Airport seeks cash for exterior work

| 31/01/2020 | 104 Comments
Cayman News Service
Owen Roberts International Airport

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Airport Authority is seeking an unsecured CI$12.4 million loan and an overdraft facility of CI $8.5 mllion to cover the cost of the planned airfield, runway and perimeter roadworks at Owen Roberts International Airports, according to a request on the government’s procurement website. An RFP has been issued to financial institutions to provide the cash to be paid back over a period of up to ten years, with no penalties if it pays off the loan in less time.

CIAA said it will select the bid that best suits its cash flow requirements at
minimum cost. The airport said it wants the cash by April 2020 and reserved the right not to take it all if it doesn’t need to. The loan will be repaid in monthly installments on an agreed fixed interest rate.

The money will be used to finance all of the external work now underway, including the strengthening and expansion of the runway by over 400ft and a safety area. The work includes removing the ponds, construction of a robust airfield perimeter access road and expanding the aircraft ramp.

Meanwhile, the new ORIA has won an industry gong after receiving the ‘Caribbean Airport of the Year 2020’ award by a regional online tourism magazine. Caribbean Journal described the airport as having a “clean, sleek interior, a stunning turtle-shell exterior and a terrifically run airport operation and a terrific duty-free experience, too,” which suggests that the judges may not have attended the facility during peak hours.

CIAA CEO Albert Anderson was very pleased with the recognition for what he said were the “tremendous efforts put forth on bringing big improvements to our terminal, the service, operations and safety standards”.

He said ORIA had the capacity to handle 2.5 million passengers per year, which he said was a “huge undertaking that would not have been made possible without the support and dedication of our employees and so many valuable airport partners”.

See the RFP document in the CNS Library

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Category: Business, Government Finance, Politics, Transport

Comments (104)

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  1. Daddy Long Legs says:

    They should at least give staff the COLA they haven’t received in 15 years prior to asking for any money.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Now if they had dug that amount of rock out of a local hole, all the non quarry owners would be bitching.

  3. Anonymous says:

    For some reasons Bermudians got organized and protested against Canadians building their airport (back before it was built). Private partnership over airport was first offered to Cayman.

    Man, they dodged the bullet! Imagine Caymanians were building it.

    • Anonymous says:

      The difficulty the Bermuda politicians had in 2016 was that many politicians and the Bermuda public did not understand Public / Private / Partnership (PPP) projects which are now used everywhere in the Caribbean and around the world for major public infrastructure projects. The politicians in Cayman did not have the vision or foresight to see the great value that the PPP airport model built in Bahamas, Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad and Bermuda have used for public airport infrastructure projects.

      Later this year, when the new Bermuda airport project is completed you will see how the Bermuda airport project is light years ahead of what we have here and the Bermuda Government and people are very pleased with the results. Furthermore, Bermudans have been trained in Canada and will manage all aspects of the new airport.

      While we here will be working on band aid solutions for our airport for the next 10 years. With still no jetways. Stupidity rules.

      We will be taking a bullet every weekend we fly in or fly out on weekends during the high season.

      Hope you enjoy the pain.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I worked on the Airport during construction in the 1950,s and I know that all the rocks for fill came from the Spott’s Quarry. If that rock was hard enough to last all these years with all of those landings and is still in good condition, why is the flint rocks from the bluff in Cayman Brac not good enough now?

  5. Frequent flier says:

    Has anyone else noticed that the prices in the ‘duty-free’ shops have actually doubled since they were all closed for the rebuilding? Presumably the CAA has doubled the rents.

    • Anonymous says:

      its the cayman way…
      when cayman companies do renovations they pass on the cost to the customers straight away…just look at kirks,fosters, hurleys.

  6. Anonymous says:

    On Friday 24th I witnessed something although I have been hearing it for awhile, it still surprised me that my people have become so gullible. I saw Canadian rock being transferred from a ship to a barge in George Town harbor.
    Its no wonder Airports Authority needs to borrow $12.4 m.
    The ponds on west end of airport runway are to be filled in has part of airport run way project. BUT
    A foreign engineering company I heard Canadian ,
    said our rock was not hard enough to fill these ponds.
    SO the Canadian & Caymanian
    contractors imported rocks
    from CANADA to fill ponds
    Imagine the cost per yard.
    The gravel and sand for asphalt was also imported because of quantities and specs needed I can understand this.
    BUT the person or persons that allowed rocks for fill to be imported should, either resign or be fired.
    Because only explanation in my eyes.Knowing original runway base fill is marl from CAYMAN. Them days common sensed people were in charge . And in my 30+ years working in construction and heavy equipment industry I have never seen a job where local fill could not reach % compaction needed.
    Canadian Engineers
    Canadian Contractor
    Gullible or Corrupt Caymanians
    Canadian Fill
    Canadian Companies Makes $
    Our Government spending money stupidly.

    Thanks for reading
    Thomas Jackson Jr.
    (NOT Anonymous)

    • Anonymous says:

      Bobo, Limestone fill will not do the job. Tell me where one can find a cheaper large granite source in this region? Canada is the cheapest because of the low Canadian dollar and an abundance of cheap granite compared to other places.

      • Anonymous says:

        FYI fill under rest of runway is from cayman.That has seemed to do job Bobo .

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes, but with the runway improvements they want to have the larger planes from Europe to come in directly. Currently the BA flights from London have to stop in Nassau because if they had a full fuel load they would not be able to land.

          Simple as that.

          • Anonymous says:

            Then by that reasoning the BA flight will fall into a hole once it gets on the ‘Cayman rock’ section of the runway. Oh, woe is we.

            PS> CAA keep saying these improvements are NOT for larger transcontinental flights.

            • Anonymous says:

              Bobo, the BA flight will not fall in a hole because it’s fuel tank is only one quarter full. The BA flight then refuels with full tanks flying back to London, at the Canadian built Nassau airport.

          • Anonymous says:

            Nothing to do with runway strength. A heavy aircraft needs more runway to get airborne – simple as that.

          • Anonymous says:

            Newsflash – most wide body planes cannot land with a full fuel load due the airframe stress with an overweight landing. This is why they have fuel jettison systems.

        • Anonymous says:

          You need non porous heavy rock Bobo. Don’t you get it.

      • Anonymous says:

        BoBo you take Caymanians for idiots? What do you think filled the original runway? You may fool the politicians but not the regular man on the street. Spin and wheel and come again for a better excuse. The bottomline is the powers to be are wasting the people money again!

        • Anonymous says:

          So tell me where you are going to get granite from in this region? Non porous heavy rock is essential for the runway, Of course, maybe Bobo is not interested in having a world class runway but simply making a lot of money with his quarry.

        • Anonymous says:

          7:42, the original airport runway was not built to ICAO international standards. Now the new runway will be built to ICAO standards which requires granite. Not your damn Cayman aggregate. Get over it. Nobody is being fooled.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your people are not gullible. They understand that the new runway must meet ICAO standards. Thomas, you might do well to study the standards as you do not know them. We no longer build runways here to 1950’s standards.

      • Anonymous says:

        ICOA standard Canadian rock, imported clean, dumped on grass on top mud. When reloading grass and soil will be mixed with special rocks.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Has anyone noticed the piles of rock on the side of the runway near the ponds?

    Can you believe that they are actually granite imported from Canada to be used to fill the ponds? You can’t make this stuff up! What is wrong with our own rock? Why would we have to import granite from Canada?

    And the sand is being imported from Trinidad?

    Much to much Kool-Aid!

    Someone has to put a stop to this nonsense! May 2021 – VOTE NO!

    • Anonymous says:

      You know that you can’t just use any old sand for construction??

      Also, if granite is deemed to be necessary, good luck with getting Cayman granite!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Granite is very solid non-pourous heavy rock. You can’t use weak pourous light limestone to support very heavy planes landing. Same thing with the sand – The proper materials are needed.

      Good job on the airport looking like they are using best practices.

      • Anonymous says:

        Marl under rest of runway was imported from Crewe Road & rock from quarry in spotts.

      • Anonymous says:

        11:26am, someone needs to have their head checked. When the Airport Runway was done in the 1950s, do you know where they got the rocks from? They were all quarried on island, and they were not porous then but conveniently porous now.
        When they bring the sand from overseas we will get a new breed of creatures of infest the island and there will be another culling station set up.
        A jackass can be fitted with a pack-saddle, but when you fill his baskets with liquid the poor jackass will not serve any purpose, his baskets will still be empty.
        That is how the exit from the arrival area at the airport is. Space with no proper cover to keep the visitors dry, it shows how the geniuses think.

        • Anonymous says:

          3:04, Do you realize that the weight of the largest jets landing at the airport is nearly 100 times more than the planes that arrived here in the 1950’s. Furthermore, there are now international safety standards for new airports and the airport built in the 1950’s did not meet those standards.

          Do you own a quarry on Grand Cayman? Sure sounds like you do.

        • Anonymous says:

          “A new breed of creatures” with sand from Bahamas or Trinidad. Oh, please tell me more?

        • Anonymous says:

          In the 1950’s nobody on this dinky island gave a damn about ICAO runway standards.

      • anon says:

        “porous”. Unless its a solid slab of granite it will be porous. It’s the hot mix on top that is non porous. Looks like they are using best graft.

    • Anonymous says:

      I can believe it and even understand and comprehend it. Why can’t you?you sound like you went to school here.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Interesting: as at 11:40 (Sat) is showing 16 airliners ( not private jets) heading to GCM. This why is gets busy in the terminal.

    • Anonymous says:

      You have given the exact reason the airport is already obsolete on weekends during the high season. Should have gone with the larger Canadian airport proposal.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I challenge you to name an international airport that doesn’t have challenges during peak hours. Then check whether the airport is all round operating under capacity and in the red financially.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The airport is terrible in my opinion. The departure lounge is almost the same size as the old one, and during peak hours it’s busy to the point where there’s no where to sit. There’s way less shops, and the place just looks dull, nothing Caymanian about it at all! Jamaica has great airports, we should’ve used the developers that build those ones..

  11. Anonymous says:

    This must be an April Fools’ joke. Who would provide the Cayman Islands Airport Authority with unsecured loan and overdraft facilities?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely ridiculous! Someone did not tell the reporter about the $60 million dollar cost overruns? Why do we keep dumping money in ORIA when it’s already outdated? 10 more years and the place will be under water.

    • Anonymous says:

      The published CIAA plan shows them tearing it all down in a few years and moving it all several hundred yards east of current location to where the access road is to gun range.

    • Anonymous says:

      8.06pm Whenever it rains it isn’t possible to exit the arrival area without getting soaked, not even mention getting off of a plane. A modern airport building with not even one Jetway.

      • Anonymous says:

        We are delusional here. We call it a modern airport but there are no jetways. If Montego Bay, Bermuda and Kingston, Jamaica can have jetways I cannot understand why we don’t have them.

  13. Fool us once shame on us, fool us again, shame and blame Unity says:

    CIAA & CIG have about as much foresight as a snail. This is a big hoodwink if someone intentionally didn’t plan for the recent airport reno to serve GCM for the next two decades. Anyway this should turn some pro Port voters into voting No, absolutely.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Hey look, a new sinkhole just opened up.

  15. Anonymous says:

    what was final account on the original expansion works?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Please allocate funds to upgrade the General Aviation FBO / This is where the high end tourists enter the Island. I am sure the increase in movements warrants an upgrade.

    • Anonymous says:

      Talk to the private Ferrari-driving Caymanian operator getting huge dock rushed through and bragging about his three pool mansion project…

  17. Anonymous says:

    Let Dart finance it as they under bid everyone else and we all know he has the big bucks!

  18. Aubrey Stillwell says:

    That’s 10% of the cost of the cruise ship dock! And it is responsible for 5X the revenue. Why not upgrade the airport and save the coral and a bunch of money? Vote NO!

  19. J|) says:

    Leave Smith Cove alone and use the money to put Jetways in for when it downpours!

    • Anonymous says:

      Jetways are only as good as the people maintaining them – think about what’s happening at DEH with their garbage collection equipment and ask yourself. ‘Is it worth the risk?’ If you make a small airport like ORIA dependent on jetways and they start going tech that is an instant recipe for FUBAR. It’s a dead argument – leave it alone. Incidentally, I’ve just flown through Frankfurt and Heathrow. At both airports I was taken out to the aircraft on a remote stand by bus – that’s cold and wet over there at this time of year.

      • Anonymous says:

        And I’m sure “stoplights are only as good as the people maintaining them” too. All it takes is one mistimed green light for you.

      • Anonymous says:

        Sorry to tell you 4:41 but Jetways are not rocket science to operate and maintain. If they can do it in Montego Bay, Kingston and Bermuda we can do it here. In those 3 places the operators were all trained by Canadian airport operators.

      • anon says:

        4.41pm What airline did you use into Heathrow, it must have been even cheaoer than Ryanair. All the major airlines use jetways.

      • Anonymous says:

        Don’t understand why you compare our airport with airports in Europe. Is it not wiser to compare our airport with other major airports in the Caribbean? Tell me which major airport in the Caribbean does not have jetways?

    • Ann says:


  20. Anonymous says:

    ‘Caribbean Airport of the Year 2020’ LOL, as the saying goes, ‘Beauty is only skin deep.’

    • Anonymous says:

      By an online magazine that no one reads anyway.

    • anon says:

      This award bears no relation to reality – ” a terrifically run airport operation”, they have obviously never visited during peak periods. I can only assume the Caribbean Journal has recd a big advertising contract from CIG/CIAA.
      As someone else commented and as has been asked before when will we get an update on the cost of the airport improvements. Mr Anderson needs to inform us what the overspend has been so far ( it’s still not finished).

  21. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations to the airport staff for a job well done. A lot of hard work goes on behind the scenes to ensure smooth operations. The Cayman population should be proud of the terrific new facility which can grow from strength to strength with the changing times. I am always pleased when I travel through the airport.

    • Anonymous says:

      lol Staff comment…

    • Anonymous says:

      I am not sure which airport you are going through.. I really don’t have time to list off the issues with this airport, the upgrade process and the lost opportunities, this was out of date before they began. We will have to spend all of that money and more again when the correct decision was to move and build a new airport which could be expanded as and when necessary.

      • Anonymous says:

        The CIG should have gone with the Canadians. They then would have had a world class airport like Bermuda will have later this year, without the continual add ons every year.

        • Anonymous says:

          We don’t need any more money grabbing Canadians here that do not integrate and are self serving misers

          • Anonymous says:

            Yeah, you would sooner be ripped off by locals building the airport. The Canadians gave a guaranteed price backed by the Canadian Government. No, you would not want that. Better to be ripped off.

          • Anonymous says:

            You mean they don’t marry a Caymanian just for status and the proceed to knock up or get knocked up with multiple people all while collecting from the NAU? That’s what you want them to do?!

          • Anonymous says:

            Agreed, have enough of those leaches around now!

          • Anonymous says:

            You should check out the new Canadian built airport in Bermuda with your eyes open. However, bet you would prefer all the self serving misers to be living on island. Who knows, you are probably one of them.

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s fine. I’ve been through 6 times with no issues. A few more seats in departure would be nice.

      • Anonymous says:

        1:28 Miami International Airport has been EXPANDING for the last 40 years!

    • Anonymous says:

      You obviously did not travel through the airport last weekend.

      • Anonymous says:

        or any weekend for that matter..ugh!

      • Anonymous says:

        I flew in on Sunday, 12 January and out on Sunday, 26 January. On American so used at Gate 8. The only problem coming in was the low number of Immigration agents. Leaving was a piece of cake, with good food options.

        • Anonymous says:

          Why, oh why, can they not have all the immigration agent booths occupied on weekends during the high tourist season?

        • Anonymous says:

          Check your pants, I think they’re on fire.

          • Anonymous says:

            Check your eyes and try and count the number of agents. I think you need to see an eye doctor.

        • anon says:

          good food options – you must be joking – Subway, Wendy’s or cold rock hard sandwiches from Hungry Horse (or whatever it is called now). The only good thing about the food is that they still sell patties

    • Anonymous says:

      Guess you are happy with flight delays too and overpriced food vendors?

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