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Private deal for airport; gov’t not spending $250M – Penn

Brodrick Penn

Chairman of the Disaster Recovery Coordination Committee, Brodrick Penn said government might partner private investors to fund the development of the Terrence B Lettsome International Airport.

According to government’s proposed recovery plan, $250 million will be dumped into airport development.

But Penn contradicted the plan today, claiming that government will not spend that much on the Beef Island-based facility.

“The government is not saying we are going to spend $250 million on rebuilding the airport. The government is saying that the airport is critical to the economic development and we want to pursue it. We believe that it will cost around $250 million and what will happen is that the government will explore the best way to do that,” Penn said.

Chart from the proposed recovery plan showing that $250 million that will be allocated to airport development.

He continued: “It likely will be pursued through a private-type package rather the government going and borrowing $250 million and say ‘here let’s go build an airport’.”

He made the statement during the first public consultation on the proposed recovery plan for the British Virgin Islands.

The Dr D Orlando Smith-led government has come under heavy criticism from giving airport development a quarter-billion-dollar bite of recovery funds.

Government is projecting that the cost to fund recovery over the next five years is $721.3 million.

According to the proposed plan, recovery will be financed by a combination of grants, loans, insurance, statutory borrowings, government spending, private sector partnerships, and support from non-government organizations.

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40 Comments

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  1. Native Son says:

    wink wink, nod nod……oh and just one more question Senator, if they had a quote for $153million, why is it suddenly $250million?

    • My cents says:

      So you don’t see all the damaged hangers, lights, building, scanners, cameras, vehicle and fence?
      No nav aid for pilots, phone system and equipments that are needed.
      How could you even forgot about the other airports that are damaged?
      So these cost won’t jump the figure to $250mil?

      You people just don’t think!

    • true says:

      The issue is not where or who the $250m is coming from. The issue is the $250m could fix all the infrastructure on the island, bury all the power/phone lines so there is no repeat of loss of power/comms for such an extended period. It is money that could be spent elsewhere for more good, thats the problem.

      • @True says:

        What you’re saying makes no sense. The Government is not spending the $250 mil, an investor or investors will be doing so. Do you know of individuals or companies that would invest $250mil in roads? LOL! Wow! Govt revenues fix roads and infrastructure, not talk, REVENUES! Without proper measures in place to facilitate economic growth, there would be no revenues therefore no infrastructure development. Perhaps the Government needs to break certain things down Sesame Street style for some people because you all are not getting the picture.

        • Sam the man says:

          Only now do the Government pretend that they won’t be spending the money and whys that? Such was the negative storm caused by the simplistic recovery costings being published showing $250m being designated to the airport expansion! There are much more important infrastructure projects to undertake before this – better road from the airport to Road Town would be No 1 on my list – let’s be honest it’s been in an embarrassingly bad state even before Irma..

          • HMPH says:

            Why would a private investor spend $250m on the airport. It would have to generate a return of over $25m a year to make it worthwhile. Unless and until we change the ludicrous inward investment restrictions (work permits, immigration and land ownership) and allow outside investors to buy land and build hotels, nobody with any sense will invest in the airport.

      • White Elephants says:

        What about high speed Internet? Are we going to sacrifice that for the white elephant?

    • Decision says:

      Private or public funding, the people should be given the opportunity to review and approve any spending relating to this project.

    • White Elephant says:

      Senator? We are waiting to hear from you. You owe us an answer.

  2. Maggie says:

    Another spin to have the citizens of this country confused.

    I am hoping that he did not catch the lyeristis virus from Dr. Zzzzzzzzzzzz. At the end of the day the country will be forced to pay it back with it being of minimal benefit to them.

    • LOL says:

      What spin? The document was made public weeks ago and it clearly stated how the monies were going to be derived. It said Government is contributing $60 mil, another $60 mil from insurance and then monies from loans, private investors etc. That graph simply states that a portion is being earmarked for the Airport project, nowhere it said Government is taking a loan to build the Airport. NOWHERE! It’s only confusing when you focus on propaganda and not read the documentation that’s put out there for all to see and peruse as necessary.

    • Concerned says:

      And we would have an airport terminal like this one (latest & greatestwhen built), but where are the TV’s that tell arrivals and departures??? Where are the clean windows and cared for rest rooms? Why are not all the shops full? Why does the airline departure desks (signs) look like they were resurected form Garbage Hill @ Cox Heath? Where will extra plane parking be found (that seems to be a real problem now!!), if they put the runway out to sea. What major carrier will commit to landing direct flights to US and what difference does it make when everyone in US has to get to the hub that goes to Tortola??

  3. Albion says:

    It would be nice if they could build it with private money rather than debt which gets dumped onto the taxpayer. But I suppose if they do then every person will be jumping up and complaining about Government “selling out to foreigners”. That’s just what we do in BVI – complain at the Government no matter which way it turns.

  4. WHAT.. says:

    Well, get it corrected then. YOur graph and statement says is will come from the RECOVERY DOLLARS!

  5. SMFH says:

    People need to learn to read! Government said $721million will be spent based on their current recovery plans, they didn’t say that Government will be spending $721 million.

  6. Here come the..... says:

    Chinese! The only way to get people to give you something for “free” is to give them something for “free”. What will the true cost to the BVI be, disclose that NDP! Land perhaps? Citizenships?

  7. @ WHAT says:

    Recovery dollars are a mix of loans, government, grants, public/private partnership, donors, private investment. It was clearly stated in the recovery document which most people won’t even bother to read but will come here and blog shit.

  8. Socrates says:

    Is this a bait and switch? Government taking much licks from bloggers on the $250K ear mark/line item for the airport extension on its $721M recovery plan. Now all of a sudden it will be a PPV or PPP. Is the airport operations going to be privatize or outsource ? If so why was the action not explained with the rollout of recovery plan for public review?

    What is the structure of the public private venture (PPV)? What will the private partners contribute to the deal? How will the private partners get paid back? Will it be landing fees, departure tax, security fees, other fees……etc. How long will the airport be outsource for? What is government contribution?

    What guarantee, if any, if the airport is extended will airlines rush to start direct flights? Will there enough passenger loading to attract AA, Delta, United…….etc? If it is extended, they will come? Who is the extension really for? Wealthy investors or VI residents?

    • ? says:

      The Government never said they were paying that money, they said it was part of the recovery plan. The recovery plan is not just Government money. Jesus Christ why don’t you guys READ! The recovery plan is out there for all to see, READ IT!

  9. Concerned says:

    Forget the dammed airport for now at least. If roads are not better/fixed, sewer not done, water not better, electric/cable/internet not underground, there is NO need for an airport expansion. Fix this airport yes, but no expand again. This was suppose to be all we needed when it was built. The terminal is a disgrace and never really finished. Take some control. Make the airline departure booths look like a REAL airport, not a third world place with beat up signs etc. Add the TV’s that were suppose to have announcements of arrivals/departures, that never worked to were removed. Fill the shops with people/businesses that will be open and running when the airport is open….. I could go on and on, but nobody will listen. Their mind is made up and the Premier wants a new airport (so it can be named for him!!).

  10. growth says:

    it has to happen to grow – long overdue

  11. Stella says:

    Private airport deal means selected airlines on the airport tarmac!! No! No!

  12. long line of Investors says:

    1. Richard Branson;
    2. David V. Johnson;
    3. Dr. Henry Jarecki;
    4. the Chzec Man don’t know him name;
    5. the Trust of John D. Rockeller II;
    6. Richard Bloomberg;
    7. Oprah Winfrey our next President (USA);
    8. Hon. Ralph T. O’Neal (Emeritus);
    9. Count Slimm (Mexican) Tycoon;
    10.Morgan Freeman;
    11. and the list goes on and on donors cant done.

  13. Sam the man says:

    Would you trust a government to do this that can’t even pay its electricity bills but gives away over $7m tax payers dollars to an airline that then decides to renage on the deal? I wouldn’t but no doubt it’ll lumber on…

  14. Island man says:

    Huu, therefore am intpreting that the airport will henceforth be a statutory body. Is this a means of sell out to a private company to manage? Well I expect the Premier to tell us for how many years.

  15. Bossman says:

    Sam your right, they are not to be trusted. The whole plan is just pie in the sky, they don’t actually have the money, its just a plan. There is no need for the airport project, the Chinese only interested in fish…

  16. ? says:

    One thing people in the BVI good at is being negative. Jesus Christ!

  17. Wellsah says:

    Man broddie you need to go dye them things! At first glance you were looking like Doug or Donald, fix it Jesus!

  18. Great Dog says:

    A privare arrangement is not out of the question. $250 million would require payback of about $37.5 million per year assuming a 5% simple interest rate and a ten year payback. Assuming the airport could get back to the 1 million per year passengers it had almost achieved before American pulled out, it would need a per passenger tax of around $37.50 to make it work.

    That is not over the top compared to airport charges worldwide , often collected through a departure tax. Check your next ticket to see them.

  19. B Savage says:

    Well WITH ANY SMITH INVOLVED YOU KNOW PRIVATE INVESTORS MEAN WHITE INVESTORS.If it was locals i would say well who but no mystery here.

    • LMAOOOOO says:

      So we have locals lined up to invest $250mil? These f–kers don’t even want to keep their yards cleaned you’re talking investment? LOL!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Fis dem road fus says:

    My car wahn road fis before ya airport . Yuz ya hed.

  21. EastMan says:

    Lol let’s see who the investors are lol bet my bottom dollar you be able to recognise their faces lol. “If its not being built buy us, it isn’t getting build” so them say. Over and out.

  22. White Elephant says:

    Don’t laugh too quickly. If our elected leaders sell our airport to a private entity, the private entity will own the entry by air into our country. This will result in higher landing fees on top of the absurd arrival fees. “Natures little unaffordable Secret.” Just say no to this airport plan until we can see 1) a regional transportation plan that justifies it, 2) full transparency on how the funds will be spent and where they will come from. This group of leaders hid the cost overruns on the Pier project from voters and bond holders. The squandered $7.5m on BVI Airways. We can’t assume they act differently here. Lord help us.

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