Disability council challenges airport change

| 10/09/2021 | 46 Comments
Cayman News Service
Owen Roberts International Airport arrivals

(CNS) The National Council for Persons with Disabilities organised a meeting recently with Cayman Islands Airports Authority CEO Albert Anderson and his team to address the adverse impact for the disabled community of new ban on kerbside drop-off and pick-up at Owen Roberts International Airport. Given that the new policy directly affects people with mobility issues who use wheelchairs or other aids, the council took the opportunity to offer suggestions to the CIAA on how to make the airport experience more inclusive and easier for them to use and navigate.

The new policy, which commenced on 30 August, bans all vehicles other than authorised vehicles, such as taxis, pre-booked buses or limousines, to drop off or pick up passengers directly in front of the main terminal, which presents obvious difficulties for the disabled.

NCPD Chairperson Magda Embury said she was pleased the CIAA was listening to the council’s suggestions. She said she looked forward to learning the outcome of the request for an exemption that would, at a minimum, accommodate kerbside drop-off and pick-up of people with mobility issues, including those using wheelchairs or other mobility aids.

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Category: Local News, Travel

Comments (46)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I will agree that this plan seems to be astoundingly mindless. It is too very mindless to have come from anyone with an intellectual capacity above that of a child. This very mindlessness suggest that something other my be at play here. Perhaps we are being played to arrive at the actual intended outcome. And that is associated with paying more $$$ to fly. At UK Heatrhrow, for example, you can now drop off passengers at Heathrow’s Airport Terminal 2, 3, 4 or 5,using the lanes outside the terminals. You can drop off and unload on the forecourts, but waiting or pickup is not permitted. (NOTE: Terminal 1 is permanently closed.)
    Here is the kicker: From October 2021, Heathrow will be introducing a charge for vehicles dropping off passengers at its terminal forecourts. A £5 charge per visit will apply to use the designated drop-off zones located directly outside the airport terminals. Maybe, just maybe this is the reason for the seeming stupidity of our government’s new policy. Perhaps they are not as mindless as we are accustomed to think. Maybe they intended for people to raise a really big stink (how could they think otherwise?) and then…PRESTO!…they capitulate and decide to allow curbside drop-off, BUT…they charge a fee for it. They will say that is what’s done in the UK. People will be glad to pay for what they used to get at no extra charge. The air transport industry is rife with such add-on charges. People will high-five that we the people won a round. (But wait…???) Meanwhile the CAA will see an extra CI$5 or more per vehicle inflow to the coffers. If this is how it works out: Brilliant ploy, I’d say.

  2. Barbara Anley says:

    Absolutely a terrible idea to do away with passenger drop off and pick up!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Stupid is as stupid does. Don’t like stupid? Move to a place that isn’t stupid. Most other places are not. Besides, Cayman islands future does not look so good even without the pandemic.

  4. Anon says:

    Well if private cars can’t use the drop off, it’s time for private drivers to block the road with a flash mob of cars stopping all buses and taxis….anyone want to join me for the next Cayman flight going to Miami? We can organise it through social media.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Reagan National Airport at Arlington, Washington DC (DCA), the Capitol of the USA, has a curbside baggage checkin/dropoff at American Airlines Posts at B Terminal. They are literally less than 3 yards from the public access departures drop-off curb. If there is in fact a “blast-distance” airport policy, it doesn’t seem to apply to many major USA airports. Why does it need to all-of-a-sudden need to apply to the CIAA? What aren’t we being told, and who stands to gain from this illogic?

  6. Anonymous says:

    The fact the the CIAA has not give adequate consideration for people with mobility issues says all that needs to be said. The unfortunate truth however is that there is no accountability within government departments and authorities so nothing will be done to fix the actual problems.

    • Anon. says:

      This is not a CIAA rule. It’s a UK Govt, (ASSI) requirement for any airport redevelopment. Bermuda has the same arrangement, as do airports in the UK. CIAA will have to get a deviation from these standards from the ASSI. They can try, but don’t hold your breath.

      • Anonymous says:

        They are aptly named. Typical British bureaucratic overreach. Fixing what isn’t broken while ignoring things like the flammable cladding on highrise apartment buildings.

      • Anonymous says:

        Reference to the requirement please. Been trying to find it and can’t.

        • Anonymous says:

          Apparantly, The 179-1 Security Manual, issued 4 June 2021, cannot be downloaded by the public.

          “OTACs relating to OTAR Parts 178, 179 and 180 contain sensitive security information and are available on request, only to UK Overseas Territory entities regulated by Air Safety Support International, by emailing: avsec@airsafety.aero.”

          Impossible to verify whether this is in there or not, and/or who’s stillborn brainchild.

      • Anonymous says:

        To the contrary, for example UK Heatrhrow, you can drop off passengers at Terminals 2, 3, 4 or 5,using the lanes outside the terminals. You can drop off and unload on the forecourts, but waiting or pickup is not permitted. (NOTE: Terminal 1 is permanently closed.) Something else is at play here.

  7. Anonymous says:

    British Airways on Wednesday arrived with 330 passengers. Only 4 porters on duty to handle luggage much less assist passengers. Can CIAA and the Minister of Tourism please tell me how they would manage assisting all these people if quarantine ends and private transport is required..or assist with umbrellas? Much less flights arriving back to back from USA?

    This is pure insanity. So much for “Caymankind” upon arrival. Great first impression.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I am sure the Minister of Tourism will be the first in line to go have a look at Heathrow and Miami.

  9. Anonymous says:

    This is the same Authority that placed the departures drop off spot for disabled people at the furthest spot away from the departures entrance and then, to add insult to injury, placed the pedestrian crosswalk right over it.

    It’s clear that disabled people are an afterthought to them.

  10. Duppy Conqueror says:

    Look at recent hires at CBC and CIAA from the Motherland Infact could someone FOI all the recent hires in this Pandemic in Government .Our Dear Governor love affair with the PPM was so intense that he gave their leaders Titles and accolades no matter how checkered or questionable their past conduct have been.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Anon 10 @ 1:43pm – I can believe Airport Authority didn’t think of that. If you knew some of the senior management you would also!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Common sense, the authorities will ask what is that ? They don’t know anything about that.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Has anyone been to Heathrow or MIA recently? Is curbside banned there too? If not then Mr. Anderson has some splaining to do!

    • Anonymous says:

      He got some serious splaining to do…Trying to make a mark for himself..time for him to go..

  14. Anonymous says:

    Whoever dreamed this BS idea up should be fired. I have travelled to/from Miami IA, Heathrow, gatwick, Charles de Gaulle, and Spain.

    You can drive up to the terminal and drop off your passenger.

    Which IDIOT thought this was a good idea? Also the morning that approves the idea should be fired also.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Landside/Curbside is one thing, airside accessibility at ORIA is severely lacking (other than CAL’s “cattle-run” disability ramp). After years of prodding by the relevant department head, through many administrations, only one CEO has ever furthered the advice to purchase a proper lift vehicle to budget stage. That “initiative” died in a review of that year’s budget, before approval.

    Wonder if the new Board would be mindful to approve that type of equipment the near future?

  16. Anonymous says:

    I have recently transported my wheelchair dependent 84 mother through several countries, airports and planes. It was a smooth sailing.

    Disabled person assistance starts with the ticket purchase where one just checks the box that assistance will be required. We were dropped off by a family member directly in front of the main terminal. We had green light and preferences from then on in every airport. Upon arrival to the final destination we were even transported by the airport shuttle to the hotel from which another family member picked us up. Mom needed 2 full days of rest to recover from the long journey. The only problem we encountered was the improperly constructed ramp at the hotel entry and unsuitable for a wheelchair room, but they quickly assigned us the adequate room.

    Mom was not only physically dependent on the wheelchair, she recently had a stroke and my presence was required 24 x 7. I am a nurse. Someone suggested leaving a disabled person with an airport staff while I pay for the parking has no idea what he is talking about. Add to the picture 2 large suitcases, a backpack and 2 large handbags then imagine what it is like for 115lb person to travel with a disabled person.

    She is now under the watchful eye of my sister and her large family and won’t die alone.

    P.S We were wearing face masks through our journey. Tested twice, before departure and upon arrival. So I really don’t understand how people who were negative prior to departure to Cayman, arrive positive.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you for that anecdote.

      As for your last comment, It’s concerning that you’re a nurse and you don’t understand how incubation periods work.

  17. Anonymous says:

    This whole no-curbside thing is just stupid! There is absolutely no justification for this hairbrained plan. There is no security risk. Just some fool’s bright idea.

    • Anonymous says:

      No bright idea – just an idea to charge us money.

      • Anonymous says:

        Taxi cartel must be paid somehow with all the promises made. As per usual, everyone who actually works for a living must pay for their unemploymentability.. Some bus drivers with amazing “hairstyle” working at a certain grocery for exactly 15 minutes, is now in control of a 40 person+ bus. I see the same personality having conversations in the middle of the 2 lane road. With passengers on board. it’s such a wonder where we derive our driving standards from. If any single bus driver on the road is an example, may the Lord be with us. And if you must put a sticker that includes ‘jesus bless/ watch over / carry this vehicle’ it strikes fear in my heart.

  18. Harley45 says:

    Simple suggestion. Allow disabled to be unloaded kerbside under the canopy and porters can wheel them in on a wheelchair and stay with them until the driver parks and returns on foot if needed.

    • Moe Munnie says:

      They can’t do that…….. The disabled could be terrorists from never never land! You know how they’ve been blowing up or stealing air liners lately!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Time to abandon this idiotic idea.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I can’t believe the airport authority didn’t think of that. That is normal common sense.

    • Anonymous says:

      $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ overpowers rational though.

    • Anonymous says:

      Anon 10 @ 1:43pm – I can believe Airport Authority didn’t think of that. If you knew some of the senior management you would also!

    • P. T. Barnum says:

      The Airport Authority has never been accused of having common sense. Do you think they could have some relation$hip with the taxi driver$.

    • Not so common says:

      Common sense is not so common. Especially at ORIA.

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