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Fire truck malfunction causing airport to close — BVIAA

A section of the Taddy Bay Airport on Virgin Gorda. (BVIAA photo)

A malfunctioning fire truck is the reason the BVI Airports Authority (BVIAA) has opted to close the Taddy Bay Airport on Virgin Gorda.

The BVIAA announced on Thursday that the airport was being closed indefinitely.

While responding to BVI News inquiries following the announcement, Managing Director of the Authority Denniston Fraser said the BVIAA cannot allow the facility to operate without a functioning fire truck.

“We have some mechanical issues with the fire truck that just kind of came upon us … I guess after the onslaught of the hurricanes everything just coming down.”

“We have a truck that is really limping right now and we have to take precautions before it drops (completely shuts down) on us. We figure it will drop by Saturday or so. So that’s why decided to close down the airport,” Fraser explained.

He said the fire truck’s malfunction was the ‘primary issue’ that led to the airport’s closure. Fraser said he was not prepared to divulge any of the secondary issues affecting the airport.

In the meantime, the Managing Director said the Authority is now in the process of ordering a new fire truck for the Virgin Gorda-based airport.

“We are just waiting for confirmation on the lead time [on how long the truck will take to arrive]. As soon as we know that lead time, we will advise further,” Fraser said.

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27 Comments

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  1. VG Resident says:

    Funny, the fire truck had mechanical issues post Irma… Only now he decided to close the airport. Stop fooling the people, lies and more lies.
    So aeroplanes flying VG all the time, they were unsafe to operate due to poor emergency response. It shouldn’t have taking 7mths to make a decision like this.

  2. ,SMH says:

    REALLY!!! The Government really has it Priorities screwed up! A functionaling Fire truck is an essential part of the airport and they don’t seem to be addressing this issue with utter most precedent!

  3. it's plain to see says:

    that it’s time to the NDP because they have No Doggone Priority

  4. well sah says:

    No fire trucks, no roof on the fire station, no minister who cares…..IT IS TIME FOR THE CHANGE

  5. See says:

    Are you f- – – ing serious ? Lets see … try getting a mechanic to fix your truck!! And to blame this on the hurricane that hit almost 8 months ago . We just seem to making excuses for everything while our neighboring countries are rebuilding faster and more efficiently . Closing the airport because of a truck ! SMFH !!!

  6. Rubber Duck says:

    Surely it should be extended so that A380’s can land there

  7. VIJ WORKER says:

    This has being happening for years now!!!!! nothing NEW….. Once the truck isn’t working the airport will not open….

  8. HAHA says:

    And we had these guys in HOA weeks ago telling the UK we are not little kids and we can handle our own affairs. Customs and Immigration officers down in West End under a 10×10 tent getting wet and dusted and our Airport in VG closing because of a truck malfunction at a time when the tourist dollar is really needed over there. Yep, we can handle our own affairs, we don’t need any help, we good here! Good work guys!!

  9. SMH says:

    Meanwhile, everyone on BVIAA board, management, staff, maintenance and others will be paid in full and go along their merry way while we blame Central Government and Ministers. I guess Mark needs to go over there and get it fixed, can’t blame the Directors and other management who are paid to do a job, for not getting it done.

  10. Proud BVIslander says:

    @See, thank you for the insightful comment. We seem to have no middle managers or even managers beneath those. Everything is left for the Government, as they call it, meaning the Ministers or Representatives to fix. Who is running the airport in Virgin Gorda? Is it running itself? If it is, then the Representative needs to be laughed out of Town, but if it isn’t, why is a working truck to be left to the Representative to fix? Fix the truck. If it can’t be fixed, seek money to buy a new truck from the Government. And if that is not available or forthcoming, then address it publicly because that is an airport and anything can happen upon take-off or landing of an aircraft. The poor NDP Government has a task I would say because they have to be everywhere at the same time. I think they should cut some of these civil servants so they can make some of these decisions personally that their employees ought to make.

  11. Slick says:

    Time for real change!

  12. See says:

    I just heard that the Terrence Lettsome airport is also closing . Apparently one of the baggage trollies has a flat tire caused by Irma .

  13. Diplomat says:

    I’m getting the maze with all the spinning like an olde time top. Let’s cut the crap. Hurricanes Irma and Maria rolled through the BVI in September 2017. Did not the BVIAA conduct an assessment of the Taddy Bay Airport facilities and equipment before it was reopened after the storms? Are not periodic preventative and routine maintenance conducted on the fire truck and other equipment? Is not economical to repair the truck? Is a truck being bought off the shelf or one has to be designed to meet needs? Why could the reason(s) for closing the airport indefinitely not revealed initially and upfront.

    “We have a truck that is really limping right now and we have to take precautions before it drops (completely shuts down) on us. We figure it will drop by Saturday or so. So that’s why decided to close down the airport,” Fraser explained.” All I can say is really, wow! Mr. Fraser it seems got some exceptional talent and skills; the ability to precisely predict when equipment will “drop” (break down).

  14. Help!!!!!!!!!!!!! says:

    Airport closed indefinitely because of a non working fire engine? Poor Tortola will never get with the times.why is it that solving a problem in Tortola is like looking for a single needle in a bale of hay.

  15. The Visitor says:

    “Fraser said he was not prepared to divulge any of the secondary issues affecting the airport.” Why isn’t the government “prepared to disclose” issues that effect its citizens to its citizens?

    Also, Is the minister blessed with some mechanical mysticism that allows him to forcast that the truck will “drop” on Saturday?

  16. VG says:

    This is a total lie. LONG before Irma and Maria, that firetruck was giving trouble. Tell the truth

  17. Hmm says:

    Didn’t the same NDP tried to close the VG airport the last time they were in office? Seems a bit convenient to me.

    B—- busy trying to punch Fraser, but won’t punch some sense into the ministers in his own party. Hmm thing to talk

  18. Trust me says:

    Stop this s—-it.Since when this truck had a mech.issue?Don’t blame Irma for such there’s a thing call preventative maintenance.U have public works mechanics working 8 hour shifts on private jobs still collecting my tax dollars,we have private garages/mechanics so this just don’t add up.I’m waiting to hear the the other issues Mr.Also Mr.Dist.Rep what’s going on?

  19. LOL says:

    THE GOVERNMENT NEED FIRING

  20. Rubber Duck says:

    You must always be wary of spoonerisms when dealing with fire trucks.

  21. Anonymous says:

    If this is truly the case for the closure, one might think that this decision did not just occur to management. There must have been some discussion, some problem-solving process. Perhaps some information sharing would have been nice. Most important, one might thing that our representative would have been informed prior to announcing the closure in the newspaper/online.

    These these types of unplanned processes cause havoc to our already struggling island and tourist business. I bought a ticket out of VG yesterday. Wasn’t there some thought regarding informing the business/airlines so that they could advise us not to purchase tickets in/out of the VG airport.

    Also, ambiguous, is the term indefinite. We had an indefinite decisions before, which resulted in years of closure. Responsible officials don’t make rash decisions that affect an entire community without communicating. Did you bother to at least communicate to our invisible representative (who only shows up for visibility during notable funerals).

    There must be some transition plans that you considered???? You must have some information about when/where the fire truck wil be purchased/funded/delivered. Did you just notice that the fire truck wasn’t working? Did you make alternative travel arrangement for people to be to/from Beef (perhaps coordinate with the airlines/ferries). Backward communications don’t work.

    We need a representative who is in the loop, who has the thought/ability to communicate significant decision to the community and businesses, and most important who CARES about Virgin Gorda. A representative who lives in our community, who has their ear to the ground and who truly looks out for the interests of Virgin Gorda — not in retrospective, but in forethought and long term.

  22. Serious says:

    Where is our rep. for the 9th district. What is he saying or what can he do. The 9th is the largest of all and look how we getting knock around. It is Time for session from Tortola. Shame on BVIAA. Don’t let the outer world hear you close VIJ airport INDEFFINITELY because of fire truck issues. VIJ is just as important and needed as EIS. Would you Mr Frazer have closed EIS?

  23. Serious says:

    Poor Virgin Gorda. More than 50% of revenue going in the treasury and look how we getting knock about. But Mr Frazer ( BVIAA) VIJ airport is just as important and much needed as EIS. Question. Would you have closed EIS or come up with a quick solution. No one in the NDP to look out for Virgin Gorda. Not even the NDP Rep for the 9th. God help us all.

  24. Rubber Duck says:

    A Canadian Company has been hired to find someone to fix the fire truck.

  25. Rocket scientist says:

    So order a new truck instead of the necessary parts to fix the truck that is there now? While the airport remains closed?

    Could it be that it cannot be fixed? And what event could have suddenly caused it to be unfixable? Irma, which happened more than 6 months ago?

    M—, you need a new M—- D—-.

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