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Aviation firm gets green light for Brac base

Discussion in 'Cayman Islands' started by KathyV, Dec 10, 2020.

  1. KathyV

    KathyV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
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    Aviation firm submits plans for Brac 'base' - Cayman Compass

    Aviation firm gets green light for Brac base

    Planning application granted amid community concerns

    By
    James Whittaker

    December 8, 2020

    An aviation and intelligence firm which plans to station Black Hawk helicopters on Cayman Brac has been granted planning permission for an airfield on the island.

    Daggaro Cayman aims to set up an aviation testing and training centre which will ‘pioneer’ emerging technologies in manned and unmanned aircraft, according to the company’s website.

    The Development Control Board approved plans submitted last month for the air base on land adjacent to the Charles Kirkconnell International Airport following a meeting on 1 Dec. In granting permission for the project, the board noted there were “numerous conditions” attached to that approval which have yet to be made public.

    The plans, which include a 15,000-square-foot helicopter hangar, a 25,000-square-foot aircraft parking area, an office building, concrete apron and taxiway, drew multiple letters of objection from neighbouring property owners.

    The National Trust was among a number of objectors to speak out against the project, citing concern that the land proposed for the hangar is habitat for the endangered Sister Islands rock iguana.

    The Trust and other landowners listed concerns including the proximity of the proposed development to the West End Community Park.

    The loss of natural vegetation, and the impact on Nurse Smith Cave and an historic turtle kraal – used in previous generations to keep turtles alive until they were needed for consumption – were also cited as a concern in letters submitted to the board.

    “Aesthetically, we believe that this new expanse of asphalt and accompanying outbuilding would create a first impression for visitors to the island which is at odds with the natural beauty that exists throughout the Sister Islands,” wrote one neighbouring resident in a letter of objection.

    The National Conservation Council recommended in its submission that the development be relocated to a different site.

    “There are areas closer to the existing terminal which are already man-modified and do not have the same cultural value,” the council said.

    The planning department confirmed this week that the application was approved with numerous conditions attached. The detail of those conditions will be laid out in the full planning decision and minutes from the meeting, which are expected to be made public later this week.

    It is understood the conditions are designed to address some of the concerns raised.

    Daggaro did not respond to requests for comment this week.

    The company, headquartered in Switzerland, states on its website that it is “at the forefront of advanced technology in delivering aviation and intelligence services”.

    The site indicates that Daggaro is involved with drone technology as well as disaster management, medical evacuation, training and law enforcement support for maritime patrol, and search and rescue.

    “Daggaro is an aviation and aerospace services company, pioneering emerging technologies through the exploitation and development of manned and unmanned aircraft,” it said.

    On its site, Daggaro says its three principal areas are rotary and fixed-wing operation, contract intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance, and training for operators in multiple domain environments.
     
  2. BrackaFish

    BrackaFish Contributor

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Port Orange Fl
    399
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    As with most things, I can see pros and cons with this idea. Cons include increased noise and traffic, decreased privacy and increased impact with nature to start. Pros would include increased business for the Brac and I am sure that anyone that has visited the Brac would agree that it is a pretty sleepy little place. One reason we enjoy going to the Brac is because it seems to be able to walk that fine line between being too big and too small. Things are changing as large companies such as Dart begin to buy land and build. One day this little Caribbean Mayberry will be gone, but until then I will enjoy the low crime, low stress and nice shore diving. Be safe
     
    KathyV likes this.
  3. KathyV

    KathyV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
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    I feel the same way. I see the need to better develop the Brac economy but I hate to see the changes that are likely to accompany development.
     
  4. flyboy08

    flyboy08 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: NYC
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    Drone Blackhawks! Now that’s a sight id love to see...there’s really never a downside to increased aviation, especially on an island with mortals vacationing.
     
  5. KathyV

    KathyV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
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    Founder of Brac helicopter business outlines plans - Cayman Compass

    Founder of Brac helicopter business outlines plans

    By
    James Whittaker
    -
    December 14, 2020
    thumbnail_3482-768x477-1-696x432.jpg
    Dagarro will have highly trained crew, including rescue swimmers, based in Cayman, according to its founder.

    A new aviation business based on Cayman Brac will be involved in search and rescue, disaster response and medical evacuation services across the region, according to its founder.

    Myles Newlove, owner of Daggaro Cayman, said the company would be a private contractor operating throughout the Caribbean and South America.

    thumbnail_Myles-Photo-225x300.jpg
    Myles Newlove
    The company was granted planning permission last week for a helicopter hangar and airplane parking area and taxi way on land adjacent to the Charles Kirkconnell International Airport on the Brac.

    It plans to station two Black Hawk helicopters at the site. The business, established in Cayman through the Tech Cayman initiative, describes itself on its website as an ‘aviation and intelligence services’ company.

    Newlove said ‘intelligence’ was an industry term that referred to any kind of aerial surveillance – for example environmental monitoring after an oil spill or reconnaissance flights following a natural disaster.

    The range of the aircraft will enable it to operate anywhere from Florida to South America, he said. adding the business will have staff stationed all over the world.

    He cited private aviation companies, like the UK-based Bristow Group, as the type of business he was seeking to establish.

    Private helicopter companies with highly trained staff are often leased by insurers, governments or major corporations, he said. They have been involved in everything from monitoring oil spills and rescue operations after natural disasters to searching for missing people or planes, like the Malaysia Airlines flight that went off the map in 2014.

    Newlove, who is originally from Australia, where he served in the army, believes there is a gap in the region for this type of company.

    He said the Brac was an ideal central location. The business currently has 10 staff on island but expects to bring in more expertise, in the shape of pilots and crew, including trained rescue swimmers, in the coming months.

    “We have some of the best crew in the world coming down here,” he said.

    Newlove said there could be some training done on island, but he expects the majority of business to come from private contracts across the region. He does not expect drones or fixed-wing aircraft to be part of the business plan in the initial stages, if at all.

    Daggaro has applied to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands for an Air Operator Certificate and the business will look to begin operating as soon as it gets regulatory approval.

    Plans for a 15,000-square-foot helicopter hangar, a 25,000-square-foot aircraft parking area, an office building, concrete apron and taxiway, were approved by the Development Control Board last week.

    Though the application drew numerous letters of complaint from neighbouring landowners and the National Trust for the Cayman Islands, Newlove said the site, which abuts the existing airport, was the most suitable.

    He said the land had been purchased from a private owner and the development would not encroach on the neighbouring West End Community Park.

    Despite concerns over the impact on what is a nesting area for the endangered Sister Islands rock iguana, he said there was substantial forested area close by. Part of the conditions of the planning approval is that the Department of Environment will conduct a site survey prior to clearing, to ensure that no iguanas or nests are present. If any rock iguanas are discovered during construction or filling, the DoE must be notified immediately to allow for translocation.

    The National Trust wrote in a letter objecting to the project that the forested area, where the site is located, supports the highest density of rock iguana nests on the island.

    The loss of natural vegetation, and the impact on Nurse Smith Cave and an historic turtle kraal – used in previous generations to keep turtles alive until they were needed for consumption – were also cited as a concern in letters submitted to the board.

    “Aesthetically, we believe that this new expanse of asphalt and accompanying outbuilding would create a first impression for visitors to the island which is at odds with the natural beauty that exists throughout the Sister Islands,” wrote one neighbouring resident in a letter of objection.
     
    BrackaFish likes this.

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