Airport runway work delayed

| 14/08/2019 | 57 Comments
Cayman News Service
Owen Roberts International Airport

(CNS): Plans to extend and repave the runway at the Owen Roberts International Airport next month have been postponed, officials said Tuesday. In a press release, the Cayman Islands Airport Authority said that “unexpected extended contract negotiations” had led to part of the work being put off, though some elements of this outside phase of the airport renovation project would still go ahead.

Earlier this year the airport began a tender process to find a contractor to do the work at the airport, which would have seen the runway closed for eight consecutive Tuesdays, starting in September, to facilitate the re-paving and extension of the runway. But officials have now said that “due to these unforeseen circumstances”, the milling and re-paving of the existing runway surface works will have to be rescheduled, though no date has been given for when work will begin.

Officials said that some airfield upgrade work will still take place as planned. The ramp expansion, filling the ponds and the creation of an airfield perimeter road will not be affected by the delay over the contract.

Last month the government’s procurement portal showed that the contract for the full airport works had been awarded, though no details of the winner have been made public. But since then, the request for proposals, the accompanying documents and the posting revealing that the contract had been awarded have all been removed from the Public Purchasing Portal, where all available government contracts are now advertised.

CNS has contacted the airport about the status of the tender and whether or not the same company that remains in “extended contract negotiations” will be undertaking the airfield work that is still scheduled to go ahead. We are awaiting their response.

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Category: Business, development, Local News, Transport

Comments (57)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    My return flight was booked and paid to return Tue Sept 10, then subsequently received news that the airport would be closed. I therefore had to change my flight to return 2 days later when the airport reopened.

    This decision cost me 2 nights in a hotel $500 (non refundable) and two extra vacation days. Now they changed the plan?

    How could a decision as impact as closing the airport be made BEFORE the contract for the work was finalised? Answer: Incompetence!

  2. Frequent Flyer says:

    Even for Absurdistan this level of incompetence and arrogance is jaw-dropping. Here is a tip before messing everyone around – bids, contracts, closures – arrange them in that order. Is a civil servant taking responsibility for this mess up? No, you bet not.

  3. Anonymous says:

    How can such a small island be so blessed to have so many armchair experts? There seems to be no limit to the uninformed negativity towards any and everything that happens in and around Government. Judging by the number of thumbs up and down, It seems to have reached a point now where most of us don’t even bother to read the comments

    • Anonymous says:

      Is your comment positive? Calling people names is positive? A well of wisdom in people’s comments. Not everyone with a degree is an expert. They’re often educated beyond intelligence. One thing is to teach medicine, another is to practice. This applies to everything.

    • Anonymous says:

      9:53, One does not have to be an armchair expert to understand basic nonsense when it stares one in the face. Your problem is that you lack the basic education and ability to understand what is going on around you related to the airport and related developments. I am not an expert but I am also not a total fool.

  4. Do not fill in the ponds says:

    No reason to fill in the ponds that have been there for years. You can still extend the runway without filling the ponds. Then it rains for days those ponds are the only things that keep crewe road from flooding.
    Do not fill in those ponds. Wildlife live there and it will only produce more flooding.
    As said the runway extension can be done without filling in the ponds.

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you ignorant? Do you know the damage a bird strike can do to an airplane???
      In fairness, I do agree that they’d better allow for the water drainage when filling them.. I mean they didn’t consider that with the airport reno, so…

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed! I love those ponds! So many birds are there and it’s so beautiful to drive past. It breaks my heart to think of them being gone. Plus the practicality of it taking excess flood water is also an important function they perform. Who knows what flooding will happen in the airport building without them! 😉 Lol!

      Yes, bird strikes can be catastrophic and that’s something we don’t want for either the birds or the planes,

      I’ve never looked it up, have there been many bird strikes in Cayman? Because the planes fly over them now so what difference if they stay?. Those ponds have always been there so can’t be considered too much of a problem if they are only talking of filling them in now one would think?! Again – not an expert, genuine curiosity on the bird strikes

    • Anonymous says:

      10:10 pm, you won the biggest fool a reward for the year, do you ever think, you could be on the plane when the plane get a bird strike. As for the water did you ever hear about drain wells. Be a fool sometimes, but don’t make a career out of it. Ok.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Well as we now know work is going to be done at night rather than during the day on Tuesdays. Common sense finally prevails! Presumably the airlines pointed out how bloody stupid the plan was – I personally couldn’t believe it when they announced they were closing the airports on Tuesdays! Only in Cayman folks.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I had a flight that I had to change because go the closures. I was planning to go Wednesday morning on AA, returning Saturday.

    As the Tuesday night flight was cancelled, the Wednesday morning flight was cancelled. As was the Tuesday morning flight.

    So I have to go Monday, I am away for 5 days now instead of 3, two days off work, two extra days of hotel and car rental…

    For nothing.

  7. Roger davies says:

    You say the work has ben postponed but how does this affect the posted runway closure on Tusdays from Sep 3rd to Oct 22d, this is critical information. I have already had to change a reservaton as American had cancelled all their flights on Oct 1st..

    • Anonymous says:

      Sounds like a personal issue. Take it up with your airline.

      • Roger Davies says:

        6.16pm What planet do you live on. The airline and others cancelled flights due to an advisory from the CIAA who having stated the runway had to be closed to all traffic for 8 days and are now saying this is not necessary!. This situation is entirely due to the gross incompetence of CIAA senior management, the airline is blameless. Read my additional comments in the Compass.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Interesting. Never knew about it. Hope there are warning signs

    Thrill-seeking tourist killed by jet-engine blast at Caribbean beach airport.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I had clients put off a trip as they couldn’t fly out on a Tuesday in september… now you’re telling me all those airlines losing revenue are fine with this b/s – god help us if the debacle which is the airport is precedent for the port. Let’s just hope the referendum stops that in its tracks

  10. Anonymous says:

    Thanks CNS!! You are so appreciated! Please continue to document how these inept politicians keep dropping the ball. Changes are coming. They can’t get anything right. By time this project done we’ll be right back in the same situation, half complete project and totally over budget.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Still they should be allowed to mess up the port too?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Why are they putting up guard rail on the road on the west end of the runway? I thought we were expanding the runway westwards to the cricket pitch. Thats why the road was gazetted over 10yrs ago from the mango tree roundabout to the CNB roundabout and now they finally built it.

    Putting up guard rail and making road improvements on that small bit of road by the runway west end is signalling that the westward expansion of the runway is now a no-go. Why?

    Why is this Alden Moses and McKeeva led govt concentrating on building a cruise dock for 2 million tourists that only contribute (according to Dept. of Tourism stats) 20% of the tourism revenue? The other 80% of revenue is made up by 350,000 stay over tourists.

    Why not concentrate that money to expand or improve the runway to bring in more stay over tourists?

    And I go back to my original question, why put up the guard rail west of the runway???

    This govt makes no sense!!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Whatever happened to the Preferred bidder for the dump? CNS have you had any updates?

    CNS: No updates but we’re keeping an eye on that situation.

  14. Anonymous says:

    So after announcing for months that the airport would be closed on Tuesdays now it’s not? How many airlines had already dropped the Tuesday flights from their schedules? Someone should loose their job for this level on incompetence.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Yes, September Tuesdays are the quietest days in the quietest month but delays could push this project into the middle of high season. Not smart!

  16. Anonymous says:

    #saveourhickatees. This should require a referendum.

  17. Anonymous says:

    you got to keep ur lodge buddies happy

  18. Anonymous says:

    maybe finish the original airport expansion first????
    why is the media not reporting on this never ending saga???

  19. Anonymous says:

    the incomptence of the civil service and cig is never ending…..

  20. Anonymous says:

    What bright spark decided the airport should close during peak hurricane season?. I can recall before Paloma, KX was running all night to evacuate those trying to leave. I was trying to get back and did so just in time to ready my property. Just pushing it back one month would have been a better idea. What say vox populi?

    • Anonymous says:

      They picked the quietest day in the quietest month to minimize disruption.

      • Anonymous says:

        A hurricane can soon change that.

        • Anonymous says:

          In which case no one is working on the airport that day.
          Remember the closures were for one day a week. So anything they started in the morning that affected flights had to be finished before the next morning. If they saw a hurricane coming all they had to do was … not work that Tuesday and the runway wouldn’t be closed (for emergency flights). Simple solution to a simple problem.

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