Airport runway cleared for take-off

| 11/11/2019 | 24 Comments
Cayman News Service

(CNS): The Central Planning Authority has given the green light to the Cayman Islands Airport Authority’s application to begin work on the airfield, apron and runway at Owen Roberts International Airport. This external phase of the airport redevelopment project will see the runway lengthened by some 870 feet and strengthened, the ponds filled in and the apron expanded to create room for more planes.

Speaking at the CPA meeting Wednesday, CIAA CEO Albert Anderson said the runway improvements would impact take off but not the landing of aircraft. He explained that extending the runway for much larger planes is still several years away but this current phase was focusing on better management and handling of the larger planes that already fly here, such as the Boeing B777. This project will also include expanding the area at the end of the runway to allow aircraft to wait for take off while one is already on the runway taking off or landing.

Anderson explained that this will halve the time between take-offs and landings on the busiest of days.

The $30 million upgrade includes filling the ponds on the west end of the runway, extending the apron eastwards and creating a robust perimeter road inside the airport footprint because regulations require the fence to be checked several times a day, Anderson said.

Paulette Anglin-Lewis, the former owner of Cayman Business Park, raised objections because of the noise levels and queried whether the airport had ever done any studies about the impact of aircraft noise on people working in buildings close to the airport and children attending the primary campus of Cayman Prep school.

Before selling the property, she had commissioned her own study, which had revealed some worrying conclusions about the health of those in buildings under flight paths.

Anglin-Lewis handed the report to the CPA, saying that it explained a lot since, after working long hours in the building for many years, she had begun to suffer a catalogue of health problems. The report made it clear that her continued ill-health was clearly down to the noise and she was unlikely to be the only person suffering, she told the CPA.

The airport officials attending the CPA said that noise monitoring was part of the long-term airport master-plan but they admitted that no studies have been conducted to date. They also noted that there had never been any requirement for the airport to foot the bill to soundproof impacted buildings. The CPA also appeared to feel it was not necessary for the airport to go to such lengths.

However, Anderson did say that part of this phase will see a blast wall erected on the side of the runway across from the Mango Tree, which will help deflect noise as the planes taking off will be starting further back.

With the objector’s concerns apparently dismissed, the project has now been cleared, which means work is likely to start in the coming weeks.

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Category: Business, development, Local News, Transport

Comments (24)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Are they going to re-vamp the taxiways so aircraft no longer need to back track? Doesn’t sound like it to me and that would be a major improvement.

  2. Anonymous says:

    So is CIAA planning to commence these works during the high season? Not smart!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    And all now not a single jet way so when it pouring rain you ga walk in rain from the plane

  4. Andrew says:

    Please can someone rescue the turtles from the ponds before they are filled in

  5. Anonymous says:

    Does this mean the brand new roundabout(s) and the newly widened road at the end of the runway are going to be torn up??

    • Anonymous says:

      We can only pray so, in addition to the idiots who designed and approved that cock up being fired.

    • Anonymous says:

      No. The runway will extend almost all the way to the fence and a wall will be constructed to protect cars from the airplane thrust.

  6. Anonymous says:

    So Ms. Anglin-Lewis decides to locate her office in a building adjacent to the runway, and directly under the flightpath of low landing aircraft…

    And now she’s raising objections about noise levels and says her ill-health is from aircraft noise?

    That’s like buying an beachfront condo and then complaining there’s too much sand and it’s affecting your health.

  7. Anonymous says:

    ”He explained that extending the runway for much larger planes is still several years away…” The additional 870 ft to the current runway will bring the total to 7,940 ft which will be more than sufficient to accommodate larger aircraft. Take a look at the famous runway in St. Maarten which is approximately 7,659 and they handle up to the B747.

    There clearly has to be more competent people in these positions.

    • Anonymous says:

      For one, the kl 747s could only be fueled to fly within the Caribbean from st maarten. Not dissimilar to how the ba 777 can only be set up to go to Nassau.

      Secondly, the era of 747s at sxf is long gone.

  8. Anonymous says:

    God Bless our CPA. A great group of intelligent Caymanian leaders! May they prosper in the years to come ❤.

  9. Say it like it is says:

    When is Mr Anderson going to give us an update on the terminal improvements – when will they be finally finished and what is the cost to date?.

  10. Anonymous says:


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