Airport to wave nostalgic final farewell to gallery

| 07/12/2016 | 83 Comments

(CNS): As the renovations and redevelopment of Owen Roberts International Airport continues, the much-loved waving gallery will close in January, officials confirmed this week. The outdoor balcony under the iconic A-frame and thatch roof belongs to a bygone era and the Cayman Islands Airport Authority needs to close it to meet international security regulations, it stated in a release.

“The waving gallery has been an integral part of the airport for many years and while we are saddened that it will no longer be an area for the public to greet friends and family, we realize this is a necessary step that we must take in order to have a world-class airport facility,” said the CIAA CEO Albert Anderson.

The public is welcome to take photos of the waving gallery throughout the holiday season, officials said.

The CIAA is also planning a final public event before the gallery closes early next year.

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Category: development, Local News

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  1. Ex-Patriot?? says:

    Did the article mention anything about this being demolished or did it say it was being closed to the public?
    CNS please clarify.

  2. Anonymous says:

    To the present CIAA management removing the waving gallery is easier than managing effective security patrols and monitoring CCTV coverage of the waving gallery!!

    The excuse that it conflicts with security regulations is pure BS! The truth has more to do with the desire of a certain past chairman who still has influence there to remove the symbol of his beloved “brotherhood”, which it was designed to represent by another (deceased) leader of that “brotherhood”.

    Believe that!!

    • Anonymous says:

      So what you’re saying Koolade, is that the double a-frame is a secret reference to the Freemasons?! Come on, man. Take your Prozac before you post!

    • Anonymous says:

      It is actually an international security requirement. Look it up before posting. Or does something that is not actually particularly attractive in any way, its run down and tatty looking take priority over everyone else’s security on an aircraft? Interesting view point.

    • Anonymous says:

      Really? So was 1960’s Howard Johnson style a Masonic symbol too?

    • Anonymous says:

      and that my friends is the “Hard(y)” truth….Heard it straight from the horses’ mouth as we drank rum and cokes at Morritts..

  3. Cayman Catboat Club says:

    If anyone from the Airport Authority or the Contractor taking this down reads this, I would appreciate a call at 926-4676.

    The Cayman Catboat Club would welcome a chance to repurpose this structure as a Boat Shed for our catboats.It is tall enough for us to house boats with the masts standing when we are preparing them for launching and providing shade for repairing them, so it would be most appreciated and would not be a lost icon.

    While we are a not for profit organization we would be willing to cover the cost of relocating it.

    Anyone wanting to stand under it and wave to Catboats racing would also be welcomed.

    Jerris Miller – President Cayman Catboat Club, Chairman Cayman Maritime Heritage Foundation

  4. Anonymous says:

    Where’s the Save the Cove guy? Get him to Save the Gallery…this is nonsense…if its really about security, there are ways to compromise surely?? It’s one of the most beloved unique spots in Cayman – if security was really an issue, how come its been operating so long and only now (with the renovations) needs to shut? This stinks……oh man, so much change unnecessarily so all over these islands…..its great people want to invest in us, but none of it is particularly cayman/caribbean and its all just overbuilt, seen it anywhere stuff that takes away more and more of our unique Islands…..this is really a shame, are they at least offering an alternative viewing area? Save the Gallery! someone set up a facebook thing

  5. Anonymous says:

    Go to the Brac if you need your relatives or baby mamas to wave at you when you arrive.

  6. Anonymous says:

    My biggest problem will be knowing when the flight I am waiting for arrives, as there is no way you can understand the PA announcements.

  7. Len says:

    Sad. Whilst many come to our shores for our uniqueness, we destroy the very things that draw our tourists here. Keep destroying our reefs, our mangroves, our heritage and our people and see if we don’t end up just like the rest of the world.

  8. Anonymous says:

    You idiots complaining about losing this are the same ones who wanted the sky bridges! Lmao

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m complaining about losing it as I felt it was part of the experience here and nobody was forced to use. I’m also against the sky bridges, again I think there was a solution where we could somehow meet in the middle to allow cover on rainy days, but I’ve always enjoyed stepping off the plane and feeling the Cayman sun and I’m sure it is welcoming to tourists, especially those coming from colder climates.

  9. Anonymous says:

    enclose it should have been the answer, simple….

  10. bye says:

    Can we put Alden up there so we can wave goodbye to him next May?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Cayman is no longer an island that time forgot….actually it hasn’t been for a long time now, but this is just one more destruction of the things that did make Cayman magic. You can keep it now, might as well be in Dallas.

    • Anonymous says:

      A little exaggeration, n’est-ce-pas?

    • Anonymous says:

      What was destruction of what made it magic was building the airport that we are now replacing. And, I’ll bet there are those who would say the same about the current Dallas airport over its predecessor. Dr Roy’s house succumbed to development, as so much else of old George Town. But what is a waving gallery when the real question is where is our National Development Plan based on real economic need and evidence-based policy.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Yes, let’s get rid of everything that represents any kind of history of Cayman. Let’s turn it ALL into a nice Dart idea of everything shiny and new. We don’t need same ol same ol..

    You people are nuts to keep tearing down these things instead of taking care of them to last. (The iconic glass house should have been maintained properly and we’d still have it)

    • Anonymous says:

      What has Dart got to do with this, moron? Pop your head?

      • Anonymous says:

        skyscrapers (aka Kimpton) on SMB are not representation of Cayman”s uniqueness.

      • Anonymous says:

        How about this YOU moron.. Dart has been buying up everything and taking it down to replace with bright and shiny. What coconut pal m have you been passed out under for the past 10 years?

        • Anonymous says:

          Who sold it to him? Caymanians….convenient to blame one party for something that is blameless and just happens to fit your warped view

  13. Anonymous says:

    Remove the thatch and put some driftwood, would look alot more island-like.

  14. Gordon Barlow says:

    This is deplorable arrogance on the part of the CIAA. The welcome-gallery is an essential part of any Caribbean experience. Why would the CIAA want to follow the impersonal path of major US airports? If Mr Anderson’s rule-book says he must prevent hosts from waving to visitors (and assuring themselves that they really were on the plane), then he ought to tear up the book. This is a wretched change for the worse.

  15. MM says:

    Honestly, if we had visionaries in Government they would have easily found a way to incorporate this building accent in to the new airport; it could have become new shops on the second floor, completely enclosed with glass, it could be modernized by removing the dark brown roofing and adding something more contemporary; there are numerous ways this could have remained once it is still structurally sound.

  16. MM says:

    Growing up in Cayman Brac in the 80s and flying over to Grand felt like an international voyage to me back then and being welcomed by the towering A frame was a fairy-tale feeling.

    I’m saddened, but change must come – to more than the waving gallery too.

    • Pontius Pilot says:

      There was no A-Frame until perhaps the late 80’s, just a small wooden structure with some puss poor ceiling fans. Perhaps we should have kept that and all would be right with the world?

      • MM says:

        Well whenever, I just remembering travelling really young and loving approaching what looked like a towering structure at the time.

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly MM! VISIONARIES is what this country needs, not those with severe myopia.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I’ve always looked forward to my family waving at me from the gallery when I arrive back from a trip. But I guess this is what’s happening in many respects — the true uniqueness, charm, and character of Cayman is being whittled away into something that resembles the characterless and impersonal landscape of places like Miami. Shame those responsible for the new airport could not have been more sensitive and inventive.

    • Anonymous says:

      But you will see and touch them 15 minutes later when they clear customs. So what’s the big deal?

      • Anonymous says:

        Call me a romantic, but there is a difference between seeing a relative emerge from the actual airplane and waving to them, and seeing them emerge from a pair of electronic doors 30-mins later. It’s friendly, it kind of Caribbean, and it’s not the same as everywhere else.

        • Anonymous says:

          Right 12.32….I see, you don’t get out much, do you? If its my friends or relatives I get them to text me as they are getting done with Immigration and drive up to pick them up…and I am still pleased to see them, and hug them. Plus I don’t have to deal with that Car Park payment system…

      • Anonymous says:

        You must come through the VIP line with Alden..When was the last time you got through Immigrations and Customs in 15 minutes…

  18. Veritas says:

    I hope the new airport has an emergency generator that works. Ten days ago all the passengers off the BA flight from London had to wait on the tarmac for more than 40 minutes after an 11 hour flight. They could not be processed by immigration as following a power cut in the airport area the standby generator would not start due to a flat battery.

  19. I wish says:

    I wish they would put Alden and Wayne up there so we can wave goodbye to them too

  20. Anonymous says:

    Another Lodge icon to be soon replaced with another Lodge icon. Oh snooze.

  21. The gallery was always a white elephant. Looked like a south sea island idea instead of a Caribbean look.

    • Anonymous says:

      It was never a white elephant- it was a viewing gallery at the Cayman Islands main airport. Never seen an elephant there ever. And I do not discriminate, so would not tell if it was white or coloured, even if I had.

      • Elephant spotter says:

        Ive seen a few elephants there… snuffling up a last minute pre-flight meal at the hungry horse.

    • Anonymous says:

      And the new design has a Caribbean look? Maybe south beach, not Caribbean

    • Cynical says:

      These days, how much of Cayman REALLY looks Caribbean – might as well be an extension of South Florida – excluding the Keys..

  22. Anonymous says:

    I don’t see why it couldn’t have been enclosed in glass or put a chain link fence along it. I’m sure there was a way they could have preserved this if they felt like it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Indeed 11.06, it should be preserved in a giant rainbow coloured condom type structure to represent the conservative nature of the Cayman Islands for the arriving masses.

    • Anonymous says:


    • Anonymous says:

      They could have kept it. Just needs a bit of thought and effort. As you rightly pointed out a glass wall would have done the job.

      They could have also modeled it after the waving gallery at New York’s JFK airport in the terminal used by Cayman Airways which has a sort of knitted netting which prevents people throwing items to passengers who have cleared security.

  23. Anonymous says:


  24. Anonymous says:

    BULL S****. why is it we are getting or have to do away with all the is unique about this Island just to look like another metropolis.. I don’t agree, there must be away to still have this it is a good thing it still show that we have that people and friendly touch in what we d/are about. . Time to protest do or start a petition HELLER…..:)

  25. Debbie Smith says:

    The new airport looks not tropical at all. Lots of air conditioning to heat a glass building. Another white elephant.
    Grand Cayman has lost its charm and this is a sad day. Political correctness rules the day and people have become cold and not friendly. Goodbye to your tourist dollar. A ship that has sailed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Political correctness? In Cayman? Where you been girl, you sure don’t live here…

    • Anonymous says:

      Look, air travel and airports are no longer hold any romance. If the new building gets us all in and out as fast as possible it will be doing its job.

  26. Arch E. Tect says:

    About bloody time. Can they take the Court House and the Glass House with them?

  27. Anonymous says:

    A world class facility would have air bridges. Keep the waving gallery, at least it gives the airport a Caribbean flavour, a lot more than a glass greenhouse will.

    • Anonymous says:

      I guess Heathrow must not be a world class airport as 2/3rds of arriving and departing flights dont have air bridges, and passengers take buses out to the airplane.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well, I have said something similar when I discover I’m on one of those 2/3 of flights from Heathrow. (Though I had not realized the bus ratio was so high.)

      • Anonymous says:

        Nonsense. That is not correct.

      • Anonymous says:

        That is a capacity problem. More aircraft than air bridges, different subject altogether. Also, typically you will find the low cost carriers opt for remote stands and bussing. But I will say in my opinion of having travelled globally for over 30 years that Heathrow is actually a crap airport, save the newer terminals.

  28. Anonymous says:

    This really tugs at my heart strings… I’ve stood on this balcony and welcomed home the remains of my grandfather, returning fishermen (real ones) who were lost at sea and ended up near Honduras, I welcomed home my family member who resided in the states for two years after a serious car accident which almost took his life…I have also stood on that balcony to welcome my brother home after a long deployment in the Navy, and stood there to celebrate several Caymanians first flights as Captain at Cayman Airways, I have watched as my heart burst with pride as new planes were christened with the water salute from the Fire Department…

    I am sure that I am not the only one who has these types of memories of the gallery.

    While I am glad to see the airport advance, I am terribly sad to see this gallery that holds so many memories for Caymanians, Residents and even visitors close.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dont quite understand the sentiments. 10 minutes after viewing them from the gallery you can see arriving passengers as they exit the airport…..

      • Anonymous says:

        I think part of the appeal was seeing people before they had exited the airport. Or even received approval to enter the country for that matter. It allowed people on the island to give a personal welcome to those entering rather than have the official welcome which we all know leaves much to be desired. We all know also that quickening of the pace you feel when someone is there to greet you, they took the trouble to be there for your arrival and you are now twice as excited to see them. Say goodbye to that touching quirk of air travel in the Cayman Islands. The only thing then in your way is, of course, even at present: the airport officials you must get through. And they are now going to be the first impression this island gives to its visitors – no making them feel welcome by some genuine hospitality from a non-official anymore. So those officials had better get some training in behaving like they are being judged, because they are and they will be even more going forward.

      • Anonymous says:

        And that is ok, those are your impressions and thoughts you stated.
        Other persons, with different character traits, understand the sentiments, and likely will connect and share nostalgic moments with one another. Our differences help make the world a more interesting place.

  29. Anonymous says:

    With the amount of guns that there seem to be on Island now, this is probably very sensible…

    • Anonymous says:

      Had to scroll all the way to the bottom to find one sensible comment. While it may have been cute it was a major safety concern!

    • Anonymous says:

      Has anyone been shot from there before? No.

      Alllll these years and it hasn’t happened, but I’m sure you’ve just given someone the bright idea now… Thanks in advance!

      • Anonymous says:

        Numbnuts at 2.16…nobody has been shot, but you certainly don’t need a PhD to determine contraband (including firearms) could make it onto a plane from this area.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hahahaha! We weren’t worried about people getting shot from the balcony you twit, but it’s possible that contraband or weapons could be thrown to passengers who have cleared security and are flying to international destinations!

      • Anonymous says:

        2.16, you are the guy who doesn’t buy insurance ‘cos nothing ever happened, right? Only happens to others, right? No point in talking to people who won’t see the lessons of history…Brussels airport, Istanbul etc

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