BVI News

Beef Island airport to undergo upgrades to enhance passenger experience, increase revenue

The Terrance B Lettsome International Airport is undergoing a number of upgrades which are geared towards enhancing air passenger experience as well as increasing revenue for the BVI Airports Authority (BVIAA).

Premier Andrew Fahie made the statement in a recent session in the House of Assembly late last year.

He said the BVIAA board had met with designed experts and approved contracts for various undertakings to ensure the terminal at the airport was passenger-friendly while still generating non-aerial nautical revenue for the Airports Authority.

“A commercially-important persons lounge, known as CIP, is currently being under construction at the TB Lettsome International Airport, which will provide VIP experience for dignitaries as well as commercially important persons travelling through the airport,” Premier Fahie stated.

Fahie also said: “A Common-Use Terminal Equipment system is being implemented which allows airlines to utilise the required number of counter space at any given time. This system also allows for the standardising of baggage tax across the airlines.”

Frosted glass and sliding door installations

The Premier stated that a contract would have been awarded at the BVIAA’s December 18 meeting to install a frosted glass enclosure at the arrival area of the airport.

He said there would also be a contract to install sliding glass doors to exit terminal area.

“This enhancement not only makes the airport more attractive but also allows the passenger to be properly greeted in a sterile area after clearing Customs and Immigration,” Fahie argued.

Premier Fahie who is also the Minister of Finance, further said that funding has been available for the replacement of the 12-year-old control tower at the airport. He said a tender has been issued for the equipment.

According to the Premier, these measures align with government’s ultimate goal of enhancing the tourism product in the British Virgin Islands.

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15 Comments

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  1. Suggestion says:

    Can there please be a screen be installed that displays the departures and arrivals?

    Nobody ever has any information on the airport which is a pain.

    Beef Island airport is probably also one of the few airports in the world without such an information screen.

    Like 29
    Dislike 1
  2. ?? says:

    start ticketing those vehicles along the roadside around the airport.

    Outline the parking spaces at Trellis Bay please…

    Get a more efficient machine to give the parking tickets to get in and out of the airport grounds please

    I agree with having arrivals and departure electronic boards at both gates and in the terminal. Why haven’t we thought about that?

    Like 15
    Dislike 3
    • Boots and more boots says:

      They need to boot some of the cars parked along side the fence and other no parking areas. Invest in booting and towing violators.

      Like 3
      Dislike 2
  3. Just Wrong says:

    Passenger Friendly ? Just love it. Only Airport in the world that charges to drop off passengers.

    Like 28
    Dislike 1
    • Only says:

      Only airport in the world to charge a “cash” environmental tax to visitors that have just set foot on the island. Now that is certainly friendly. How come locals don’t pay. They are the ones destroying the environment?

      Like 20
      • GM says:

        Had a good laugh paying the “environmental tax” after just witnessing the ferry boat captain drop a beer bottle out his window into the sea

        Like 13
        Dislike 1
    • GM says:

      True, it takes 30 seconds to drop your passengers off then 15 minutes parking, walking to the ticket validation machine, hopefully its working, then exiting through the gate which works 50% of the time. Why are you charging to drop off passengers???

      Like 15
    • Rubber Duck says:

      Not true. All airports in the UK charge for passenger drop off. $5 minimum is not unknown. UK airports are the worst in the world however and we should not copy them.

      Most European airports allow a very short free drop off time , 5 minutes is typical, then charges begin at rates like $3 for 15 minutes.

  4. E. Leonard says:

    Undoubtedly, the BVIAA needs to invest in , improve and grow both the air and land sides of TBLIA. The revenue streams for the upgrade will come from both aeronautical and non-aeronautical services. From the aeronautical stream, a large part of the revenue comes mostly passenger-related charges. And on the non-aeronautical services side, most airports generate revenues from concessions, and rental space, and parking charges. Nonetheless, the opportunity for TBLIA, a small airport with limited traffic, raising significant revenue from these traditional sources may be limited. If the cost for these non-aeronautical services are set too high, it will reduce the demand for the services, creating operational challenges.

    Therefore, the BVIAA may have to lean more heavily on aeronautical revenue streams, ie, bringing more airlines with high passenger loading (without the consistent passenger loading to turn a profit, airlines will take their business elsewhere). Expanding the runway and improving the landside to bring more planes and passengers will require holistic planning, ie, infrastructure improvement(roads, water, sewage, electricity, telecommunications, drainage), more hotel rooms, more attractions, more visitor facilities …….etc.

    Moreover, I’m not averse to constructing a commercially important person [CIP] lounge (such lounges are present at other airports). However, as usual, the primary focus seems to be on accommodating the ruling class/elite, not on the working class. Hypothetically, is the 80-20 rule at play here? I would guess that more working class folks pass through the airport than others, using and paying for airport services. Accommodate both types of travellers,ie, air-conditioned lounge/spaces…….etc for the working class.

    Like 17
    • Socrates says:

      The European an Mid-East theatres are getting hot. From Athens, I’m at a secure location. But let me pop my head up and ask a question about this question, “. Hypothetically, is the 80-20 rule at play here?” What the hell is the 80-20 rule? Is the VIP planning on extending the runway? Is it going to construct a golf course on Beef Island? Is the BVIAA courting direct flights from US, Canada, UK…etc? Will the ferry service be improved with a cooperation? Are more 5 star hotels coming soon? Ok. I’m out.

  5. Tourism Man says:

    Premier, while you are at it, lets see if we can add at least one walk on and walk off ramp for the Jets when they arrive. It can be done with the current footprint of the Airport. The BVI should not be no worst off than anyone else

  6. Jobs says:

    What about the numerous airport workers that are about to lose their jobs?

    Like 1
    Dislike 2
  7. Forward ever Backward never says:

    Least developed airport, no amenities, unattractive, not much better than third world for $80,000,000. I wonder what these geniuses in government going to do to improve the aesthetics, comfort and convenience to travelers? Well we will wait and see. My guess though is thousands of dollars will be tucked in some body’s pockets, and the airport will remain the same. Smdh.

    Like 3
    Dislike 1
  8. Wow says:

    After clearing immigration and customs!? Wow that’s SAD! So what happen to the arrival doors before you get to immigration and customs?! That area is extremely hot! The noise and exhaust from the planes are disgusting! I’ve seen passengers faint while waiting to be seen by an officer because of the Heat! Let’s not talk about the officers and how the seat can be seen rolling off their foreheads! They don’t even have fans in their boots! The working conditions of both immigration and customs officers are disgusting! The BVIAA and the GOVERNMENT priorities are a bit screwed up if you ask me!

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