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$15M for urgent resurfacing of airport runway

“If we don’t do that (resurface runway), the airport runs the risk of being closed” — Dr Kedrick Pickering.

Some $15 million worth of remedial works is expected to be done to the Terrence B Lettsome International Airport on Beef Island this year.

Minister responsible for airports, Dr Kedrick Pickering said the runway at the facility needs to be resurfaced; as required by regulations governing local airport operations.

Speaking in the House of Assembly recently, Dr Pickering said government was granted a ‘grace period’ to get the project underway but that period has now elapsed.

“The airport is behind schedule in terms of its resurfacing. It was held up because of the proposed new development for the airport … The overall funds that are needed are in the region of $15 million but for the immediate relief that needs to be done, the work will cost about $5.5 million and that is something we have to do. If we don’t do that, the airport runs the risk of being closed,” Dr Pickering said.

The minister did not specify when the project will begin or what accommodations will be made at the Beef Island-based facility while the runway is resurfaced.

Minister of Finance Dr D Orlando Smith said funds to complete the project has been set aside in this year’s budget.

As for the Virgin Gorda airport which has been closed indefinitely because of a fire truck that is no longer functioning, government said it is “working diligently on all fronts to get the fire tender replaced”.

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20 Comments

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  1. HRMPH says:

    What does working diligently on all front actually mean. I suspect that it means doing nothing.

    • @HRMPH says:

      I suspect the same!

    • AllBaloney says:

      Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. First , we had $7.5m that went into BVI Airways. Second, we had our minister’s begging for $500M to extend the runway so their private chartered jets can land. This is our airport not their cash machine!

    • District says:

      Such a shame they can’t allocate a truck or even give a time estimate. Don’t they realize it’s costing them valuable tourist dollars daily?

  2. Sad says:

    Just shameful that we have to delay everything until it’s an emergency! Who will get the contract and where is the breakdown of the funds to show accountability! No extras should be going in anyone’s pocket! ACCOUNTABILITY, ACCOUNTABILITY!!

  3. I FROM HERE says:

    Well we done know the contract will be rewarded to someone who will give a kick back.

  4. Wow says:

    So what has the bviaa been doing all this time. The bviaa needs a big shake up seams like they not doing what they would be doing. They need to rethink their motto “ safety is our number one priority unless money is involved”. Smh.

  5. To much says:

    They told the government minister this a long time ago, actually the inspector who was telling them this is base in the BVI but they look at him as a small fry until they realize his powers to shut the airport down, after travelling to other Caribbean countries to do the same inspections they then realize his knowledge and power.

  6. E. Leonard says:

    Is this gross negligence by BVIAA and MNRL? Is this poor performance by the BVIAA and MNRL? Is not a statutory body and should be self supporting so why are taxpayers paying for the resurfacing? Is resurfacing the only work that is needed? Given that runway aprons are designed for a specific number of landings, is it time for runway reconstruction?

    Does the delay and elapse of needed work pose a risk to aviation and public health and safety? What is the status of the $7.2M give away to BVI Airways, a bruk, bankrupt and defunct airline? Has BVI Airways paid the BVIAA the $100K + that it owed it? What is the status of PPV for TBLIA runway extension and terminal upgrade? Has any major airlines committed to non-stop flights from USA, Europe, Canada, Asia or South America to TBLIA?

    • @E. Leonard says:

      @E. Leonard, you posed some valid questions that perhaps other residents may also have and they deserve a response. There was no negligence or poor performance. The resurfacing work was delayed due to the proposed runway extension project. Further, the work delay didn’t posed a health and safety risk; government/BVIAA would have errored on the side of safety.

      Grace period was granted based on the proposed runway extension project. The project is still a work in progress. Thus, the need for the urgent resurfacing of the runway. On the issue of BVI Airways funding, effort is in progress for either 1)BVI Airways meets its contractural obligation or 2) return the $7.2M. Runway extended, the hope is to attract direct flights to the BVI to boost the BVI tourism competitive posture.. On the BVI Airways debt to BVIAA, BVIAA can address that question. Finally, government provides support as needed to statutory bodies.

      • Spin says:

        Too much spin, real spin. Meh head ah spin with all the spinning . Let’s call a spade a spade. Everything in the BVI is an emergency. Poor planning results in poor performance. We are skilled at reacting but poor at proactive planning.

    • .... says:

      Why is the airport under Natural Resources and Labour and not Communications and works? Maybe the department of motor vehicles should be under Natural Resources and Labour too. Craziness

      • RealPol says:

        Dah mek since! Transportation should be under MCW. Each I guess needs an anchor function; MEC, education; MHSS, hospital; MCW, roads; MoF, Finance; and MLNR, Airport.

  7. Tricks says:

    15 million dollars , WoW !!!!!!!!

  8. Socrates says:

    “Speaking in the House of Assembly recently, Dr Pickering said government was granted a ‘grace period’ to get the project underway but that period has now elapsed.” Really! Should not the safety of passengers, worker…. etc come first? Why was a grace period granted and why the work was not performed within this time period? When will the resurfacing work begin? Since the BVI does not have alternative landing runways, how will flight operations be impacted during the construction? Will the work be performed at night?

  9. yolo says:

    all of a sudden its urgently, they just want to move the money around from the uk funds so they can control the money to spend it on there self.

  10. Si says:

    Scrub and others will sue to block the airport expansion. NO MORE TALK – YOU will be in court for a long time!’

  11. Rubber Duck says:

    Its what about 100 feet wide and 4650 feet long. Area is 465,000 sq feet. Into $15 million that’s about $32 per sq foot. A concrete driveway costs about $6 per square foot from scratch. But this is just resurfacing. Go figure.

  12. BuzzBvi says:

    1. Buy a fire truck. Shio it. Open VG airport one week later.

    2. Employ experienced people that do not just throw tar on the ground and wait for cars (airplanes) to roll it in. No need to ever imagine a threat that the airport may close.

    3. Stop imagining that $250,000,000 minus the cash kick backs (i.e only $100,00,000 actually goes into the project) will make the BVI what it needs to be.

    4. What did it take for the Government to decide a new developer should be able to dictate that one of the most successful businesses in the BVI that is world reknowned and one of the major tourist industry draws, should no longer be able to trade because the new developer does not want it. What does it take? How is it done? Who do you talk to? How do you decide how much? How does it get passed over? Who gets a share? Can we have it written down so we at least know what the system is should we have enough money to use it and abuse it for ourselves.

  13. Sam the man says:

    Run way aprons are supposed to last 40 years plus… Longer if they don’t have that much traffic, Beef island doesn’t even have the large planes landing….yet already it needs to be re done? Shocking workmanship in our country costs us way more than it should but the No Direction Party doesn’t mind as its another ripe opportunity to cream off a generous slice for themselves through “facilitation” and ” introduction” fees. ( there is any other word for this beginning with C but you all know it happens all the time – hence the disaster our March planned to happen soon organised by Church pastors! Who you’d expect better from!

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