DaCosta welcomed movement on the project.
“We are dedicated to providing our customers with professional, innovative airport services and facilities in a safe, efficient manner, and IDL Projects Joint Venture has a proven track record of delivering successful, quality development to the wider community,” he said.

Island Paving Ltd. managing director Barry Bodden, representing IDL joint venture, expressed confidence in the ability of the consortium to execute the project.

“We are committed to ensuring this project benefits the wider community through employment opportunities and building the local skillset for future maintenance and expansion works,” he said, “It is our intention to support local businesses, first and foremost.”

At the contract signing for the Owen Roberts International Airport Airfield Upgrade Project were, standing, from left, Chris Lennon of DECCO; Roy Williams, senior project manager; Premier Alden McLaughlin; Deputy Premier Moses Kirkconnell; Chief Officer Stran Bodden; and Peter Ranger, chief project manager, and, seated, from left, Chief Airport Operations Officer Wayne DaCosta from the Cayman Islands Airports Authority and Barry Bodden, Island Paving/DECCO/IDL Projects JV Ltd.
The airfield-upgrade project

The Cayman Islands Airports Authority said the project consists of five sub-projects:

  • Milling and repaving of the existing runway surface
  • A runway extension
  • Filling of the ponds within the airfield perimeter
  • Establishing a robust airfield perimeter road
  • Expanding the aircraft parking ramp in an easterly direction to provide additional aircraft parking.

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  1. Mr Anderson and Mr DaCosta owe the public an explanation as to why this plan was not adopted in the first place, rather than the catastrophic arrangements announced previously to close the airport for 11 consecutive Tuesdays, which caused chaos for air travelers and all the airlines who cancelled their flights over this period as a consequence.