Saturday 15 August, 2020

Airport upgrade project running ahead of schedule

The joint venture consortium comprised of Island Paving Ltd, DECCO and Canadian Firm IDL Projects, which was responsible for the Sangster International Airport: Runway Overlay & Rehabilitation in Montego Bay, Jamaica and the Cruise Ship Pier Expansion Project, in Tortola, BVI, have reported that the Airfield Upgrades Project at Owen Roberts International Airport (ORIA) is ahead of schedule, as facilitated by the suspension of international flights into Grand Cayman.

This has enabled the airfield construction crews to proceed with the works at an increased pace due to the increased accessibility of the airfield.

Identified by the Cayman Islands Government as a priority project, works at the airfield upgrade project at the Owen Roberts International Airport were granted exemption status, and the staff and management received early training on all relevant safety protocols and public health guidance.

The $30 million upgrade project announced by the Cayman Islands Government last October, commenced in early November 2019 and consists of six sub-projects, including the rehabilitation of the existing runway surface to increase its strength and durability, a runway extension, a new parallel taxiway, the filling of the ponds within the airfield perimeter, establishing an airfield perimeter road and expanding the aircraft parking ramp in an easterly direction to provide additional aircraft parking. The apron expansion work was the first of the sub-projects to begin late last year, followed by the runway rehabilitation, additional taxiway and extension in February 2020. This will ensure the Cayman Islands is able to accommodate growth in air arrivals now and in future years.

According to the team, the runway overlay and reinforcing works are close to completion, and work progresses steadily on other areas of the project including the runway extension and turn around, the apron expansion, and construction of the perimeter road, among others.

Once completed, the upgrades to the airfield will mean a smoother, safer and more efficient airport experience for travellers. With an extended runway, the Authority will be able to facilitate travel to more far-reaching destinations. The new taxiways will increase efficiencies of aircraft movements on the airfield, and a new extended apron will increase aircraft parking availability and reduce passenger wait times for disembarking and boarding.

The Airfield Upgrades Project has supported continuity for many local businesses and secured jobs during this period of travel restrictions due to COVID-19.

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