Almost 18 months after ground was broken on the $55-million expansion of Owen Roberts International Airport, the CIAA told Cayman 27 the project is still on track for completion in late 2018.
Cayman 27’s Joe Avary went on the job site for an exclusive first look at the progress.
“It’s really starting to take shape and register just how big it’s going to be,” said Airports Authority CEO Albert Anderson.
He said the excitement is building as the expanded ORIA begins to emerge around the existing terminal.
“I think it’s really starting to register now just how much bigger it is then the old airport. From the design stage we knew it was going to be almost three times as big, but when you look at it it looks like almost more than that,” he said.
Crews poured concrete over what will become the new arrivals area, future home for Customs, Immigration, and baggage claim areas.
“We’re going to have new immigration booths for the immigration officers, and then when you go into baggage claim and there will be a total of five baggage claim belts, one designated for domestic baggage and four for international baggage,” said Mr. Anderson.
Over on the west side of the terminal, the new check-in area is taking shape. Mr. Anderson described the new common use passenger processing system, or CUPPS, that he said is due for a request for proposals in the near future.
“What CUPPS will give us, is at the check-in desk we don’t have to designate a specific desk to a specific airline. Any airline can come to any desk, login and it automatically becomes their desk for that period of time,” he said.
That platform will feed relevant information about flight times, gates, and baggage information to passengers via displays throughout the airport.
Mr. Anderson advised travelers to stay patient through the growing pains.
“That’s the message for us, it’s always keep your eye on the prize at the end,” he said.
The CIAA said work is right on track with the construction schedule. He said the airport is expected to be fully complete in December 2018, with portions of the terminal coming online as early as August of this year.