BVI News

$600K airport spending while prepping for defunct airline

This message is being publicized on BVI Airways’ website.

By Davion Smith, BVI News Staff

The BVI Airports Authority (BVIAA) has said some $600,000 worth of preparations were being made at the Terrance B Lettsome International Airport in anticipation of BVI Airways, which was supposed to commence flights between the BVI and Miami more than a year ago.

Since the airline reportedly jetted off with 7.2 million of taxpayer dollars without fulfilling its obligation to the BVI, preparations were not fully carried out at the airport.

But, up to the time of BVI Airways’ controversial departure, the BVIAA had assigned space at the airport for the airline, hired some 12 additional staff to airport security and fire services, and purchased a $100,000 ‘security machine’ in anticipation of the airline.

However, Managing Director for the BVIAA Denniston Fraser said his organisation has had to repurpose those preparations.

For example, Fraser said the room assigned to BVI Airways is now being used as an operations room because the operations room used previously was damaged during the hurricanes.

BVIAA trying to keep extra staff

While addressing the Standing Finance Committee recently, the BVIAA boss also said airport counters assigned to BVI Airways will be given to another airline that is expected to commence service in the territory.

He further told the Committee he did not know how much of the $600,000 has been spent so far because the remaining funds are being used to pay the additional airport staff hired in anticipation of BVI Airways.

Fraser said the BVIAA is trying to ‘maintain’ the additional security officers, especially since ‘a few’ others had resigned after the 2017 hurricanes.

According to the 2018 report on the deliberations of the Standing Finance Committee, “the Authority is compelled to keep the ones (additional staff) based on the projected passengers for the new airline”.

The BVI Airways saga

Since receiving public funds from the National Democratic Party government to commence nonstop BVI-Miami flights, the airline has missed all its promised commencement dates.

It then laid off its staff; claiming it needed more money to fly.

Premier Dr D Orlando Smith said his government has filed a ‘notice of breach’ to the airline and is now “considering the next step”.

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13 Comments

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  1. Albion says:

    So after 18 months they have filed a notice of breach? Damn, they sure know how to move fast when protecting the public’s money.

    • Auditor says:

      When can we see the audit of this airline investment? We need to review it before the election. Can we arrest the ceo of arline and get him to tell us the real deal?

  2. lulz says:

    another ndp success

  3. Schups says:

    LIES!!!! 600K spent on what? Absolute nonsense! The Airport as it is now could never accommodate the proposed BVI – MIA flight with 90 ppl per flight, plus all the other flights leaving EIS.

  4. Hmmm says:

    When will the Governor and the police do their jobs?

  5. SMDH says:

    A full investigation should have already been launched in this con job.

  6. hmm says:

    Tola smells like boo boo, sewage in the streets, and the roads are pathetic

  7. Truth says:

    Everyone else except the NDP can be investigated and arrested.

  8. Sam the man says:

    The “No Direction Party” continues to underwhelm.
    $600,000.00 for what some rude security staff sitting on their asses all day playing candy crush? to be honest I despair at how totally incompetent every single representative in the NDP is – “its not my responsibility”, “I wasn’t told”, “I didn’t know”, “I thought someone else would do it” …etc typical derogation of any responsibility which lets face it is why our island is so F…cked up and nobody cares… where is anyone that will man up and make a difference – I despair that nobody within the NDP seems to care for the people only themselves – even the new members have been a complete disappointment despite initial talk talk talk – but I suppose that’s what us Tortolan’s are good at all talk and no positive action…..and what’s in it for me first sadly…before I can be bothered

  9. 2nd Plane says:

    This is not the first plane that NDP supposedly purchased from Government’s funds. Many don’t know that 10 million was used for first plane.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The ——— is a born pier and a coward

  11. HMMMM says:

    All we need is to get back the planes and either start a new company or partner with another airline to fly them.

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