Daggaro begins clearing bush for aviation project

| 19/04/2021 | 69 Comments
  • Cayman News Service
  • Cayman News Service

(CNS): The aviation company which secured planning permission for a helicopter operation based in Cayman Brac began clearing the only remaining remnant of tropical dry forest in the island’s far West End this weekend ahead of the construction work set to begin. However, an appeal challenging the planning approval given to the project by the Cayman Brac and Little Cayman Development Control Board is yet to be heard. Officials from Daggaro have disputed local claims that the area includes some of the last remaining habitat for the critically endangered rock iguana and said in a press release that only one nesting female had been found on the site and removed with the help of the Department of Environment.

Daggaro has stated that it is investing upwards of US$12 million on the project, but Brac residents have raised concerns that the company’s claims that it will be focused on regional disaster and relief work from the location using Black Hawk military helicopters makes little sense. Some have said they are worried that the core work might very well be military, security or intelligence related on contract with international governments. They are also furious over the impact on the natural environment.

Activists on the island who have been leading the opposition to the project told CNS this weekend that they were angry that the clearing work began when the entire country’s attention was diverted to the horsetrading regarding the next government. But most of all, the appeal has not yet been heard and even it was successful, it will now be too late to save important species of trees and plants that were mechanically cleared.

As trees were bulldozed this weekend during nesting season for birds as well as iguanas, Daggaro continues to claim the work will be limited to search and rescue, disaster relief and medical airlifts. The company has also said it reduced the footprint of the hanger and related administration building to limit the clearing of trees and other natural habitat.

Daggaro CEO Myles Newlove said the firm had “tried very hard to balance development with environmental protection” as a result of the feedback from multiple sources. “We are working hard to be righteous and transparent members of the community and to bring much needed jobs to support Cayman Brac following completion of the project,” he added.

Newlove said that Daggaro has also worked closely with environmental experts, including the DoE, which has conducted multiple extensive in-depth surveys to check for iguanas, and advice on design procedures to ensure no others would be harmed during construction.

Officials also said that it will be conducting interviews this month following recent job fairs on the Brac and Grand Cayman.

See Newlove’s response to above story here

See video of the clearing on Facebook here.

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Category: development, Land Habitat, Local News, Science & Nature

Comments (69)

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  1. Stanley says:

    Under what planning or zoning laws you objectors are bitching about? You have no say in objecting this project. Emotions and opinions do not build an economy or a country.

  2. Bruno says:

    Caymans are very conspiracy theoris

  3. Anonymous says:

    GO DAGGARO GO – You have the full support of the Development Control Board, appeals were lodged and let the building begin.

    • Anonymous says:

      Fug you, 6:42! You can buy people on the government
      payroll, but you can’t buy the honest Caymanians!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Pretty sure that’s not “Daggaro’s bulldozer”. Confident in fact that it is owned and operated by a Brac family.

  5. Aquazulu says:

    Blackhawk? Interesting!.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Great to see some development happening.

    Newsflash to National Trust and tree huggers. You may want to canvass your donors, take some pennies out of your piggy bank, do some car washes and bake sales – with the goal of buying Bert Marson’s old house next to West End Community Part.. ….as it would be the next sensible thing for Daggaro to buy.

    So don’t say you have not been told, you still have a chance National Trust and tree huggers to save THIS HISTORICAL AND CULTURALLY SIGNIFICANT PROPERTY.

    Miss Kassa donated $200,000 to save some land in Little Cayman, so you just need to find some other deep pocket donors to do the same on the Brac.

    • Anonymous says:

      I do not understand why our government is not being truthful about all this.

      • Anonymous says:

        Me either. Why was nothing said before the destruction started. And who really gave this bunch permission to start destroying everything? Alden? Moses? Julianna? Surely not Mac……

  7. Anonymous says:

    Welcome Daggaro to the Brac,

    As a former Black Ops team member, private security contractor and NATO counter intelligence agent who has lived on the Brac since last century – I personally extend a warm welcome and greetings to Mr. Newlove and Daggaro.

    We, who were in, or are still in the Black Ops community are in very tight knit small teams – each with a wide range of skills from a variety of backgrounds and from all over the world. So being an ex-Aussie Military Officer would make Mr. Newlove a good candidate as a team member.

    There is mention of CIA in the comments. Anyone with a dose of common sense will realize that the USA would have to work with the UK (and perhaps others) in order to meet this scenario.
    Within the Cayman Islands the directive for such measure would go thru the Foreign Office and directly to the Governor – our elected officials (please read our Constitution) would have extremely little say in the matter (just like the recent gay rights issued being crammed down our throats).

    Now somebody correct me in writing, in this forum if I am wrong. If Her Majesty wants to set up a base of operations for a tiny company on a tiny island, it will happen.

    • Rosetta says:

      I agree with, “If Her Majesty wants to set up a base of operations for a tiny company on a tiny island, it will happen.” But… somehow I don’t believe her Majesty is involved in this fiasco. It looks like smoke and mirrors to me!

      I wonder if any of our newly elected leaders would like to comment on this. (?)

      • Anonymous says:

        Ah, Rosetta, I have worked the majority of life in this field and the powers to be in the US, UK do this kind of stuff on a daily basis all over the world.

        Just like our own Caymanians “front” for expats doing business, Governments around the world are involved in public-private ventures to conduct surveillance under the guise of some actual type of business.

  8. Anonymous says:

    God love these guys and gals. Happy to see this going on the Brac. Something for our people.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Why so much secrets with this project,smells fishy

  10. Da Bracster says:

    He must realize the PPM is out so he is now doing as much damage as he can before they put a stop to him. This is right out of the ppm playbook! This also why they clearly need to go now! PPM OUT!

    • Anonymous says:

      You Bracsters keep screaming for development, and when you get it it’s a PPM led conspiracy and the world is ending.
      A simple thank you would do.

      • Anonymous says:

        None of us want rampant development. We don’t want the Brac to become the elite shithole that Grand Cayman has become.

        Thank you? For riding roughshod over us without even a mild heads up, installing a military intelligence company who won’t hire any Caymanians, and we’re supposed to be grateful?

        Ever wonder why they landed on the Brac instead of Grand Cayman?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Black Ops!!!

  12. Anonymous says:

    What’s strange is why they want to put that Helicopter pad on the Brac and not on Grand ?, and if Brac why not somewhere hide out on the Bluff ?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Don’t miss the point here folks. Which is that the Planning process is broken in that you can begin clearing, shoot even finish building, before the appeal is heard. Fix that and our newly elected politicians will have done something useful for the entire country.

    How to fix it? Put a time frame on appeals being herd and appoint enough people to hear the appeals in a timely manner. – We’ll leave fixing the opaqueness of the entire planning process for later. Just make the one simple fix to the time between decision and appeal, and make that time a non-development time.

  14. Anonymous says:

    So if it was CIA, what’s the problem? Are we communists, Drug Lords, international criminals? Cayman is starting to sound like soap opera or a conspiracy theory. Relax its just one helicopter. I was in the US Navy on a ship that moved 1800 marines by helicopters. Slept like a baby when I wasn’t on a 4hr. on 4hr off watch. Larger helicopters were used to rescue Vietnamese people near the end. Smaller ones to move important people. Should be fun we’re joining the rest of the world.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, we’ll have loads of fun being a target. We’ll really enjoy the flyovers. It’s just one Blackhawk NOW. You want to wager with me how many more will be conducting missions between here, South America and the U.S. in the next two years?

      Go back to the jungle if you love it so much. Most of us would prefer the peacefulness of this gentle place.

  15. Anonymous says:

    These guys build military drones that will be used to spy on surrounding countries. In my opinion, this puts a target on the Cayman Islands. And I know these guys were courted heavily by Alden and Moses.

    This is PPM.

  16. Anonymous says:

    When…….. if ever, will the truth come out about these untruths?

  17. Anonymous says:

    It’s hard making up fake stories that people will believe, isn’t it!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Who cleared half of Little Cayman recently and for what purpose?

  19. Anonymous says:

    Moses and Julianna did nothing about this yet still got voted in. Go figure.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe they were part of it. (?)

    • Anonymous says:

      Moses and Juliana did nothing because it had nothing to do with them.
      Private enterprise acquires property legally, obtains permits and proceeds with the work.
      You would be the first to scream “political interference” if they had been involved.

  20. BeaumontZodecloun says:

    We have no voice. This is important enough that the voters should have been consulted. I’m weary of sadly shaking my head. We still don’t know the whole scope of this project; I don’t believe it is an altruistic one.

    • Anonymous says:

      not True 12.02
      Landowners within the prescribed area have the right to object, and have the further right to
      lodge an appeal …. very far from your simplistic “we have no voice”.

      • Anonymous says:

        You’re wrong about that. Projects that affect an entire island should be under the purview of the electorate….. unless, of course, you believe that government doesn’t work for us.

        Hint: They don’t. They get elected and then make whatever deals they fancy. We have little to say about it, except in forums like this.

        • Anonymous says:

          Brackers compose the vast majority of Board members who voted to grant planning permission. Good voice I say. Those voices said Yes.

        • Anonymous says:

          Please tell us how-other than injecting cash in the local economy and living in the heads of scattered objectors-does this project affect the entire island. It’s built on a modest sized parcel of land; will comprise a building floor area probably comparable to other commercial projects; is said to involve a single aircraft. The only whole island aspect I see is the very active local rumour mill cranking out misleading spewings.

      • BeaumontZodecloun says:

        Sure, after the fact, after it has already be approved by Cabinet, the Brackers have the right to lodge an appeal, for all the good it will do them.

        Pretty far from your simplistic “you have rights”.

        Isn’t it?

  21. Anonymous says:

    Nonmilitary Helicopter Urban Noise Study

    The FAA outlined a three-step approach to perform this study. The first step of the FAA
    approach was a comprehensive literature review of current noise effects on human beings. The
    review identified several socio-acoustic concerns addressed in the report. These were:
    • Noise-induced hearing impairment;
    • Interference with speech communication;
    • Effects of noise on performance;
    • Sleep disturbance;
    • Cardiovascular and physiological effects;
    • Mental health effects; and
    • Effects of noise on residential behavior and annoyance.

    Second, FAA solicited public input through Federal Register notices and two public workshops.
    This generated numerous comments from private citizens, elected officials, civic group
    representatives, and the helicopter industry. The comments were categorized into operational and
    non-operational issues. The operational issues most frequently expressed were:
    • Minimum altitude for overflight and hover;
    • Operational routes & routing design guidelines;
    • Hover duration time;
    • Retirement of noisiest helicopters;
    • Visible identification markings;
    • Frequency of helicopter operations (number of flights);
    • Time frame of helicopter operations (hours of operation);
    • Heliports/airports operations (i.e., ground run-up duration);
    • Noise abatement procedures;
    • Noise certification limit stringency; and
    • Implementation of noise reduction technology (i.e., helicopter “hushkits”).

  22. Anonymous says:

    This project has CIA written all over it.

  23. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know these guys and I don’t know what they are up to, but I do know one thing: they are placing ridiculous requirements on Caymanians who interview with them. I’ve been a professional for 25 years, working with numerous industries, and I have never seen a company require the submissions these guys are requiring.

    I can’t say exactly what they are asking candidates to do because it would give away who those candidates are that I’ve spoken to. Let’s just say they have ZERO intention of hiring Caymanians. They’re placing an impossibly high bar which few could meet, then when the candidates can’t meet the bar they’ll bring in foreigners to do the job and say “well we tried to hire Caymanians”. They are not trying. Its a farce.

    • Anonymous says:

      Is it really a surprise that there are few if any Caymanians even remotely qualified to do what they are either purporting to do or what everyone suspects they are going to be doing?

      • Anonymous says:

        That’s not my point at all. These are office jobs, not technical rescue/spy/whatever it is they’re doing jobs. I know Caymanians more than qualified to do the jobs who’ve applied and been asked to jump through all sorts of hoops not normally asked of an applicant.

        I’ve interviewed for, and been offered, jobs in the US, Europe and Asia. Some of the interview processes were brutal. But none like what these guys are putting applicants through.

        • Anonymous says:

          Sounds like the interview I had with Dart in the mid 90’s when they first came – with required ‘IQ’ type testing. A few of us were employed – much later they expanded significantly & hired according to ‘who their daddy is’ (or brother)…then the floodgates opened & they hired everyone they could.

  24. Anonymous says:

    There are hundreds of merchant ships that traverse the greater radius of waterways around Cayman each day, every day each ship has 20+ crew.. these are people who get sick and have injuries and need assistance on-board – it is hazardous work ship-board. Over the course of a year that is tens of thousands of people, hundreds of whom will need to be extracted and airlifted from. The Blackhawk is the largest and longest range helicopter that can stay airborne the longest and with high loads, conducting such rescues and which is readily available as military surplus for civilian commercial activity. I don’t understand why so few people understand the World going on around them – the lack of education about the reality of maritime needs leads to an immediate thought that there is some military activity. It’s quite naive

    • Anonymous says:

      Utter garbage that literally no one bought. One of the first missions of our own government ran, million-dollar police helicopter was a ship-to-shore transfer. It had just arrived on the island and the turbines hadn’t been spooled down yet before it was called to do that mission. Jerome has also been operating since 2004 and has been called upon to do the exact mission you’ve just descrbied numerous times. Ship medevacs are also rare events as Able-bodied seamen are properly screened before shipboard work and medical facilities are available on board, sometimes even a doctor travels with the crew. So that’s three Helicopters available and locally based to do what you and Daggaro describe as “Specialist Operations”.

    • Anonymous says:

      The maritime industry is a dangerous profession and I am sure seafarers get critically ill all the time, and in an ideal world their employers would arrange for private sector CASEVAC if official search and rescue wasn’t immediately available. But we clearly don’t live in an ideal world since otherwise we would see examples all the time – what you get instead is ships treating seafarers on board till they get to a port unless they can access public SAR facilities. Hell not even cruise ships arrange private sections medical evacuation. Added to that your comment about Blackhawks being readily available for civilian applications is simply not true, and you certainly don’t need a beast the size of a Blackhawk to do search and rescue. Added to that Daggaro apparently see the need for their senior management team to be recruited from the US military, not the Coastguard or medical evacuation sector. So no proven business model, use of controlled equipment, and an ex military leadership team. Naive? Think you are either a Daggaro whitewasher or the naive one.

    • Anonymous says:

      found the shill.

      you guys really need to up your game, its way to easy to figure out when you’re being paid.

    • Anonymous says:

      From their CEO’s LinkedIn entry:

      “Myles Newlove is well known for his ability to understand the US and International military market and the emerging combat requirements for the warfighter and how these relate to capturing business opportunities.

      His international business network and relationships is second to none, to include close ties to the Special Operations community, Intelligence and others within the US DoD, has allowed him access specialist niche markets.

      Myles Newlove currently resides with his family in Cayman Islands and activity interested in supporting disruptive technologies that benefits the Warfighter.”

      • Anonymous says:

        He’s an Ex Aussie Military officer, I mean come on how specialized and connected can he really be? Trust that the United States doesn’t need Myles Newlove or anyone else for that matter in this sorta business.

    • anon says:

      Guess they will be bringing more Covid patients in then, remember how our Covid started.

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