Mystery aviation company setting up shop on Brac

| 14/12/2020 | 88 Comments
  • Cayman News Service
  • Cayman News Service

(CNS): An aviation company that registered in Switzerland earlier this year and is described as “providing airpower and intelligence services” has been given clearance to build a hanger and administration building on Cayman Brac adjacent to the Charles Kirkconnell International Airport. It is not clear exactly what Daggaro will be doing there and for whom, but its new VP is a former US Air Force brigadier general and the company is looking for experienced pilots to fly Black Hawk military helicopters.

The Cayman Islands arm of Daggaro is based on Grand Cayman and officials have told CNS that the company is a sponsored enterprise of TechCayman, and as a result there is no Caymanian partner in the operation. According to the deal signed between government and TechCayman in 2018, this means that the business should be conducting its operations largely outside this jurisdiction.

Cayman News Service
Daggaro CEO Myles Newlove

Daggaro CEO Myles Newlove told CNS that there is nothing mysterious about their plans and dismissed concerns that the company is going to be doing some kind of military contracting work for the US. He said the aviation company will be focusing on search and recovery, disaster preparedness and, above all, medical airlift, which will be the bulk of the work around the region. Newlove said that it was not unusual to use military helicopters for this type of work because of their capabilities.

The project was not only given the green light by the Cayman Brac and Little Cayman Development Control Board last week, it was also approved by Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell, the MP for Cayman Brac West and Little Cayman, according to the minutes from the DCB meeting.

It has also been given approval by the Governor’s Office. “We are asked regularly by the Government to assist in doing due diligence on companies who want to set up or invest in Cayman,” Governor Martyn Roper stated in an email response to CNS inquiries. “I can confirm Daggaro was no exception and having conducted the usual background checks, we confirmed there was no reason why CIG should not proceed if it decided to do so.”

According to the original registration of the company in Switzerland, Newlove is a co-owner of the company, along with François Neri, Trent Blacket and Michael Mollin. Daggaro is listed as being venture capital backed by Amalfi Capital Management, a technology focused hedge fund

When he spoke to CNS, Newlove was insistent that there was nothing mysterious about the company’s arrival here or the choice of Cayman Brac as a location. He said the firm would not be doing any government intelligence work here, pointing out that in the United States all military contractors are published, so if they were the public would know.

He emphasized the medivac side of the operations and the increasingly likely need for more disaster relief in the region.

Cayman News Service
Daggaro Senior VP Taco Gilbert

Nevertheless, in a social media post earlier this year revealing that he had taken up the job as senior VP at Daggaro, Taco Gilbert, a former Director of Strategic Plans in the US Air Force, said it was an “amazing start up, providing airpower and intelligence services to its rapidly expanding global customer base”.

Daggaro’s own website describes the company as being at the forefront of advanced technology in delivering aviation and intelligence services. And as well as seeking pilots, the company is also looking for a director of operations with military experience for a job with a “diverse and interesting mission set”.

While the arrival of the project has stirred up concerns among the Brac population because of speculation the company may be contracted to do military intelligence work, there are also environmental concerns about its proposed location. Local objectors said the proposed site of the hanger and administration building is environmentally sensitive for a number of reasons and is very close to a children’s park.

In its submissions to the DCB, the National Conservation Council, through the Department of Environment, listed its concerns with this proposal, including the threat to the endangered Sister Islands rock iguana, the many native species, including slow growing trees at the location, and an unusual cultural feature.

Cayman News Service
Turtle Kraal next to West End Community Park. Cayman Brac

“The site also has the West End Turtle Kraal, which is a former underground river which has connection to the sea. It was used as a turtle kraal and therefore is an important historical and cultural site,” the NCC stated. “There is also the Nurse Smith Cave which is of geological and environmental interest.”

While the kraal is just outside the direct footprint of the asphalt taxiway, the DoE experts said it would very likely be significantly impacted by the proposal, both during the construction of the taxiway from heavy equipment and during operation from runoff carrying hydrocarbons, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and other heavy metals from fuels, lubricants and exhaust fumes as well as cleaning of aircraft.

“Runoff waters from airport areas constitute a serious environmental problem,” they said, adding that the crawl will also now become inaccessible to the public, given what will become its proximity to an airfield.

“It does not appear possible to redesign the proposed development to preserve the West End Turtle Crawl and Nurse Smith Cave, as they will either be destroyed or severely impacted during construction and operation. Given the cultural and historical importance of the turtle crawl, and the environmental and geological interest of the area, we strongly recommend that the development is relocated to another site,”

While other sites have been proposed, including areas closer to the existing terminal which are already man-modified and do not have the same cultural value, Newlove told CNS that none of these were available.

However, under the conditions of approval, which Newlove said they had suggested, Daggaro will not work during the iguana nesting season, will do a walk through survey with the DoE before it begins the project and will halt all work if any rock iguanas are found on the site and seek the safe removal of the animals.

See the details of Daggaro’s approval and the application in the minutes in the CNS Library.


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Comments (88)

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  1. Taura Ebanks says:

    While from March 2020, our islands spent a few months in lockdown, Cayman Brac enjoyed the benefits of BOTH BRAC MPs Juliana O’Connor Connolly and Moses Kirkconnell for well over a month living on the Brac.

    With movement restrictions being lifted in the Brac first, one may be curious, if there were any socially distanced meetings, any statements or any updates or newsletters by either MP to let the good Brackers they are paid to serve, know that there would be destruction of the environment, “development” and further endangerment of Cayman Rock iguanas, plants and the assault on historic culturally significant locations. The end of Tranquility and peaceful day to day living will come to end.

    Curious about when and where either MP took a moment to communicate with their constituents?
    Concerned people in Cayman Brac held a public meeting, wonder what – if any engagement or response either MP Offered during or after the meeting.

    Guessing Cayman Brac MPs are no different from the ones in Grand.

    The goals for Progressives are destroy, build, greed and ignore their constituents. Enjoy 2021- get registered to vote.

    • Anonymous says:

      So sad. It would have been easy to communicate with the people, but we must consider the possibility that they were very busy. Very very busy! SO SAD.

  2. Lorencz and Geraldine Quirk says:

    Black Hawk Helicopters are not necessary, they are extremely noisy and they are used for military or WAR. I have a home on Cayman Brac for over 25 years We have Black Hawk Helicopters here in the U.S. And you can hear them coming miles and miles
    away. It will disturb the peace on Cayman Brac.

  3. Anonymous says:

    How does everyone know so much about the ‘truth’ behind Dagarro? I’d love to read any sources. Will cns allow links to be posted?

    Only a psychopath wouldn’t be concerned about the Red-footed Booby colony or the rock iguanas. But c’mon, the China/Guantanamo conspiracy theories? I fear the biggest threat to Cayman is people without common sense. Trumpian even: unable to separate opinions from facts, dispensing with the idea of actually providing evidence, and promoting the views of unhinged people who shout the loudest.

    The owners of Daggaro are normal people who care about Cayman, the environment, the people, the world! This vitriol towards them is undeserved. #bekind

  4. Anonymous says:

    Wow this story has brought them all out! What “they” are not telling you is that it is a GM chem trail spraying facility with secret permissions already granted for a 5g HAARP installation and the US government is paying the UK billions to do it here and they are cutting us out!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Taco and Newlove, huh? Probably friends with Tim Osman.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The UK military has ordered and approved for the Cayman Islands to be a key part of the USAs torture network.

    There have been many flights with prisoners from Guantanamo Bay arriving in both Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac then transferring them on to other aircraft to be taken to other countries where there are facilities to torture them in ways that are now illegal to be done be the US military.

    The Cayman Islands facilitares Rule of LAWLESSNESS on the UKs orders.

  7. Anonymous says:

    ‘financial services’ of cayman comes in many forms…..healthcare facilities, ‘tech/enterprise citys’, ghost restraunts, aviation services……etc.

  8. Anonymous says:

    To this present day…no one knows the “Lease Agreement” with the new aircrafts…let’s face it folks…smugglers don’t let you in on their secrets.

  9. Anonymous says:

    “We are asked regularly by the Government to assist in doing due diligence on companies who want to set up or invest in Cayman” says the Gov. Right, because that’s absolutely normal and entirely part of the FCOs responsibility. Or maybe, just maybe, the Governor suggested to the Government that it would be a nice idea to accommodate these guys.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Save our sinkholes!

  11. Gray Matter says:

    Due to the Secrecy Act of the Cayman Islands; we cannot reveal what exactly we do.

  12. Anonymous says:

    “The Cayman Islands arm of Daggaro is based on Grand Cayman and officials have told CNS that the company is a sponsored enterprise of TechCayman, and as a result there is no Caymanian partner in the operation. According to the deal signed between government and TechCayman in 2018, this means that the business should be conducting its operations largely outside this jurisdiction.”

    What… the… actual…F**K!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Gene Thompson at work again with a special deal from CIG through Tech Cayman. Gene XXXX Health City his first special deal with CIG that is now a full fledged local business that was not supposed to be. Just wait until this new enterprise become full fledged not “outside the jurisdiction” . Honestly we know CIG has no interest in oversight, just look at the overdue PR fees. These guys on the Brac will do whatever they want.

  13. Anonymous says:

    My question would be if they are going to be doing work outside of the Cayman Islands, hence the Cayman Tech designation, why on earth do they need a hangar and pilots on the Brac? They are going to do search and rescue and disaster relief where exactly? Something doesn’t stack up.

    • Anonymous says:

      How secret WAS it??? It was SO secret that some of the members of parliament didn’t know about it!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Well, they might come handy evacuating people from Grand Cayman to Brac in case of an uncontrollable Dump fire. Alden called the last one “pure hell”, there is always more to come.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Idk what sort of ganja unna smoking to come up with such theories in these comments, but please share some with me. Seems to be high grade stuff. Thanks.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Remember the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean, the home of Diego Garcia.

  17. Ambassador of Absurdistan says:

    Just Another Day in Absurdistan

  18. Anonymous says:

    This Moses Madness is the continuation of the militarization of the Cayman Islands.

    Little Cayman will be the replacement for Guantanamo Bay when Cuba kicks the USA out. The UK made this deal the USA decades ago.

    Both Alden and Moses ki$$ing the UK’s a$$ for knighthood.

    Most Caymanians too afraid to speak.

  19. Satirony says:

    I hope the CIAA has imposed strict no-fly zones and times. Were this 3-ton helicopter to fly low over the Red-footed Booby colony or the Brown Boobies nesting on the Brac Bluff,they could destroy hundreds of protected birds in a just a few seconds.

    Frigatebirds soar to great heights. One pilot told me he’d hit a Frigate at 8,000 feet when flying in to the Brac.

    Furthermore, this helicopter is exceptionally noisy, with noise hazard areas of 85dBA extending beyond 100 feet from the aircraft and measurements close by of 105 dBA,in all operating conditions.

    If this helicopter plans to operate over the Sister Islands at night, then no one will get any sleep.
    It is important to find out what flight restrictions the CIAA has imposed. I’m concerned this was not mentioned in your report.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Rendition – who is the Cayman partner?

  21. Flyer says:

    CIA RUN OPERATION.

  22. Anonymous says:

    How come we don’t hear anyone reporting that Sandra Catron-Hill from Cayman Marl Road will be sentence tomorrow the 15th day of December, 2020

    • Anonymous says:

      She is protected

    • Anonymous says:

      Cause no one got the balls to say what they want anymore. Cayman 27 gone. Compass gone. CMR soon shut her down. CNS dont dare say angthing.

      Say this. We will soon be a republic.

      CNS: Do stop talking out of your behind, you silly person. Wendy has been covering Sandra’s case all the way through and will cover the sentencing when it actually happens tomorrow.

    • Anonymous says:

      What’s that got to do with helicopters?

    • Anonymous says:

      What connection does Sandra Hill have to this topic? Stupid is as stupid always shall be.

  23. Let me Relax in Peace says:

    Nope, no thank you, take that rubbish somewhere else.
    Brac needs to keep what little it has and it is highly regarded for being peaceful and relaxing. Leave our landmarks and bush alone. Leave our peace and quiet alone. Stop right there, Sir.

    • Anonymous says:

      Names are TACO and NEWLOVE.

      Who’s are these persons, really?

    • Anonymous says:

      And what benefit will this be to Cayman Brac? It is environmentally unsound, will create undo noise, and employ no Brackers. I vote NO.

    • Anonymous says:

      Landmark? You mean a pothole and already stagnant water that even turtles and iguanas don’t inhabit anymore? Sorry, but aviation is necessary and the future. Deal with it. You can still have peace and a great environment. These guys will be spending most of their time over the sea than the Sister Islands.

  24. Anonymous says:

    The Cayman Govt signed up to the Economic Substance rules as required by the OECD (EU). This is a consequence, companies need to demonstrate a presence in Cayman or they will fall foul of hefty fines.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is the first thing that makes sense in the whole article. Why would they need a search and rescue outpost in the brac?

    • Anonymous says:

      Might explain why you build an office there or hire administrative staff and management to be based there. Doesn’t explain why you build a hangar and hire pilots to be based there.

  25. Let me relax in peace! says:

    Nope, no thank you, take that rubbish somewhere else.
    Brac needs to keep what little it has and it is highly regarded for being peaceful and relaxing. Leave our landmarks and bush alone. Leave our peace and quiet alone. Stop right there, Sir.

  26. BracDiver says:

    This is very unfortunate that the beautiful pristine island beloved by diving community and nature lovers will be turned into the militarized outpost.

    West end of the island has most beautiful dive sites, I cannot imagine diving there with Black Hawks circling. Less tourism, more toxic waste. The last remaining resort on the island will probably shut down. Very sad.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s equal parts bad luck and commercial tradition that finds the Brac in the middle of an active Caribbean Sea smuggling route. After a few hundred years in that game, someone is finally stationing there to make/sell better observations, if that’s what this is.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Better them than the Chinese.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Rubber stamped by M & M.. Moses and Mertyn..

    You can’t make this shit up. This is the first time in my entire life where I have seen a governor involved at this level..

    ..and then we have our idiotic politicians that only see dollars and would sell their soul to the highest bidder.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Does it really matter what they are doing or what they are building or where?

    Caymanians believe success is directly related to wealth so there it is bobo

  30. 123 says:

    The price for us permitting what is unquestionably a site for Black Ops should be a guarantee that the US/UK will get us off Black Lists.

    • Bonnie Scott says:

      Move the rock iguanas??? Where??? West End has been the only protected iguana habitat on the island, the only place where – until now – there was no chance of bulldozers destroying the nests and hiding spots.

      There are many more reasons this is a bad idea but the threat to our endangered rock iguanas is earth-shattering.

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually, Rock Iguanas are protected wherever they are, however I agree completely that we should not destroy natural sites, particularly in a small place with so precious few of them.

        • Bonnie Scott says:

          Rock iguanas are protected by law but not from bulldozers on the Brac, and the vehicles follow the buldozers. There is no land set aside for iguanas to live without danger from development but many have been able to live in relative safety in West End Park until now.

  31. Anonymous says:

    The United States of Brac

  32. The red peril around us says:

    Hopefully this helps put eyes on Chinese assets in the Caribbean. We should be thankful, or else be prepared to start learning Cantonese & Mandarin in short order.

    • Anonymous says:

      The Chinese have already started to move in quietly on Grand Cayman with real estate.

      They are coming.

      • Ed Bozeman says:

        You are right about that. We took a tour of the South Pacific in 2015 and of course too many island tours. Three of our guide complained about the Chinese goin in and buying the general stores that sold gasoline. That’s how they control the people thru food, gasoline, and credit.

        • Renwick Conolly says:

          The Chinese have been taking notes..from the British and Americans..and they have learnt fast and well. Now we have 3 Bulls in the China shop..What a XXXing mess..

  33. Anonymous says:

    ‘Newlove said that it was not unusual to use military helicopters for this type of work because of their capabilities.’ However, there are very strict rules on the sales of US military equipment like Blackhawk helicopters outside the USA and a quick online check doesn’t show any civilian operators of UH-60s or S-70s.

  34. Anonymous says:

    CIA?

    • Hubert says:

      Whatever happened to the new airline that was suppose to have flights all over Central America and the Caribbean from Grand Cayman, that was announced a few years ago?

      • Anonymous says:

        Just another pie in the sky dumb idea. Who knew putting a low cost airline in the highest cost island in the Caribbean wouldn’t work. Oh and let’s also put it in the farthest spot from the rest of the Caribbean so that inter island travel takes 3 times as long. 😳

        See also Beach Bay Hotel, the Ice Palace, Butterfly Farm, and for those of you who have been here long enough Utopia Island. That was a real beauty 😂

    • Anonymous says:

      Nope. Whoever offer the most more likely.

    • John says:

      Seriously you obviously have no understanding of US Law and how contracts are issued. Foreign companies cannot be issued contracts under their laws!!! But keep reading your Tom Clancy novels.

      • Anonymous says:

        And you keep reading what idiots post on Facebook. There’s an old saying, ‘What the CIA wants the CIA gets.’ How many ‘off books’ accounts do you think they and other intelligence agencies are running through these islands right now?

  35. Fort George says:

    It was only a matter of time. Cayman is ideally geopolitically placed to use as a base to carry out intelligence gathering operations over Cuba, Venezuela, central America and the Caribbean as whole. A new and competent US foreign policy directive is likely on the way. The Governor understands this.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just wait when they start rolling out 5G infrastructure.
      Covid19 should have wiped us out to give nature several decades to recover.

    • I-recall-it. says:

      Only hope that while our KX pilots are training on the new B737MAX8 aircraft that they will get familiar with the air route around Cuba. Least we forget the extended 30 minute flight to Miami.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Can you say Venezuela?

    • Anonymous says:

      Can you say way beyond the range of a Blackhawk unless they are going to use air to air refuelling. In which case it could operate out of GITMO. Only countries within operational range are Jamaica, Mexico and Honduras – and of course Cuba. However, it would cover off a large area of marine real estate in between.

  37. Anonymous says:

    They later confirmed in the DCB meeting that the entire thing will be paved and not a tree will remain. Bye bye historical turtle crawl. Bye bye Nurse Smith Cave. Hello concrete.

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