Temporary airport lounge open to passengers

| 23/01/2015 | 3 Comments
Cayman News Service

Temporary Departures Hall at the Owen Roberts International Airport

(CNS): Government officials said that the new temporary departure lounge at Owen Roberts International airport will open to the travelling public this weekend. The 3,600ft temporary steel framed structure, which is designed for airport use, can accommodate up to 229 passengers, has four restrooms and is fully equipped with air conditioning and a PA system. The hall will be in use while work on the main redevelopment and expansion of the Grand Cayman airport is underway.

Despite being a temporary facility, the new hall has more space than the old one and has eight parking stands for commercial aircraft and eight departure gates with individual monitors, eliminating the need for airlines to share space or for passengers to congregate in the same area in preparation for boarding.

“Crews will be working around the clock to ensure this new departures area is fully operational and ready to accept travellers from Friday morning,” the CEO of the Airports Authority, Albert Anderson, told politicians and the governor, who all visited the airport this week to see the progress and the much-anticipated airport expansion project.

“Once in service, passengers will be able to move back and forth between the temporary departures hall and the existing departures hall to utilise the snack bar and retail stores. With this additional space we expect less congestion which will greatly improve the overall travel experience,” he said.

The politicians were given a tour of the expanded facilities from the perspective of traveller. Starting airside like an arriving passenger, the group walked along the new covered walkway, which was installed to provide protection from the sun and rain, and proceeded to the immigration hall and into the baggage collection area.

“I am extremely pleased by the tremendous team effort and willingness by all agencies concerned to improve the flow of passengers so that travellers can be processed quickly and efficiently,” said Deputy Premier Moses Kirkconnell, who is the tourism minister. “At peak periods, our aim is to have immigration booths manned and airport personnel keeping the lines moving to reduce the overspill that backs up outside of the arrivals hall building. We will also be continuing to offer the live music provided by local musicians, who help to add a festive atmosphere and encourage passengers to relax and think happy thoughts about their Caribbean vacation while they are waiting to be processed through the border controls,” he said.

The airport redevelopment project is following an aggressive timeline for completion due to the vital role it plays in underpinning the islands’ growing tourism industry.

“Expanding the airport to provide a modern facility that offers a superior travel experience is a priority for the country and for this government,” Kirkconnell said. “Although the need for a bigger facility has been recognised and talked about for many years, I am very pleased to have the support and commitment of my colleagues in government to ensure that the expansion of ORIA will be accomplished during this administration.”

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Category: development, Local News

Comments (3)

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  1. name says:

    I’m confused. Is it a departure hall, or an arrivals hall as Moses is describing?

  2. Guest says:

    Now maybe they will construct a “temporary” facility to accommodate the congestion at the check-in counters and security

    • Driftwood says:

      Hey Dude, you want too much! Hell its only taken 5 years to do something about the overcrowding once through the gate, so give them time man, like whats the hurry? Tourists probably think its a quaint old fashion Cayman tradition to make people queue outside in the boling sun before getting into a really impressive state-of-the-art check in zone.

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