$90m for ORIA over 20 years

| 22/07/2014

(CNS): The development of airports on all three Cayman Islands can be accomplished with funds that the Cayman Islands Airports Authority has in hand or with expected income, without the need for borrowing, and is estimated to cost around $122 million over 18-20 years, which includes $40 million for maintenance. The expansion of the terminal at Owen Roberts International Airport on Grand Cayman is a priority and has been divided into 4 phases, which can be done as funding allows and would make the terminal 2.2 times bigger, attendees at the first public consultation meeting Monday night heard. Phase 1 of ORIA will cost around $50 million and would increase the terminal footprint by about one third.

“Our goal is to break ground on this terminal in 2015 and to put our tourism product back in the position where it has infrastructure that compares to our competitors in the region,” Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell told about 130 people gathered at the Mary Miller Hall Monday evening.

He noted that the current terminal on Grand Cayman was built to accommodate 500,000 passengers per year but now has to cope with one million, double its intended capacity. As well as needing a better facility to accommodate residents, friends and family, Deputy Premier Kirkconnell noted, “We do not have a big window to build repeat guests.”

The Strategic Business Case and the Outline Business Case have been approved by Cabinet and the current stage for the project is the stakeholder and public input. When that is completed it will again go to Cabinet for final approval and Kirkconnell said that they hope to have construction start in April or May of next year and move forward as quickly as possible. One part of the development, the walkway to the arrivals lounge, has already begun.

Bernhard Schropp from WSP Canada, the technical consulants on the project, told the audeince that the estimates for spending on ORIA, the priority airport, in the first five years under the proposed plan is just over $50 million. During this period the expected spending on the Charles Kirkconnell International Airport (CKIA) on Cayman Brac would be about $2.5 million and the Little Cayman Airport about $1 million. Building the new airport on Little Cayman would take place in the medium term (6-10 years) and cost an estimated $20 million, while $3.2 million would be spent on CKIA and about $18.8 million on ORIA.

Costs in the long term (11-20 years) would be $21 million for ORIA, $5.8 for the Brac and nothing for Little Cayman. The total cost over 20 years is estimated at $122 million, and the breakdown is $90.1M for ORIA, $11.6M for CKIA and $20M for Little Cayman.

Simon Connolly of PricewaterhouseCoppers, the financial consultants, explained that, because finances are an issue, they recommend expanding and renovating the existing terminal at ORIA, although he said a new terminal would be required at some point, maybe 20, 30 or even 40 years in the future.

The project might move quicker with a public private partnership (PPP), he said, but that these types of arrangements generally work better for new projects and they did not recommend it for this one. He also noted that a wholly government owned project would be better suited to take advantage of the flexibility built into the master plan. For example, they have not recommended that the runway be extended at this stage to accommodate long haul flights because there appears to be no immediate requirement from the airlines, but this is included in the master plan so if the need or financial situation changed, this could be done at any time.

Because the government faces borrowing constraints, PwC has recommended the pay-as-you-go financing, meaning that the facility would be built as funds become available. Under the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility agreement that Cayman has signed with the UK, this will still require UK approval but Kirkconnell indicated to CNS that the Cayman government is confident that this will be forthcoming.

The schematic for thenew ORIA terminal is below (see more details). The red dotted line indicates the current footprint, the yellow block is the proposed extension in the first phase and the green is a future proposed extension. The outline below is for the second floor of the terminal.

See all Airports Developments documents

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  1. Anonymous says:

    20 years and $100M to build what we needed ten years ago…My  my politcics at its best….

    By the time it is done it will be completely absolete..

    Who comes up with these ideas? 

  2. Anonyanmous says:

    The Airport expansion is needed and necessary, many islands in the Caribbean are doing the same thing now even those who refused initially.  This is an interesting article on Anguilla's plan for expansion.


    • Anonymous says:

      Needed and necessary is right but you don't operate on a patient for years when you can cure him with one or two surgeries..

  3. Anonymous says:

    Build a nice new terminal so more people can fly in a be appalled by the stench of the dump?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Unless there are plans for 8-10 jetway ramps (and from what I have seen there are not) this is a horrible idea. If we can't modernize and keep pace with the rest of the world, what's the point of pumping 90 million into a substandard facility over a twenty year period. 

    • Anonymous says:

      The money for the other airports would be better spent turning ORIA into a 20th century facility (and I do know that this is the 21st century, but I don't realistically think the bar can be set that high).

  5. Anonymous says:

    If you can't improve the customer service at the airport, at least ensure the staff are well groomed and hygienic when working there. Have you seen the finger nails of the guy who checks your boarding pass before entering security? (He's a Flowers employee)

    It's disgusting! Tell him to cut his nails!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I think we should use the current airport for Fedex planes, cargo planes, military planes and helicopters, private jets for rich people like celebraties and other folks like that that come here all the time. Then open a nice, huge airport in say East End to provide jobs for EE, NS, BT residents, and taxi drivers.

    Most folks visiting our island are use to the travel distance from EE to SMB anyway. When we Caymanians travel, we know it sometimes takes time to get to our destinations from the airports we fly into whether for shopping or college/university students. Then put in a decent bus service with scheduling in the EE, NS, whole island. It is a shame that people in EE and NS have to wait so long to get rides to GT!! I knowpeople who have had to wait long periods of time getting back and forth to EE and NS because of our poor bus service in those areas. EE has the land for a huge 1st class airport, it has the charm of old-time Cayman and its local people. The scenery is beautiful! Also, NS could open some hotels for tourists. NS is beautiful too! And also has charming local Caymanians too that I am sure visitors would love to meet. There is not enough space in GT to expand without a lot of upheaveal in NRA and do what needs to be done properly. Instead of waiting 40 to 50 years to change to a "right" place for the GC airport, why not do it NOW! The airport project is more important than the Cruise berthing facility that we also need because the airport caters to customers that stayover for at least a week and spend money at restuarants and grocery stores whereas the Cruise ship passengers either won a cruise ticket, or got a cheap deal on their tickets and don't have much money to spend in those EXPENSIVE stores in GT. Who off the cruise ships buy Rolexes, emeralds, diamonds, etc?? What a laugh! We have had cruise ship passengers try and succeed in stealing from the jewelery stores if I recall a case last year or within the past 2 years or so. The cruise ship passengers are NOT rich. The airport customers come more prepared to spend money in Cayman that is known to have very little crime, yes and pay more money for a good crime free experience. Instead of going to places like Mexico where they are known to have a lot of beggers and a huge crime problem. Just some ideas from a Concerned Caymanian.

    • Anonymous says:

      Did you just use crime free and cayman in the same sentence?

      I though that was only allowed in police reports.

  7. Anonymous says:

    If we need a new terminal why don't we build a new one.. Taking 20 years to renovate the same old building doesn't seem to make sense? No runway extension except some cockamamie idea of extending back towards George Town makes absolutely no sense..

    with this plan we better be damn sure that the USA doesn't ever go into recession again becasue dog will eatour supper. Putting all our eggs in one basket doesn't make sense. Extend the runway towards the North sound so that British Airways can start flying a B777 in here. Believe once they do that other airlines will do the same.Who know maybe we could even pick up a little South American traffic in the off season.

    Moses you just wasted $600K of our money on a bunch of number crunchers to tell you exactly want we wanted to hear. Are you still planning on buying those worn out Cayman Airways B737's and introducing that stupid discontinued SAAB340. Who is filling your head with this crap? Come on Moses! I expected better from a Bracker!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Only total idiots could think of anything but the Dump.

  9. Anonymous says:

    20 years , wow by the time they finish this thing the already rundown bldg will be in complete shambles.

    These ppl would know a good move if it hit them in the face.  LOL 20 years for patch work how pathetic

  10. Kato says:

    Did they factor in the law suits also?  Btw wouldn't it makes more sense and a lot cheaper for the  airport to be built somewhere ineast end? If we are going to grow a country I would think essential services like the hospital, the police, etc,  will eventually need to expand. So if we take the hospital for example, there's no more land to expand latterly therefore they must go up? If the hospital is in the current fly path it's a no brainer.

    please spend our money wisely and with some planning for the future.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps changing the parking pay machines should be priority number one.  Are the making money for a politically connected family or something?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Get 'er done!

  13. Dewpont Ali G says:

    Just another Lodge run money making scheme at the CIAA ??????? How sad for this little place.

  14. Anonymous says:

    $90 Million dollar upgrade and the first thing the tourists will smell is the dump.

    • Anonymous says:

      I would be more worried about the planes hitting Mt. Trashmore on their decent to land.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Tourism Ministry is running on all cylinders… congrats to the Minister, his Councillor and Stran.

    It's great to see our tourism numbers up, our infrastructure being upgraded, and common sense plans for growing tourism jobs.  I have to say that I learned a lot at the public meeting Monday night. It is good to see the thinking that has gone in to these plans.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Tourism is up!  The airports are being upgraded!  It's reassuring to see a well thought out plan coming together.  Asa member of CITA I am very encouraged to have Minister Kirkconnell heading up Tourism.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Don't bother wasting cash on the Lesser Caymans.  The money needs to go where it can make money, and that is Grand Cayman.

  18. Michel says:

    We have to get it done so let’s get it started and finished with a good vision for the future as well. I too would like the little Cayman Airport upgraded a little but not for big passanger planes. Part of the beauty of Little Cayman is when you land and we know that too much Progress at Beautiful Little Cayman would take away it’s special charm. Cayman Brac on the other side needs it badly for Passenger Airlines to fly there directly. God knows they need a boost in their economy. God Bless, Michel Lemay.

  19. Concerned 1 says:

    Too Funny!

    Why is there a need to spend $90Mil on an airport that already has a runway? Why not just build a brand new building next to the existing one and demolish the old one when that is completed.

    Surely this cannot cost $90Mil, can it? 

  20. Anonymous says:

    Comments from 16:57 is well taken. One has to wonder if funds from this project will include "a much needed and long overdue customer service programme" for those employees that taxpayers are paying to represent our country? The attitudes from "some" custom officers and other attendees that are displayed to the general public, including both outgoing  and incoming visitors are appauling! Trust me!  Why in the Hell "Customer Services" in the Cayman Islands (especially the government offices) is so rude and obnoxious? Why? and don't you dare forget Immigration/Court House and the New Glass House? I often wonder if the Heads of Government really are aware of the sufferation this country are faced with daily. Something must be done to this long overdue situation! It is frustrating and down right a crying shame on this country and its citizens. We already have enough stress just trying to survive keeping our heads above the bills and insurances, we the public don't need the rudness dished out by fully paid servants!

    • Anonymous says:

      Too Funny!

      Immigration / Customs / Police / security- none of these are smiling type jobs. Please name 1 country where you have seen people in these types of job smilling with the public? 

  21. Anonymous says:

    122 Million will surely end up being 300 Million..

  22. Anonymous says:

    I just hope that some of the "improvements" will include getting rid of those idiotic self-pay parking ATM's. Half the time you have to go find a live person to pay anyway.  What's the point.

  23. Anonymous says:

    This is madness! Weare planning to spend $100M and we won't have a runway extension into the North Sound to allow long haul flights..This means we have to continue to depend on the United States for our tourism business and we will continue to suffer in the low season without business from other parts of the world.

    Very disappointed Moses! Expected better!

    • Anonymous says:

      PwC as making a mistake in concluding that there isn't any demand for long haul flights to Cayman. If that's truly the case then why does BA drop off 85% of their passengers on Nassau before proceeding to Cayman?

      The simple reason is that Cayman doesn't have the hotel and resort facilities expected by the rest of the world. Europeans are flocking to all Caribbean destinations in their 100's of thousands, and they are doing so throughout the year.

      Cayman is missing out on a very lucrative market due to its reliance on the US short stay, condo based, independent vacation. As they are with the cheap, bucket shop cruise lines that gorge their economically challenged and over fed clients onto our shores, adding little to the local economy during the few hours that they are thankfully here.

      Europeans, especially Brits, normally like to book a two week, package or all inclusive hotel or resort. They have money to spend as their economy grows quicker than any other in Europe or the US, and they don't get spooked by security threats. Most Europeans hold a passport, unlike their US cousins, and they like to travel to countries outside of their own continent, also unlike their US cousins. Europeans also get anything between 4 and 6 weeks annual leave per year, also unlike their US cousins.

      It is also true that BA used to fly both the DC10 and 777 to Caymanbefore Ivan. It went over to the smaller 767 to accommodate the T&CI shuttle from Nassau and to facilitate the loss of travellers wishing to come to Cayman due to a drop in demand. Surely tourism should be working with BA and BA Holidays, (as well as the other UK and European travel agents) to get rid of the sub standard 767 and return to direct flights on more modern aircraft.

      Cayman needs this new airport, it also needs extended runways, but most of all, it needs high quality hotels and resorts that will encourage the long haul market to view Cayman as a viable destination. To rely on the US market is commercial myopia and totally unnecessary, we live in a global economy, we need global tourism.


      • Anonymous says:

        Agreed one hundred percent..It is amazing that even after this new airport is built we can only continue doing the same thing we are doing now which is being dependent on the USA. tourist.

        We keep burying our head in the sand instead of looking outside the box and thinking globally..Don't we remember what happened after 911 and during the US recession.

        Wouldn't it be better to spend money lenghtening the runway (towards the runway not towards the credit union building and hospital)? As commercial airliners get more efficient and bigger they won't be able to come here and in fact watch and see how many them will not even think about Cayman as a route becasue they can't get their airplanes in and out of here.

        Even what is further more amazing is that all the airplanes will basically be landing and taking off at the same time just like they do now leaving huge expense to operate the airport on a 24 hour basis but only running it at full capacity for 2-3 hours

        • Anonyanmous says:

          I watch the Concord land at the present airport in the 1980s, so why is it so impossible for other plane to land now?

  24. Anonymous says:

    I think the main problem here is that the biggest debtor is none other than…..drumroll….Cayman Airways.

    As long as the government continues to mismanage what could be a viable operation, debts to CIAA will continue to mount up.

    A lot of uninformed folk think that CAL is a losing proposition. If you saw the Miami and Jamaica revenue, you would be shocked, it is astronomical. The problem is the gross mismanagement of the company that is driven down from the Board.

    It is time to retire those 20 year old 737s, especially the one that pancaked the landing in New Zealand.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Finally a proper plan for our airport- watch thishappen folks. We will be amazed. Proper planning always brings excellence performance. Kudos to the Minister and Civil servants for following established best practice.

    • Joe B says:

      Proper Cayman kind planning will only bring the expected results as usual.  What actually got done instead of what they say they did and where did all that money go to?Think about what has been happening at the airport and why.  Now think of why this poster is giving kudos to them for following established best practice.  This is what Cayman is now best known for.  Screwing up everything they try to do and then patting themselves of the back.

  26. Anonymous says:

    How much of this will be spent on porn firewalls?

  27. Anonymous says:

    More airplanes, more people, more noise, more garbage, more traffic, more polution.

    Only more money for the hotel owners. The Caymanian population does not benefit at all.

    Now, property tax on foreign owned real estate would be something government can use for better healthcare, roads, schools etc.

    Taxing the outrageous real estate commisions, lawyers, accountants would also add to a fair balance between rich and poor.


    • Foolish egotistical neophyte thought! says:

      Oooh me thinks a handout entitlement mentality? Sorry, I support capitalism (without corruption!) not Socialism. Taxes only have ever benefited politicians and is always a bad idea

      • Anonymous says:

        You confuse Jamaican dialect with a suggested Caymanian attitude.

        One day you'll be sick and your capitalist insurrance company does not cover your treatment, since it is "experimental". THAT is capitalism.

    • Anonymous says:

      Tax one Tax all, Property taxes on all property is what will happen if what you suggest is started..

    • Anonymous says:

      No taxation without representation

      • Anonymous says:

        That slogan does not mean what you think it means since it does not apply that way in any country in the world.   

    • Anonymous says:

      Don't worry, the Dump will take care of it. Nobody would evrntually want to spend their hard earned money in the cacinogenous environment.

  28. Anonymous says:


  29. Anonymous says:

    Even Moses has gone mad now. Leagilize canabus, might as well, after hearing our new trusted, transparent politicians talk lately

  30. Anonymous says:

    For these costs, do the visitors, citizens & residents here get some courtesy from the airport staff ? I'll settle for a smiling face & a 'Welcome to Cayman' instead of the frowning & disdainful looks we have to  deal with now, from everyone ( Customs,Immigration, car park security staff , kerbside rent-a-cop parking attendant , Caymans version of T.S.A ) The airports authority & government should be ashamed of the image that these individuals & government bodies portray. Shame on you …. 

  31. Anonymous says:

    more debt for your children. $90 Million, really?

    • Anonymous says:

      the ignorance of those people with the thumbs-down will cause them to be weeping and wailing and gnashing their teeth, come another generation. bloody morons.

  32. Anonymous says:

    As a fairly frequent user of ORIA, this renovation can't happen fast enough.  

    I have been there during the peak periods on a Saturday and Sunday and I am embarassed to see the conditions that our arriving and departing guests must endure. It is shameful.

    I wish Little Cayman Airport could remain as is.  It is a jewel, but I understand it is on private property and should the owners decide to sell or develop the property, then air transportation would cease.  I just hope the new airport and runway will be build so that large commercial aircraft are prohibited.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Let's get priorities right and put the $24m into ORIA and leave the Lessers out of the plans.

  34. Anonymous says:

    E&Y will come out next month and submit that these authorities should be privatised and there we go – wasted $600k again on consultants. PWC is bowing down to pressure it seems

  35. Anonymous says:

    PPM style construction politics and they paid PWC $600k to endorse it.It is ridiculous to think that the govt. can manage a project on petty cash from airlines. PWC is giving conflicted advise- seems like they have gotten too close to the govt. PWC bagged KYD $600k for this pile and keeps collecting.

    Here is the problem- we cannot afford to let the airport become another clifton hunter type unfinished building – which is exactly what will happen when the cash trickles down. Cayman Airways never pays its bills to Airport authority – how are you going to pay for the project?

  36. anonymous says:

    20 years????….really????…..I thought we were running at twice the capacity at the moment…hmmmm

  37. anonymous says:

    This is a total nonsensical approach. Adding piecemeal to a 35 year old building is simply stupid.

    The solution is simple…do a Design/Build/Finance scheme where the developers and contractors fund the entire thing….then revenue will pay them back until the loan is complete. At that time the facility is handed back to government. Even Heathrow airport in London is privately run….lets use some common sense here folks.

    Bad idea proposed ….

    • Anonymous says:

      Common sense for the CIG ???????? REALLY !!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey, thats a great idea. Instead of using cash we have lets have someone else take out a loan(hope they don't ask us to to guarantee it and then default), take in the money  and when its all over they give us, drumroll please, a building that's in need of redvelopment or refurbishment. Because thats how long its going to take to pay back the loan. (Leaving aside that the D/B/F won't cover a lot of the other costs, such as Little Cayman, where the need is for an airport for social reasons – people coming and going – more than economic, i.e., it won't pay for itself excpet as a national infrastructure cost.) – You must work for a bank (sarcasm) to suggest building with debt rather than building with savings. Because buildign with debt is working so well for the word economy right now. – Or is it that you hope to get the contract to run the money-making ORIA, leaving CIAA (not the C part, thats Cayman) the expense of regulating without an income stream? 

    • Anonymous says:

      Ever been to miami airport? That is the result of adding to a decades old building. Don't be so short-sighted, numb-skull.

      • Anonymous says:

        Miami never added on to all sides and on top of their intital building…they build beside it then opened up each terminal. What isplanned at Owen Roberts is to add to the west, then add to the east, then add on top..etc.  Crazy idea.