Airport Says Phases 2 and 3 will be Complete by Year-end
(CNS Business): With work on phase one of the Owen Roberts International Airport expansion project complete, officials said this week that they are also on target to finish phases two and three before the end of 2017. The first phase included the development of the new baggage handling and screening area, airline offices and a mechanical room. The next two phases include an additional exit lane in short-term parking, which will be completed by October, the enhanced ticketing area, scheduled for November, and the new immigration, customs and baggage claim areas in early December.
Officials from the Cayman Islands Airports Authority (CIAA), which owns and operates the ORIA, said that the final phase, which will be completed in late 2018, includes an expanded departure hall, food court, VIP lounge, restaurant, additional restroom facilities, children’s play area, lactation room for new mothers and a variety of concessions.
CIAA CEO Albert Anderson said the project was at the half-way mark and on track. “There are numerous moving parts to the project, and it has been so rewarding to witness first-hand the many leaps and bounds we are making to deliver a first-class facility that we will all enjoy,” he said.
The project was divided into phases over the targeted three-year period as the construction work has been undertaken while the airport remains open, with passengers coming and going on a daily basis.
“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,” Anderson stated in a release. “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.”
When it is finished, the project will almost triple the current size of the airport to accommodate over two million passengers per year. ORIA was built in the early 1980’s, and while it now processes over one million passengers per year, it is only equipped for 500,000.
Passengers can expect a complete renovation and an enhanced airport experience. As well as an increase in space, there will be additional gates, arrival baggage carousels and security x-ray machines. The project also includes the installation of sophisticated systems to help expedite wait times and provide efficiencies, including an electronic common use passenger processing system for check-in, including self-service kiosks, new departures baggage handling system, flight and baggage information display systems, geothermal air-conditioning system and new ambient noise controlled public address system.
Alongside the work inside the terminal, the CIAA has also put out a tender for designers to enhance the 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.