By Kamal Haynes, News Staff
The BVI Airports Authority (BVIAA) is projected to earn an approximate $130,000 to $156,000 in increased annual revenue with the new In-Transit Lounge that opened at the Terrance B Lettsome International Airport on Saturday, February 1.
This BVI News tally is based on the volume of in-transit passengers that the BVIAA said uses the Beef Island-based airport each week.
“On average, we have roughly between 250 to 300 in-transit passengers per week coming through the BVI,” Acting Managing Director of the BVIAA Clive Smith said at the opening of the new facility.
And with each in-transit passenger having to pay a $10 fee, the BVIAA could, therefore, earn a weekly amount of $2,500 to $3,000 in a 52-week calendar year.
$10 fee will not be felt by passenger
Smith said that, unlike arriving passengers who must pay a $10 environmental levy fee out of pocket when they land in the BVI, passengers using the new lounge will not be directly impacted by the BVIAA’s $10 in-transit fee.
“The $10 fee is simply for in-transit, so if you are coming from Santo Domingo — for example — on the way to Dominica, you will enter the in-transit lounge where the $10 fee will be charged to your ticket,” he stated.
“You won’t feel it, so there’s not a cashier here at the airport or anything, it is already in the ticket and we collect it from the airline, through the International Air Transport Association Clearing House,” Smith added.
Job well done by BVIAA Board
Meanwhile, Junior Minister for Tourism Sharie de Castro commended the BVIAA’s Board for instituting this new change.
“It is an innovative one and they have repurposed this space that we are in currently in order to facilitate this process which will bring necessary revenue to the Airport Authority so that they can properly serve its operations,” she stated.
BVIAA on a changed path
Last July, Premier Andrew Fahie had stated in the House of Assembly that the BVIAA was facing a serious ‘cash flow problem’. He said that they had owed roughly $1 million in outstanding bills.
Since then, Premier Fahie has said a number of revenue-generating initiatives will be launched that under the new BVIAA Board.
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