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CIAA comments on findings of The Miller Commission Report

23 March 2010

The Cayman Islands Airports Authority (CIAA) wishes to comment on the findings of The Miller Commission Report (“The Report”), specific to the CIAA, which were recently made available to the public on the Government’s website.

The Report recommends that Owen Roberts International Airport could be privatized and in addition to whatever the Government would realize from the proceeds of the sale, it would save an additional CI$8.7 million per year that it now provides as an annual subsidy payment.

The CIAA wishes to make it clear that the CI$8.7 million referred to in The Report does not represent an annual subsidy payment to the Authority. The CIAA would like to categorically state that it does not receive any subsidy from the Cayman Islands Government. The revenues, in fact, represent monies collected by the Authority as rent, utilities, parking and landing fees and passenger fees from various Government entities including the Department of Immigration, the Customs Department and Cayman Airways. Obviously, privatization of the airport would not eliminate the need for those Government entities to pay these fees.

Commenting on The Report’s recommendation that the airport on Grand Cayman be privatised, the Chairman of the CIAA Board of Directors, Mr. Norman Bodden, OBE, JP, said, "Personally, I doubt very much that the Cayman Islands Government would condone or consider relinquishing the control of airports in the Cayman Islands to any one individual or entity which could result in creating a monopoly of our airport business.  Furthermore, I believe that the UK’s civil aviation authorities would also need to be consulted.”

Mr. Bodden explained that the CIAA has been operating with a net income since its inception in 2004. “As of June 30, 2009, the CIAA had accumulated a net income of approximately CI$19 million and in October 2009, our Authority was able to contribute CI$7 million to the Cayman Islands Government by way of a dividend payment. It is important to note that the approximate net income of CI$19 million was not the result of any form of subsidy from the Government, he said." 

Mr. Bodden’s remarks echo the sentiments of the Premier, the Hon. W. McKeeva Bush, OBE, JP, who also shared his position with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office during their most recent meetings, held in the UK in mid March. Premier Bush has stated, “While I believe that partnerships with the private sector can be entered into for improvements and expansion of the airport or the seaport facilities, I do not support divestment of those key assets or relinquishing any control to private enterprise.”

The CIAA wishes to assure the public that the Authority is committed to continue to function as a viable business entity and to exercise fiscal prudence and profitability, while maintaining a safe and secure environment for all airport users.

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CONTACT CIAA +1 (345) 943-7070