Little Cayman Island in the Caribbean will be able to take larger aircraft from next year after the completion of a new 1,220m (4,000ft) runway. The Cayman Ministry of Transportation recently approved the development and expects to pick a contractor in time for work to begin late this year, to enable the new runway to be in operation by the middle of next year. The island has only a 760m grass strip. China Airlines (CAL) is investing $140 million to build a three-bay maintenance hangar at its base in Taipei. The New York Port Authority has awarded two major development contracts at the city's airports, with a combined value of $3 billion. American Airlines is to build a new 57-gate terminal at New York Kennedy, to open in 2006, while Continental Airlines is to create 12 widebody gates at New York Newark and undertake other improvements, to be completed in 2002. Terminal C at Newark will be extended by 55,740m2 (600,000ft2) and redesigned into a three-level arrangement. One of the airport's main runways is also being lengthened, while the monorail will be extended to link with mainline railways. Construction has started on an extension of Pier 5 at London Heathrow Airport's terminal 3. Four additional boarding gates for widebody aircraft and a coaching gate are to be completed by May 2000. The north terminal at Baku's international airport has been opened. Work on the south terminal at the Azerbaijan capital's airport is to be completed in the next few weeks. Much of the specialist equipment was supplied by Airsys ATM, the Thomson-CSF and Siemens joint venture that also recently signed a $6.5 million deal to upgrade the country's air navigation system. The French Government has created an independent administrative body to monitor noise at national airports following the adoption of a new noise control law on 22 June. The authority will have the power to fine operators of aircraft exceeding noise limits up to Fr80,000 ($14,000).

Source: Flight International