ORIA reopened despite runway damage

| 10/02/2020 | 142 Comments
Cayman News Service
Owen Roberts International Airport

(CNS) UPDATED 7:56pm: The runway at Owen Roberts International Airport reopened Monday evening, 10 February, “with a redeclared distance, which allows for limited flight operations”, the Cayman Islands Airports Authority has said. ORIA was temporarily closed Monday afternoon as a result of damage to new pavement that was placed Sunday night as part of the runway rehabilitation project. Full flight operations are expected to resume tomorrow, Tuesday 11 February. Because of the runway closure Cayman Airways (CAL) diverted some flights and delayed others.

The CIAA has still not revealed the cause of the damage or exactly when ORIA was closed. The authority said earlier Monday that it was “working to rectify the situation to resume limited flight operations as soon as possible”.

The CIAA has advised passengers to direct all flight queries to their airline.

A CAL spokesperson said, “Cayman Airways understands that the runway closure is expected to be until at least 6:45pm this evening, while the Cayman Islands Airports Authority (CIAA) conducts inspections and makes the necessary arrangements to reopen.”

The airline spokesperson said that as a result of the ORIA runway closure on Grand Cayman, Cayman Airways flight KX883 from La Ceiba was diverted to Cayman Brac, and flight KX203 from Tampa was diverted to Miami. 

Miami flights KX106 and KX107 this evening are currently delayed until further notice.

Cayman Airways Express flight KX424 from Little Cayman was diverted to Cayman Brac, and KX4725 from Grand Cayman to Little Cayman will be cancelled due to daylight restrictions at Little Cayman’s Edward Bodden Airfield. “Cayman Airways will continue to provide operational updates as soon as they are available.” 

Share your vote!

How do you feel after reading this?
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: , , ,

Category: Business, Transport

Comments (142)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Frequent Flier says:

    Come back Lagan, we need you!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Price Rupert BC’s “IDL” was once temporarily awarded a contract to refurbish Montego Bay’s Sangster Int’l Airport’s problem-plagued overlay project. They were on site for just a few months from Feb-Oct 2013. S&G Road surfacing took over in 2017. It just kicked off again in late 2019 where the original $12mln project is already over $60mln and not expected to be completed until 2021. The only other tropical construction experience was a concrete pour in Tortola. These Canadians are not foreign experts.

    • Anonymous says:

      Neither would it appear are Island Paving, who put down an asphalt ramp that wouldn’t withstand jet blast.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah those damn Canadian airport builders. They can build state of the art civilian airports in Bermuda, Montego Bay, Kingston, Nassau, Bridgetown, Quito, Ecuador but not on Grand Cayman. When I lived in Jamaica in 2013 and 2014 IDL apparently did an excellent job but not here.

      So easy to blame the foreigners than ourselves. It’s the Cayman way. Always blame others.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Sandra Catron’s video alleges that crews had stripped the old surface down too far, making the touchdown area too flexible, so that when planes landed, they were creating indentation ruts. Doesn’t sound very competent or safe if that’s what transpired. It’s also disturbing that uniformed CIAA officials continued to let travelers check in for flights without offering any insight as to the runway closure – they put that all on the various airlines to figure out!

    • Anonymous says:

      False information from Marl Road as anyone can expect. I wonder what her new stats are on delivering accurate news?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Based on the declared distances published by a CNS poster, assuming they are correct, I would not be surprised if some operators of short-haul flights choose not to operate. A TORA of just over 5000′ is not a comfortable take-off distance for loaded mid-sized jets going to JFK or ORD. Can’t see some US carriers being happy to operate.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The MAIN problem that happens when a government entity screws up or has an ‘accident’, they never tell the full story. Usually because the issue is idiotic and could have been prevented except for an imbecile somewhere that wasn’t paying attention..
    Then the marl road telegraph (Not CMR) kicks into full gear and the gossip spreads like wildfire.
    If the government would fess up to whatever the issue is, they would be more respected. At least when I admit to a mistake, I am treated better than if I had lied or tried to cover it up… “Things You Learn in Kindergarten”

  6. Anon says:

    Lots of experts here on construction, contract law and geology. So many of you are well versed in assigning blame for problems you know nothing about. It could be any number of things. Maybe it’s a construction error or maybe it’s a sinkhole from the earthquake. Until we know maybe y’all should shut up and wait for some facts. Be thankful somebody had the wherewithal to recognize the problem and shut down the runway before a disaster occurred.

    • Anonymous says:

      So, was the runway checked after the earthquake, before flights were allowed to land? Should be an easy question to answer.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are missing the point. There is no need for this to be a secret. Just tell everyone what the problem is.

  7. Anonymous says:

    so is it a sinkhole?

    Sinkholes are something Cayman should get used to after clearing mangroves and “reclaiming” land….mangroves were there for a reason. It’s about time people started respecting nature.

    • Anonymous says:

      so you live in a tree?

      • Anonymous says:

        What have sinkholes to do with mangroves? Sinkhole – an underground void which is exposed when there is a shake, heavy rains or anything that disturbs the soil and mark compacted on top of it and concealing it. The void itself is because we live on a rock made of limestone, which dissolves in water, so rain erodes it. The sinkholes have been there a long time – removing the mangroves, as appalling though that is, is a recent development that has nothing to do with it.

    • Anonymous says:

      What about newly exposed fault lines from the recent earthquake? Anyone not the least bit worried or are we going to keep our heads stuck in the sand?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Media needs to demand from CIAA the cause of the damage! Was it a paving mistake by the contractor, was it a lightning strike, was it earthquake or aftershock damage just discovered o was it none of the above? The public needs to know!!

    What the hell is CAA dong as oversight?

    • Anonymous says:

      They are investigating….come back in 3 yeas.

    • Anonymous says:

      My first thought would be that a plane ran onto uncured concrete, but it could have been another piece of equipment just as well. Will we ever know the whole story?…… Not likely,,,,,,, that isn’t for us to know.

  9. Cayman Biting Ants says:

    Just wait until they start messing with those ponds without a proper Environmental Impact Assessment or study taking out fish and turtles is one thing and then filling them with Canadian rumble displacing ground water in that water lens. One big old Sinkhole in the Airstrip should put us right out of business and cut down on those Stay over tourist statistics that our dear minister keeps touting. We thought that little shake on 28th of January had woke up these dummies running and governing this little place, But alas we are back to build up Cayman F#@& environment concept of these unscrupulous profiteers from here and overseas. Its really sad what is happening to our little island.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone truly believe the PPM will get a third term their incompetence is laughable, the airport, the runway, the pier, the dump, the hospital, the traffic, Cayman Airways. Money being wasted on projects and causes that the average person does not want and will serve no benefit to the country only the inflated egos of the MLAs that sit on the government benches.

    I say all that to say that this has happened before this time period is reminiscent of the UDP government of 2009-2012 with their incompetence and the PPM government of 2005-2009 with their frivolous spending of the public resources

    Cayman can take no more of this they have to be removed from office ASAP, just hoping they won’t send us down the river before the 2021 election.

    • Anonymous says:

      you are right. but there is only one thing worse than udp/ppm and thats the rag tag bunch of failures known as the opposition.
      my solution: direct rule please for a minimum of 4 years.

      • Anonymous says:

        Agree. There are no other choices at the moment. Your port, if started, would bankrupt the territory, as the cost would spill over 1 bil., would drag for 3 times longer than planned, never get finished, create a nightmare for ALL in the area.

        Another example of total lunacy: approving Lacovia renovation in the abcense of regulations and actual physical space for demolition debris.
        INDUSTRIAL WASTE, such as roadwork material, excavated material, demolition waste, construction/renovation waste, and site clearance wastes MUST NOT BE MIXED WITH MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE.

        The same applies to the port project- it would generate lots of industrial waste.

      • Anonymous says:

        Direct Rule huh? Well after 4 years we would be a nation that pay taxes on every friggin step you take. I agree the “baton” need to be past to a more younger, forward thinking, technologically savvy, environmental conscious, group of politicians. But it sure of hell don’t need to be past to the UK.

        • Anonymous says:

          You already pay taxes on every friggin thing on island. Thank CIG not UK. Why do you think Cayman is one of the most expensive places on earth to live? At least under the UK there would be functional law enforcement, schools, planning department and on and on. I do understand that locals would loose their entitlement jobs, welfare, parking,free airlines, cheap turtle meat, and on and on. Ouch! How would you survive without that?

          • Anonymous says:

            11.15am . I guess you are one of those who wanted the Foreign Affairs Committee to push for voting rights for all Brits in Cayman
            and for expats to hold elected office. More likely you hope locals would lose all meaningful jobs. A’in’t happening no matter how you try to use CPR or National Trust. Caymanians are going to wake up and put you in your place.

            • Anonymous says:

              Yeah. The CPR and National Trust are an expat conspiracy designed to take over the country. Less painful to believe that than accept your politicians are either corrupt or completely incompetent – or both.

          • Anonymous says:

            Do you need a sponsor to purchase you an airfare (one way) British Airways to the UK?

      • Anonymous says:

        To 7.12There are two things worse; direct rule or allowing expats to get elected and run things.

      • Anonymous says:

        To 7.12am You say “my solution : direct rule please for a minimum of 4 yrs” I suspect that is the reason for a lot of the negative comments on this site; complain and exaggerate at the slightest opportunity and try to convince the FCO that Direct rule is the only solution.

        • Anonymous says:

          Direct rule would be great but with BREXIT London has far bigger issues to grapple with.

    • Anonymous says:

      Voters have been wailing for two decades, but haven’t done anything to change the rules Ie. standards of qualification/disqualification, and/or open the field to responsible people that actually want to serve the public not themselves and cronies. Until that happens, or UK dissolves LA and takes over, we’ll keep getting reshuffles each time. This is the only kind of reusing and recycling that’s BAD for the environment!

    • Anonymous says:

      “Does anyone truly believe the PPM will get a third term their incompetence is laughable”

      Only ones more incompetent than the politicians are the voters so…

  11. Barber Greene says:

    You want f@#ckups? We give you the CIAA!

  12. Barber Greene says:

    You want f&%ckups? We give you the CIAA!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Why are people on here blaming the airlines for the delays?..What do you want them to do, fly over the runway that they can’t land on and have you jump out..Shit happens!

  14. Anonymous says:

    At least this mess up is above ground…wait until they get underwater where we can’t see it, we will never know..

    Please people VOTE NO!!!

  15. Anonymous says:

    5000 feet instead of 8000


    A0047/20 – PAPI RWY 08 U/S. 11 FEB 02:35 2020 UNTIL 11 FEB 13:00 2020. CREATED: 11 FEB 02:35 2020 A0046/20 – DECLARED DISTANCES CHANGED: RWY08: TORA – 1540M TODA – 1690M ASDA – 1540M LDA – 1540M RWY26: TORA – 1664M TODA – 1814M ASDA – 1664M LDA – 1540M. 11 FEB 01:45 2020 UNTIL 11 FEB 03:00 2020. CREATED: 11 FEB 01:45 2020

  16. Concerned Diver says:

    Now imagine a project with a $200,000,000 price tag! What could possibly go wrong? Oh wait!!!🤣

  17. Anonymous says:

    Vote No

  18. Banana Republican says:

    Another $hit show brought to you by Minister Moses Kirkconnell and the Ministry of Tourism.

    Airport over budget now this. Will the Minister and his CIAA board face the music?

    • Anonymous says:

      I am not a fan of Moses but please explain and qualify your statement how is he responsible for the damage to the runway?

      Some of you come on this forum
      And make statements that are baseless… seriously I can’t take the man but how is he responsible for this??

      • Anonymous says:

        He is Tourism Minister and took great pride in okaying each successive gong show. Content it seems to have rank amateurs shutter our only way in or out. So that.

        • Anonymous says:

          So as the minister, was he doing the filling/paving/etc.? The CIAA persons are overseeing the work. Just like my/your manager cannot be responsible for everything I do – they give directions and expect me/you to do our utmost to have things done properly.

    • Anonymous says:

      IDL’s International Project Dossier is pretty short, to say the least! How did these guys win we wonder?!?


    • Anonymous says:

      Banana Republican…judging from your comment, you are aptly named. Now as the music could it be that you would be strumming the guitar and singing:
      Give me that fat contract and I won’t complain
      I would work on the runway in sunshine or rain
      If problems occur it is not my fault
      Must be the Canadian rock or the local asphalt
      If you give me the contract and we can make amends
      And people can’t say you gave it to friend
      Come on CIAA I’m the right man
      Afterall I am ..Banana Republican.

    • Anonymous says:

      And don’t forget the 2 CAL lame ducks on the apron.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Quick call JuJu and get her paving equipment on the job!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Good on CIAA for being proactive about safety!

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, but they f@cked it up…so, slow clap.

    • Anonymous says:

      Priactibmvevis anticipating problems and avoiding them. Reactive is dealing with them once they occur. Closing the runway once you find out you have a problem is reactive. Employing a contractor that gets it right or not opening the runway if it’s not ready is proactive.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Cayman airways doesn’t have enough rooms for us that were diverted to Miami

    • Simonsez says:

      You’ll be fine

    • Anonymous says:

      Just book one and bill them for it

      • Anonymous says:

        Because it’s the airlines fault, right. Send the bill to the CIAA. They can decide if it’s their fault for letting the runway be used when not ready or the contractors for not doing the job properly, but I doubt it’s Cayman Airways. What did you want them to do – crash land the plane so you didn’t have to get a hotel?

    • Anonymous says:

      Go book your own room..Cayman Airways didn’t damage or close the airport..SMH

  22. Anonymous says:

    “ah close enough..what’s the worst that can happen”

  23. Anonymous says:

    civil service incompetence is never ending…

    • Hancock says:

      Could not organize a pissup at a brewery.

    • Anonymous says:

      6.59pm The problem for you is that IDL Projects Joint Venture has the contract to do this work. IDL Projects is Canadian firm specialising in airport works. They along with DECCO Ltd ( Dart Co) and Island Paving formed a partnership and were awarded the contract. So it looks like even Dart and Canadians can mistakes.
      See here for announcement of contract signing.

  24. Anonymous says:

    time to put cal and ciaa fully in private hands….

  25. Anonymous says:

    ciaa can’t go 5 minutes with making idiots of themselves…

  26. Anonymous says:

    Re-paved by ‘Bodgit and Scarper’?

    • Anonymous says:

      To 6.50pm By IDL Projects, A Canadian company specialising in airports and infrastructure.

      • Anonymous says:

        By Island Paving. A Caymanian company with a great track record in quick turnaround paving projects like the Island Heritage roundabout and the ETH to the Butterfield roundabout. Took weeks to do a small roundabout and had to be redone. What ever made IDL think they could do reliable overnight works on a runway and have it ready for flights the following day if they can’t pave a tiny roundabout in weeks? Oh – I guess I forgot who owns the company, and the fact that with the NRAs paying equipment in the Brac there’s basically no choice.

      • Anonymous says:

        LMAO!! Dey doin good so far…

  27. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely nothing available about my Southwest flight in the morning. You need to try harder CIAA!

    • Anonymous says:

      Call Southwest?

    • Anonymous says:

      But they don’t have flights from Bodden Town or Breakers ( the other airports if you check for flight info on the airport’s website).

      Looks like someone unlicked the crazyhouse and let the inmates play government.

      • Al Catraz says:

        But without direct service, you’ll have to book a connecting flight from Savannah to West Bay.

    • Anonymous says:

      All! CIAA did was shorten the runway – they don’t have a crystal ball on how long it will take the airlines to reconfigure all their flights to allow for a reduced take off and landing distance and deal with all the knock on schedule changes. They may be responsible – doesn’t mean they have to answer on the consequences.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Flights yesterday were delayed over an hour because some rock (imported from Canada) had spilled on to the runway surface. Who is this inept vendor, and do they have any clue? How are they qualified to be in charge of something so mission-critical?

  29. BeaumontZodecloun says:

    The new pavement wasn’t properly set or cured? Is that the problem? If so, please just say so, instead of making us all guess. You know that our speculation will run the gamut. Things happen. We’re all human. Just tell us what’s going on.

    • Barber Greene says:

      C’mon Beau lets start a list of possible scenarios; black top not cured, ….Fire Service did a test run over newly laid black top whilst near rolling their rig again, post quake sinkholes opened up, IPL simply did a $hit job that didn’t make the grade….

      Any more for anymore?

    • Anonymous says:

      Beaumont Easily the most common sense post on this topic

  30. Anonymous says:

    Here come the lies!

  31. Anonymous says:

    And they want us to trust them with 300 million for cruise piers.
    They can’t even tarmac a runway without fr£&@/* it up.
    Makes you wonder if BA will actually be able to land until the work is finished.
    THIRD WORLD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Vote Yes!

    • Anonymous says:

      @ 6.33 Did you forget to check with CPR because their figures keep rising. Is it 300 million or 400 million or 500million even. Better call Mario.

      • Anonymous says:

        There is noway it is going to be 200mil. if it took 1mil. to build a sidewalk. 1-2 bil. range is more accurate.

      • Anonymous says:

        Don’t worry about checking with Mario, not even he will be able to tell you what the end price will be on the port, that will be anybody’s guess but I would certainly think it will be more, a lot more based on the governments track record..

  32. Anonymous says:

    BA passengers you are entitled to hotels food etc all at airlines expense, keep receipts (sorry no alcohol – ba won’t pay for that)

    • Anonymous says:

      Surely down to CIAA they messed up.
      BA will be making a big claim.

    • Anonymous says:

      That would be nice if it was true, but it is not. They aren’t responsible for GCM runways, only their own planes and crew.

      • Anonymous says:


        What can’t I claim?
        Your expenses should be reasonable such as a hotel similar to the standard of the one you were staying in or a simple meal.

        Living it large and then trying to charge it to the airline is unlikely to work.

        You are also unlikely to find airlines paying for the expense of you abandoning your flight and navigating your way home yourself.

        Although, if you have taken the simplest and best-value route you may be covered and if you had been advised to get yourself home and that you would be reimbursed by the airline, then you should state this and claim.

        This is Money has heard a lot of reports of airlines trying to fob off passengers, deny they are issuing reimbursements or claim that this is not the law. That is untrue and while you may need to be persistent, you should get your money.

        If your airline does claim extraordinary circumstances, they need not pay the compensation amounts above but still have a duty of care to look after you and get you where you are meant to be going.

        You should tell them that under Regulation (EC) 261/2004 Article 5 you are entitled to be reimbursed or re-routed under Article 8 and also offered assistance, including accommodation, meals and transport under Article 9.

        • Jotnar says:

          Extraordinary circumstances alright – the airport authority screws up the runway. No way is that the airlines problem. And it’s fairly extraordinary for an airport to total their own runway.

          • Anonymous says:

            Jotnar..so they totalled the runway eh. Wow that is amazing considering that the runway was reopened before 7.56pm according to the timestamp on this article. Incidentally the headline on this item says that ORIA reopened. Yet with all that info you write a comment suggesting that the runway was totalled. If you believe that it was totalled then you must also believe that they are miracle workers able to rebuild a totalled runway in have it reopen in something like 12 hrs. Or you don’t believe it was totalled but chose to post misleading info.

        • Anonymous says:

          American/Canadian airlines have different compensation than the EU rules you quoted

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah great. But it cuts short my family’s holiday by 2 days at least. 3rd world education. 3rd world services. 3rd world thinking. 3rd world attitude. 5 star world class civil service? Oh my aching sides. Pitiful, just pitiful.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Another great project organized by the CIG

  34. Anonymous says:


    • Anonymous says:

      An act of incompetence capable of shutting down our economy, and still there will be no accountability.

      • Anonymous says:

        to 8.27 For IDL?

        • Anonymous says:

          Are they licensed to trade in Cayman?

          • Anonymous says:

            IDL is not listed as holder of a LCCL on CIG website. So one can only assume that IDL is a minority partner of the JV holding less than 40%

            • Anonymous says:

              That would still mean they are carrying on a Trade or Business. Are they or are they not? Everything reported seems to suggest they are.

        • Anonymous says:

          For the contractor – which is the JV, not IDL – or CIAA who employed them, or Island Paving who laid the asphalt. Incidentally, appreciate its a popular resort to blaming the foreigners, but look at the signing ceremony for this contract. No one from IDL there – just locals. Hell, IDL doesn’t even show this as an active project of their on their website. One wonders what proportion of the works or the skill sets they are meant to be providing – or are they just providing foreign “aviation expertise” cover for DECCO and Island Paving. Guess we’ll never get to see the tender documents though.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.