The Department of Immigration (DOI) is continuing efforts to deliver a positive passenger experience upon arrival at Owen Roberts International Airport (ORIA).
On Saturday, 3 February 2018 the DOI worked with the Cayman Islands Airports Authority (CIAA) and the Cayman Islands Customs Department to clear 26 inbound commercial flights.
Acting Chief Immigration Officer Bruce Smith led his team throughout the day to ensure the arrival of all 2,913 passengers and the departure of 2,665.
“As this was the second Saturday in the new hall, we wanted to address some of the frustrations of the travelling public, who have had to contend with excessive waiting periods emanating from long lines and passenger overflow from our hall,” Mr. Bruce Smith explains. “So we wanted to ensure operations continue to run smoothly in the future, as we welcome the increase of arriving passengers during the high season.”
To accommodate more passengers indoors and allow for shorter lines for the arriving passengers the Immigration hall was rearranged.
CIAA customer service staff also ensured queuing passengers from the tarmac were waiting comfortably with a covered walkway, access to restroom facilities and refreshments.
“We ask the travelling public for their continued patience as critical works continue at ORIA,” Mr. Smith adds. “Once the essential ongoing construction in the baggage area of the former arrivals hall is completed, significant space will be available for passenger movement within the Immigration hall.”
DOI officials are working on several other initiatives that will further enhance the process such as deploying additional staff to ensure all 12 booths are staffed during the 11a.m. – 3 p.m. peak arrival period.
Additionally, the DOI officials have hired and deployed three ambassadors to assist with facilitating smooth passenger flow.
There are currently mandatory lines for special needs passengers who require additional assistance. This line is also used to accommodate the elderly and passengers travelling with infants.
In addition to his own team Mr. Smith thanked airport staff for their work to facilitate passenger movement and maintain effective border control.
“Customer satisfaction is at the core of the CIAA because for visitors the airport is the first place they see and we want to ensure it’s a pleasant experience,” CEO of the CIAA Albert Anderson commented. “As the renovation project progresses, all prospective agencies will continue to work closely together as a team to provide a high-quality guest experience to all airport users.”
The recently announced fast track procedure, which will commence in March, will also assist in streamlining airport procedures by allowing passengers to preclear before departing from Miami during peak season.
“I commend the staff of DOI, CIAA and Customs for their tremendous efforts and commitment to their duties,” Chief Officer for the Ministry of District, Administration, Tourism and Transport Stran Bodden said. “The renovation of ORIA is intended to turn the Cayman Islands into a major gateway for the region, so as well as catering for increased passengers and visitors; the expansion is also about enhancing their experience.”