$30M deal signed for runway, airfield upgrades

| 16/10/2019 | 82 Comments
ORIA Airfield Upgrade Project contract signing:(Standing L-R) Chris Lennon, DECCO; Project Manager (Major Projects Office, PWD) Roy Williams Sr; Premier Alden McLaughlin; Deputy Premier Moses Kirkconnell; Chief Officer Stran Bodden; Chief Project Manager (Major Projects Office, PWD) Peter Ranger; (Seated L-R) COO CIAA Wayne DaCosta; and Barry Bodden, Island Paving/DECCO/IDL Projects JV Ltd

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Airports Authority (CIAA) has signed a deal worth some $30 million to expand and upgrade the runway and airfield at Owen Roberts International Airport (ORIA). This latest deal brings the cost of the whole airport project to around $100 million. Officials said the selected bidder includes two local companies — the Dart owned general contractor DECCO and Island Paving — along with IDL Projects, a Canadian firm that specialises in airport infrastructure.

The contract was signed earlier this week in the government building, with no press call to introduce the new CIAA partnership with the group or for airport and ministry officials to answer questions about the project, which has not been without challenges and controversy. Instead, the new deal was outlined in a press release from the airport.

The airfield work is expected to start next month and will take around eight months to complete, the release stated. There are several parts to the project, including the expansion of the aircraft parking ramp in an easterly direction. The plans also involve the milling and re-paving of the existing runway surface and then the runway extension. To do that the ponds within the airfield perimeter will be filled in. This will also pave the way for the construction of a new robust airfield perimeter road.

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The work will begin with the apron, followed by the runway rehabilitation and extension in January 2020. Despite the work taking place in peak tourism season, the CIAA said it will not affect the airline schedules.

Neither the Ministry of Tourism or the CIAA have explained the previous announcements that runway work was going to start this summer, after it had begun the tendering process and selected what appears to have been a different bidder. But after announcing it would be closing the runway for eight consecutive Tuesdays, starting in September, to do that work, the CIAA then abruptly cancelled the plan, blaming “unexpected extended contract negotiations”.

With the project back on track, however, Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell said it was “an extremely important next step on our master plan for the airport expansion” that would make the airport “more efficient and expedite departures and landings”.

Island Paving MD Barry Bodden, who commented in the release on behalf of the partnership selected, said they were highly competent companies with a track record of success on large scale infrastructure projects.

“We are committed to ensuring this project benefits the wider community through employment opportunities and building the local skillset for future maintenance and expansion works,” he said. “It is our intention to support local businesses, first and foremost.”


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Category: development, Local News, Politics

Comments (82)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    How does a 6million KYD contract go to 30million in just 1 month?

  2. Johnny says:

    Who would buy anything in Cayman after NY Times article about seas rising, and garbage stench? People will just skip Cayman!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Johnny … you too bad. What’s with celebrating all this negativity? Are you trying to destroy Cayman?

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  3. Anonymous says:

    What about residential area nearby? I used to live in a condo where landing planes were nearly touching the roof.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    wait for the save the ponds campaign and referendum!

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  5. Anonymous says:

    At least we can be assured that with a Scotsman in charge of costs, that it will come in under budget.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Not when dealing with CIG….nothing ever comes in under budget. This must be the most expensive runway per foot in the world.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    100 million to extend and airport runway!!! SMH is anybody else seeing this? Dart and NCB are buildings 56 condos with a the finest luxury and amenities as can be found for $39 million.

    Do the maths people caymans politicians no nothing about business and are constantly allowing the public purse to be raped. It’s a disgrace. I’m all for this project but the price is way way out in left field. This is why people believe there is systemic corruption here.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Cayman public please note, an isolated parking area, a critical requirement by the International Civil Aviation Organization at certified international airports for the purpose of “quarantining” aircraft under bomb threat or other unlawful interference, is not included in any of these developments, plans or costs.

    When will that be added or will it simply be excluded, with the possibility of the airport not meeting ICAO certification??

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  8. Tom Jones says:

    It is nice to finally get the ponds filled; however they are extending the runway in the wrong direction. The 400+ feet can only be used for takeoff, not for landing. During a dark and stormy night a pilot landing an aircraft full of passengers would like to had that 400+ feet in front of him instead of having to overfly it due to an oversight by the Authority.
    This appears to be a project that was not properly thought out, if he 400 plus feet was added to the East it could be used for landing also. This would have been a win win situation, as it stands now the runway extension is only for takeoffs and not for landings; very sad a waste of public funds.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    So does this mean they’re going to tear up and move the new road they just finished that goes right by the runway?

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Govt: This project is so important and huge and will be of great economic benefit to the working people of the Cayman Islands that, due to all of our excitement, we did not invite the Press to ask quesrions and help get the message out.

    I am anti-cruise port devel because I dont think we are getting value for money there, but I actually believe this airport devel is an important project and necessary to maintain or increase our stayover visitor stats.

    Forget the cruise port. Build more airports.

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  11. Heller says:

    Hahah @8:36 pm you cry stink corruption find the facts and report them nah! Or stop ya rant before ya get a big SopaPa. You sound jealous really .

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  12. Anonymous says:

    And still no accountability for the Tuesday runway closures which never happened but resulted in airlines not serving the Cayman Islands.

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    • Anonymous says:

      We flew out on a Tuesday and the crickets in the airport were astounding.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cost me $1000. I had to be at a meeting on A Wednesday. I booked the Wednesday flight months in advance. Then the cancelations. I had to leave Monday. Two nights of hotel, expenses, and lost wages.

      They cancelled flights and announced the runway closures with no contractors in place to do the work.

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    • Anonymous says:

      That is because shoemakers are in a swimsuits design business. That is normal in CI.
      Like a paving machine operator can also lead Ministry of Education. Can’t really hold them responsible for everybody knows they know nothing.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    DECCO looks like it’s in everything …

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  14. Anonymous says:

    What happened to the parallel taxi way that resolved the planes holding over head & waiting to land etc? CIAA EMPLOYE!

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  15. Anonymous says:

    Now deal with the dump!!!

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  16. Anonymous says:

    Glad to see focus on the airport..Scared about the overrun of costs but it’s par for the course with Government…Take the $200M and fix the Dump and forget about the damn port and the cheap tourists…

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  17. Disgusted and not voting in the next general election! says:

    Why is the government not spending money on actually doing something about the garbage dump aka mount trashmore and recycling? Why? Why have the voting people of this island continue to allow the elected officials to NOT do anything about? This issue with the dump has been ongoing for about twenty years if not more and NOTHING is being done. Meanwhile they want tourism to increase and the first thing the tourist see from the air and cruise ships is the DUMP! What a memorable vacation sight for Cayman! But they have spent God only knows how much money to shove the port down our throats?

    Don’t let me start on the sex offender registry. The elected officials don’t care about the protection of our children. If they did, this is one of the things that would be put in place to help safeguard our children. But no, we need a bigger port.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Let me tells you what happens when you dont vote. You end up with other idiots voting in people like Trump, Johnson etc etc…even worse than we have here. So, please vote, just choose the candidate who will do least harm.

  18. Kurt Christian says:

    Vote No

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  19. Anonymous says:

    have they finished the original airport expansion yet???…what was the final account??

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  20. Anonymous says:

    Is there plans for aircraft to exit the runway at the waters edge and taxi to the apron?

  21. Anonymous says:

    Excellent news. Glad they also brought in IDL who did a good job with the Montego Bay Airport runway a few years ago. They know what they are doing.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Time will tell, I’m skeptical about the $30M maybe they missed a zero off?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Too bad the Canadians were not awarded the big airport renovation project a few years ago. We would have been far better off. The new Bermuda airport built by the Canadians is superb. We could have had the same thing here and had more bang for our dollars.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Hmmm, not so popular in Bermuda, the hard costs are around $300mio and depending on which side of the divide you are on the 30 years of lost revenue amounts to about $1bn. Even if Cayman goes over budget at $100mio we will have a serviceable airport for a fraction of the cost. Sure its not comparing like for like, but I prefer something we can afford to something bought on credit.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Hmmm, You obviously do not understand Build / Operate / Transfer projects known as BOT. That is how the Bermuda Airport was financed. Ours should have been done the same way as both Nassau and Montego Bay Airports. Bermuda now has a world class airport that puts ours to shame. We will be undertaking add ons and additions for many years to come, still without jetways and incredibly overcrowded on weekends during the high tourist season. We should have gone with Canada but at least they got the runway and airfield upgrades correct.

        • Anonymous says:

          This contract and development is good news, however, even on completion of this project we will still not have a world class airport like Bermuda. We can look forward to many more years of add ons and renovations to our airport. It is already obsolete on weekends during the high tourist season.

        • Anonymous says:

          Have absolutely no idea where you got the $1 billion dollar figure from.

        • Anonymous says:

          We went cheap and now we will have to start paying more money to expand the airport again. The new airport is out of date already in its capability to handle all of the tourists, especially on busy weekends. We are probably looking at another $100 million in additional funding during the next 5 years. We would have been far further ahead in the long run with the original Canadian airport proposal. Furthermore, the Canadian Government was prepared to give price guarantees so that there would be NO / NO cost overruns.

          We simply do not have a fully serviceable airport at a fraction of the cost unless one is a mid week traveler.

  22. Anonymous says:

    All I hear is silence from the anti-port group. Lets save the ponds!

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  23. Anonymous says:

    Yet another government project just stinks of the big ‘C’ CORRUPTION!!!!!!!

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    • Anonymous says:

      My friend, please get rid of the pessimism in your head.

      The upgrade of the airport is needed to bolster the Cayman Islands tourism industry, one of the pillars of the economy. Corruption or not, don’t you think this is beneficial to the country in the long run? You would probably be one of the first ones to hop on a new airplane route for vacation. Let us stop the shoot first and ask questions later attitude.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Oh My, you set the bar low….corruption should not be acceptable anywhere and its attitudes like your that allow it to become acceptable.

    • Anonymous says:

      8.36 what is it with this that makes you say “corruption” ?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Please explain 8:36 why you say there was corruption? Are you by any chance one of the unsuccessful bidders?

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