22 July 2022 | News


An applicant under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act sought records from the Cayman Islands Airports Authority (CIAA) relating to the licences, rights and services for which the CIAA had authorised permission at two Cayman Islands airports since 2008.

The original FOI request focused on certain records at Owen Roberts International Airport and Charles Kirkconnell International Airport related to “ground handling services”, meaning any services provided to airport operations and/or customers on the ground, including baggage handling, fueling, hangar services and aircraft maintenance.

The CIAA had previously disclosed records related to the applicant’s request but withheld specific information contained in authorisation letters sent to ground handling services providers which it said related to private commercial interests. CIAA also deferred the release of draft ground handling agreements with service providers, as these were still being completed at the time.  

The Ombudsman, Sharon Roulstone, found that the commercial interest exemptions CIAA had claimed did not apply to the information in the authorisation letters and other records requested. She found much of this information was already in the public domain and that the public interest in disclosing the records was greater than the commercial interest in withholding them. However, the Ombudsman upheld the deferral of the release of draft ground handling agreements until their completion.

“The promotion of public understanding of processes and decisions of public authorities, the promotion of the accountability of public authorities and the deterrence of maladministration…will be enhanced by disclosure of the redacted information,” the decision stated. 

The full text of the decision may be found here.