Authority can cover airport overruns

| 09/05/2018 | 55 Comments
Cayman News Service

CIAA CEO Albert Anderson in the new departure lounge in the Owen Roberts Airport

(CNS): Cayman Islands Airports Authority CEO Albert Anderson is confident that overruns on the airport project will be covered by the authority and there will be no need for any government subsidy. Still unsure of the exact amount over budget the project will be when it is finished, he estimated it will be about 5%, but the additional $2-3 million will come directly from the airport’s own revenue and not the public purse. Speaking to the press Wednesday at the partial opening of the new departure hall, Anderson said the project was on track to finish by Christmas.

He explained that the budget overruns are a combination of unforeseen circumstances due to problems with the old building and a decision to change the design slightly to provide more outside cover. The original budget was around $55 million and the airport received $15 million from government but a slightly later start and a growth in passenger numbers and revenue means that the funds are available to pay for the overspend with a final total expected to be under $60 million.

While the project has experienced a considerable amount of management changes regarding which areas were completed when, the overall project remains on target. Six gates are now operational in the newly opened departure area and another three will be added when the lounge is finished.

The project is now in the home straight, though there is still a lot of work to do between now and the end of the year. However, Anderson said that as the new airport footprint grows, the “exercise in operational dexterity” and the logistical challenge of keeping the airport operational while it is completely renovated will get a little easier.

Anderson said that there will still be more juggling as the departure lounge and other areas are completed. But following the opening of a significant part of the departure lounge, there was an improvement in the management of passengers last weekend — a high traffic time for the facility.

The new airport will be able to accommodate around 2.5 million passengers per year, considerably more than the 1.2 million travellers that the airport currently handles, so even if the current surge in passenger numbers continues after the islands in the region recover from their hurricane experiences, the new facility will be able to cope will into the 2030’s.

Anderson revealed that the long-awaited decisions over the retail concessions will be made soon and that there will be meetings held in the coming weeks with the businesses involved.

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Category: development, Local News

Comments (55)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Airport looks like it’s from the past. Not a modern concept, who would remodel airport and not include jet ways. Nothing to be proud of here.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Why did we not plan at least two more gates for wide body aircraft and for the high volume traffic in the middle of the day?

    • Anonymous says:

      These are some of the worst 18th century comments I have ever read.

      Let’s see

      No1. Build jet ways and reduce the size of the terminal. So we don’t get wet.

      21st century response. Spend your money on increasing the size of the terminal. Once the terminal is completed then save enough money to build the jet ways!!

      No 2. Increase the size of the civil service by hiring more customs and immigration officers.

      21st century response. Reform the customs and immigration processes so that you do not require additional staff. Continue the Miami

      • Anonymous says:

        Pre clearance so that the majority of passengers do not need to clear immigration and customs in Cayman. Expand this to all CAL getways.

        Reform the customs process and focus on intelligence and surveillance.

        Please folks engage Brain.

        • Anonymous says:

          The Miami is the same process as done here. Except that immigration officers have been hired in Miami rather than here. Makes no sense to me!! Has to be more expensive than just adding a few people here. Now I’m sure there are supervisors, etc. A whole slew of duplication in Miami.

  3. Anonymous says:

    What I don’t understand is nothing is really improving except that we will be able to put more bodies indoors instead of outdoors..We still have 8 gates, just like before. We still have 12 immigration stalls, just like before. We have more luggage belts but the same amount of Customs desks..

    What we have is larger building with the same problems…

    Who planned this? Slocum?

    • Should have gone with the proposal from Canada. What you are basically going to have when the airport is finished is a band aid short term solution. Would have been better off to have spent $50 million more and then you would have a real modern state of the art airport like Bermuda will have at the end of next year. You would also also have not had to take on more CIG debt as others would have taken that on with the Canadian proposal.

      With hard times coming in 2020, we will regret the path CIG has taken with the so called quote new airport unquote. So shortsighted. In 5 years time we will fully understand the mistakes we made when we nearly double the number of airport ariivals with people coming to fill the new Hyatt and Four Seasons Hotels.

  4. Anonymous says:

    We couldn’t expect a dramatic change in design since it’s just a renovation limited by the budget and the existing facility and location, but come on Bo Bo, tell us the plans provide for more than 12 Immigration windows and for the staff parking to be relocated from where it is now so that it is not directly across from arrivals.

  5. alice says:

    I am confused why is it still costing so much and we still have to walk off the plane in rain .

    • Anonymous says:

      Simple, don’t fly on rainy days.

      • Anonymous says:

        3:27pm. Do the same that we all do when we land at many airports worldwide without jetways or access to jetways: walk in the rain to the terminal, with or without an umbrella. Gheesh!

      • 3:27, you are obviously an individual with a lot of money. Do you have any idea what ticket change prices are these days? Maybe you can afford to fly on days when rain does not fall but most people can’t afford this luxury. Come back to the real world 3:27.

    • West Bay Premier says:

      Alice , remember that when the Government is building anything , they don’t think to get monetary value, they just pay to get something done , so they can go back and pay more again to get job finished . They’re not like any smart builder .

    • Anonymous says:

      Stay on the plane until it stops raining. You’re welcome.

  6. Anonymous says:

    What about the fact that the old Arrivals hall had 12 immigration windows and the new Arrivals hall has 12 immigration windows?? How do they expect anything to improve if we have the exact same bottle neck as before.

    Doesn’t matter how big the room is! Double the amount of Immigration Officers ASAP!

  7. Anonymous says:

    These Islands are truly blessed to have so many experts who seem to have all the answers without having access to the underlying facts. Amazing.

    • Jotnar says:

      We are equally blessed by having a depth of experience such that we run our national airline with people who have either no experience in aviation or only that derived from their experience in playing in the Cayman \islands Airlines sandpit, but are not held to international norms. yet we evaluate performance based on prior local experience rather than holding it up to any international comparison. God forbid that even after a Cat 5 hurricane BVI and Antigua have better facilities than us.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I wonder did they consider the acoustics when drawing up those low ceilings?

  9. RICK says:

    This is misleading , how can a make over be classed as a new airport?

    • Anonymous says:

      Rick, you drinking again?

      • RICK says:

        A new airport is when you built a new runway. Did you get a new runway?

        Caymanians got conned. This is nothing more but a make over.

        Seems Caymanian are the ones drinking

        • Anonymous says:

          Rick old boy I see the frequency of your postings is slowing.

          Soon you will completely disappear as has all the other chaff that blew up on our shores.

          Get a job, get a new girl (the one you came with to Cayman is not leaving here anytime soon), and simply get on with your life.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Private sector trying to rip off Government again and complaining about the cost of Government. Just another day in the whacky private sector.

    Read the Biller/paw report!

  11. Anonymous says:

    I guess the CIAA can spend the Cayman Airways landing fees that are never actually paid. Just shuffling tax payer money from one pocket to the other.

  12. Say it like it is says:

    A lot of Caymanian comments. I hope he has learnt his lesson in allowing so many private jets to land during peak lunchtime travel period on the weekend, causing chaos for our arriving tourists.

  13. Stacy Scott says:

    Sure beats 300 million (+) for a dock that we don’t need!!!

  14. Anonymous says:

    The problem with the airport at this point is the lack of ramp space on the tarmac. Someone missed that detail. Easy to fix, but will they?

  15. Anonymous says:

    But why the secrecy about the awarding of the concessions? They were supposed to be decided and announced last August. Is it true the Dart/Starbucks/Margaritaville group have taken all the spaces? Or did the Tortuga/Duty Free America group get them all?

    The duty free shops that were there did as good a job as was needed selling booze, there is ZERO reason to look outside the country for duty free retailers.

    The restaurants likely will all be chain places, bring on Subway and Nathan’s hot dogs! Any local with half an ounce of brains will know they would not be able to keep the doors open based on the rents and requirements the consultants to the airport came up with.

    Ego will be the driving force in the selection… If they have not already been secretly completed.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Someone should let Albert know that the airports money is indeed the public purse.

  17. Anonymous says:

    There is still only 8 gates and with twice that amount landing at the same time the problem remains…MoBay will get the extra revenue from the planes that divert there because they can’t land here due to the lack of gates..

    • Kadafe says:

      There are currently 8 parking positions for commercial aircraft, at the end of the project there will be 9 boarding gates. If all parking spots all aircraft can board at once if necessary as well as a domestic flight at the same time. How many gates were you hoping for? 16?
      Also for the record, the airport redevelopment project is actually managed by the Major projects office (public works)

      • Anonymous says:

        Gee, glad they added one extra gate for domestic flights..What I was hoping for was two gates that could accommodate wide body aircraft so that when aircraft like BA’s B777 lands that it doesn’t have to take up two gates because the have to park on an angle in order not to have the tail sticking out far on the tarmac which could be dangerous for incoming aircraft.

        They could have easily added these to the east of the airport so the aircraft would be facing west when they parked having their tails out of the way of incoming aircraft..

  18. Bean Counter says:

    What does Max Jones the project manager from PWD have to say about the cost overruns and the ongoing change orders that are synonymous with any CIG project? How much will it cost for six jet ways to be included? CDS cannot be the reason jet ways are not incorporated into the project.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Albert, you are doing us proud. Keep at it son!

  20. Anonymous says:

    I hope it has more than 2 choices of restaurants after it’s done? Caymanian!

  21. OneVoice says:

    I am confused, it is not all government’s money or should I say THE PEOPLES money. Even if it being collected by an Authority or Government department, is it not still one of the same. So directly or indirectly in its our money bo bo . Just saying

  22. Anonymous says:

    10-15% contingency is normal in projects of this size and nature. Albert, keep your head up and keep on moving.

    • Anonymous says:

      The $55 million budget would have already included a contingency. This is an overrun.

      • Anonymous says:

        11:38am: that would be nice but you appear naive to public sector budgeting. Never happens that way and it never will.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Great work Albert and everyone else involved!

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