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US$30-million expansion approved for Cayman airport

Approval has been granted for the US$30 million extension of the runway at the Owen Roberts International Airport in the Cayman Islands.

The Owen Roberts International Airport in Cayman. (Photo: Cayman Compass)

The project was approved by the Central Planning Authority and will see runway be extended by 870 feet at the western end. Additionally, an apron will also be built that will increase the airport’s capacity to accommodate two planes; one waiting while the second lands or takes off.

“The average time between landing and take-off can be improved by 50% or more,” said Airports Authority CEO, Albert Anderson. “We expect 50% improvement, or two minutes, to be the worst-case timing. This is a very significant improvement on a busy day.”

Anderson added that the configuration will make operations more efficient, enabling the reduction of the minimum time between commercial jets taking off from four minutes to two minutes.

The changes are part of a bigger plan to better by the Cayman Islands Airport Authority to handle larger aircraft including the Boeing B777.

The upgrade will require ponds to be filled in the area where the runway will be extended. A proposal by the Department of Environment would see the wildlife fish in the ponds being relocated ahead of the planned development.