Stantec Completes Airfield Upgrades at ORIA

Stantec Celebrates Completion of Airfield Upgrades at Grand Cayman’s Owen Roberts International Airport (ORIA)

  • Runway improvements at ORIA will allow for long-haul, wide-body aircraft to fly direct routes to Grand Cayman

The Cayman Islands Airports Authority has recently completed the Stantec-designed reconstruction and expansion of airside infrastructure at Owen Roberts International Airport (ORIA) on Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. The major airfield upgrades are set to increase safety and efficiency at the island’s most vital piece of infrastructure—and its primary connection to the rest of the world.

oria airfield upgrades Stantec
Construction began in early 2020 and was initially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The airfield upgrade at ORIA included strengthening and extending the airport’s only runway to allow for long-haul, wide-body aircraft to fly direct routes from Europe and North America to Grand Cayman. A parallel taxiway and a taxiway turnaround were also constructed to increase safety and efficiency at the airport by giving aircraft a viable alternative to back-taxiing on the runway. A multi stand parking apron was also constructed to expand the airport’s parking stands by up to four additional aircraft. The upgrades are expected to enable increased tourism and economic development for residents and businesses of the Cayman Islands.

Construction began in early 2020 and was initially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As the Cayman Islands closed its borders and halted air traffic in March, Stantec’s design team committed to remaining on site to help usher the project to its scheduled completion. The Contractor, a joint venture between two Caymanian companies (Island Paving and Decco) and Canadian company IDL Projects, worked with Stantec and the Airports Authority to keep the project moving and completed on time. The closed borders allowed for greater flexibility regarding airfield access during construction, which minimized the need for complex project phasing – always a challenge during large airfield development projects.

Principal with Stantec’s Airports Group, Leigh Bartlett, said:

“This was a major airfield overhaul executed under the most unusual circumstances. My hat is off to our onsite project personnel, and thankful for the partnership of Island Paving/Decco/IDL Projects and the Airport Authority. Working together, we were able to see this to a successful completion.”

Stantec was able to leverage in-house expertise from the United States and Canada to put together a project team comprised of civil and electrical aviation infrastructure experts.

Cayman Islands Airports Authority CEO, Albert Anderson, said:

“This airfield expansion is part of a larger airports development master plan that will have lasting economic and community benefits for the people of the Cayman Islands. Completing the project through the pandemic was not without its challenges, but its success is a testament to the flexibility and commitment of the project team.”

This article was originally published by Stantec.

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