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USVI bracing for likely fallout from BVI project

A section of the Terrence B Lettsome International Airport. Photo Credit: http://www.loren-jim.com

A section of the Terrence B Lettsome International Airport. Photo Credit: http://www.loren-jim.com

Officials in the neighbouring US Virgin Islands (USVI) said they are bracing for any potential fallout resulting from a likely reduction in the number of people traveling through that territory’s airport to and from the British Virgin Islands (BVI).

The BVI has been taking huge steps in recent times to essentially have fewer of its visitors and residents from the Unites States and elsewhere having to travel through the USVI.

In that regard, the BVI government last week announced that it has selected China Communications Construction Company to undertake expansion of the runway at Terrence B Lettsome International Airport – a move that will facilitate the landing of much larger aircraft.

That news comes as the BVI – through a deal with the privately owned BVI Airways – is also preparing to launch non-stop flights between Miami in the United States and the BVI.

Both of those developments are expected to automatically reduce the number of BVI residents and visitors having to travel through the Cyril E King Airport on St Thomas in the USVI.

According to the St Thomas Source news agency, Acting Executive Director of the USVI Port Authority David Mapp has stated that – as a result of the BVI developments – his territory faces a ‘potential loss of approximately 150,000 annual St Thomas emplacements at the Cyril E King Airport’.

Mapp further stated that the USVI is keeping abreast with the latest happenings although it has ‘no official position for or against any ongoing tourism-related development within the region’.

“Obviously, the [United States ] Virgin Islands Port Authority keeps abreast of all such new development in the region, and plans accordingly in order to remain competitive and hold our position in this market,” Mapp further told the St Thomas Source news agency, which also reports that the USVI is planning to upgrade the Cyril King Airport on St Thomas.

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