The Cayman Islands Airports Authority has released further information about its plan to restrict pick-ups and drop-offs by private vehicles at the roadside outside the Owen Roberts International Airport terminal from Monday.

The CIAA earlier this month announced that, from 30 Aug., only authorised public transportation and tour operators will be allowed to drop off or pick up passengers in front of the main terminal, in line with a new airport landside security requirement.

The new arrangement led to many questions and concerns from the public on social media, leading the CIAA to issue a press release Friday addressing some of the queries raised.

Under the new traffic-flow rules, all unauthorised vehicles will be routed to the short- or long-term parking lots. Since lockdown last year, parking in these lots has been free, but standard parking rates will be reintroduced in October. From then, drivers will have a free five-minute grace period to drop off or pick up passengers at the short-term car park.

On Friday, the CIAA stated that the new arrangement was being implemented in order to comply with International Civil Aviation regulatory requirements “that specify that unknown, or ‘unvetted’, vehicles are not permitted to be within 30 meters of any Airport terminal building”.

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It explained, “Authorised vehicles include taxis, pre-booked bus operators and limousines, which are considered ‘vetted’ vehicles, having gone through a rigorous airport and public transport screening and licensing process, whereas private vehicles are considered ‘unvetted’ vehicles.”

The change to the passenger pick-up and drop-off arrangements comes as Cayman anticipates an increase in the number of passengers using the airport as the islands prepare to reopen the borders.

This map issued by the Cayman Islands Airports Authority shows the new traffic-flow arrangements at the Owen Roberts International Airport.

Reduced-mobility passengers

The CIAA said people with reduced mobility can park in the handicapped parking spaces allocated in the short-term parking lot, adding that a parking permit is required for those spaces.

“Assistance will be provided for passengers with reduced mobility through the use of the airlines’ wheelchair service and an electric golf cart operated by Airport Customer Service personnel,” the airports authority noted in a press release.

Bad weather

One of the FAQs in the release deals with how people can transport their luggage to the terminal during wet weather.

In it, the CIAA stated that porters will be available to assist passengers with their luggage, or passengers may use the airport luggage carts to carry their bags to the terminal at no cost to them.

“Airport Customer Service personnel will provide umbrellas to assist passengers in inclement weather conditions,” the CIAA said.

Paying for parking

Although drop-off is free if it is within the first five minutes of entering the short-term car park, customers who stay longer are required to pay for their parking ticket.

They can do so by using a debit or credit card at the parking pay stations at the exits of both the short- and long-term parking lots.

“If they prefer to pay by cash, they may pay one of the mobile cashiers directly as they exit. Additionally, they may also pay for their parking inside the terminal building at one of the automated pay stations,” the CIAA said.

Read the full release here.

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  1. 5 minutes grace period is not enough time to help an elderly couple and their bags to the airport check in… Please make it 15 minutes. The same objective will be fulfilled and it will reduce the line of people at the exits fumbling for CI$2 cash or a credit card… keep the big picture in mind.

    The CAA is not in the transportation business, it is in the customer service business and is a Government (not private) entity paid for by the public, for the public.

  2. “…the CIAA stated that the new arrangement was being implemented in order to comply with International Civil Aviation regulatory requirements “that specify that unknown, or ‘unvetted’, vehicles are not permitted to be within 30 meters of any Airport terminal building”.

    That must be because of the ongoing problem we have had with suicide bombers and explosive packed vehicles.

    At least tell the truth.

    The CIAA are going to inconvenience all passengers being picked up and dropped off, including making them haul their luggage in the rain, just to collect a $5 charge per car.

    BTW. I have been dropped off many times at London Heathrow airport. Always by a private car and always directly in front of the terminal.

  3. Every airport in the US allows you to drop off or pick up right in front of the terminal. Whoever said that there is an international rule has no clue what they are talking about or the US and every other major airport in the world does not follow this. This is a poor excuse to harass people and try to extort money in the way or parking and porter fees. This new government is getting worse and worse. Time for a new election.

  4. This is totally unrealistic!!! Sounds like just a money grab to me. It is virtually impossible to pick up someone with bags and depart within 5 minutes. Simply CANNOT be done.
    ALSO: Daily flights come in from Jamaica, and people have a lot of bags with them. Many Jamaicans do not have a credit card, and that is the only means to pay for the short-term parking. Same problem for those dropping off people leaving for Jamaica — are you supposed to just pull into the parking, throw their bags in the parking lot, not help them load it on the luggage cart because you certainly cannot leave your car, go get a luggage cart, and load it in and be out in 5 minutes! It’s beyond absurd. And again, without a credit card, how do you get out of the airport parking lot??? Whomever thought of this has no concept of reality.