BVI News

Nat’l security risk: Aircraft flying into Anegada airport without alerting authorities

Concerns are being raised over the ability of any aircraft to enter the territory via the Auguste George Airport on Anegada without having to communicate with air traffic control tower operators based at the TB Lettsome International Airport on Beef Island.

Describing it as a “serious national risk”, Premier Andrew Fahie said the matter must be addressed, adding that a near-$1 million solution is being considered.

“Anegada has no Customs and Immigration checkpoints and what is happening at present is that persons are flying into Anegada without the knowledge of the [BVI Airports] Authority, Customs or Immigration. Those persons are then using ferries as domestic travellers to move from one island to the next,” Premier Fahie said at a recent sitting of the House of Assembly.

“This situation can facilitate illegal drugs, undesirable persons and contraband entering our territory,” he added.

The Premier explained that Anegada falls outside of the BVI’s controlled airspace. And because the far-flung sister island is in an ‘undefined airspace’, aircraft operators are free to come and go from the Anegada airport without any regulation from local authorities.

BVI losing $$

Fahie, who is also the Finance Minister, said the British Virgin Islands is losing money as a result of the loophole.

“It deprives the territory of the opportunity to collect the $10 Environmental Fee and duties on goods as applicable,” he said.

Costly solution

Fahie said the new board of the BVI Airports Authority is now considering a long-time recommendation to ‘redefine the territory’s airspace’ to include all the four main islands.

He said a study conducted roughly a decade ago indicated that the redefinement would cost roughly $900,000.

“It is imperative that the airspace in the territory be redefined to include all the sovereign islands,” Fahie argued.

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37 Comments

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  1. E Scott says:

    As I understand it the UK gov is responsible for security etc. if this is a security issues the UK gov needs to deal with it and fund any infrastructure that is required.

    The premier needs to speak to the governor.

    The idea this is about collecting the odd $10 tax is a joke. the true revenue is from landing taxes etc but moth important is the prevention of drugs guns and the like entering the territory.

    Like 12
    Dislike 1
    • HUH! says:

      The answer seems to be simple – the airport at Anegada should refuse permission to land to any airplace or helicopter that does not originate its journey from inside the BVI – or wee need a customs and immigration officer at the airport in Anegada when the airport is open.
      Do I get the $1 million for coming up with the solution

      Like 5
      Dislike 2
  2. Really? says:

    No Customs or Immigration? Let me guess this started under the previous government! LOL Why is this Government being economical with the truth?

    Like 6
    Dislike 1
  3. Just saying says:

    Well what do you expect. Your boarders and air space is wide open for anyone to make their way in. Someone was saying Anegada is the place to fly in the drugs undetected under the radar.

    Like 11
    Dislike 2
  4. strupes says:

    AYO TALK TOO DOGGONE MUCH…………THE SMUGGLERS ARE READING THIS TOO

    Like 9
    Dislike 1
  5. Anonymous says:

    Well, base full time Customs and Immigration on Anegada. You dont need to spend a million to figure this out. Surely?

    Like 10
    • TurtleDove says:

      @ Anonymous

      Agreed incorporate customs and police in one office. Rotate them so everyone have a chance to serve over there and keep corruption down. Give them boat/cars with the authority to check planes and boats. Place the office close enough to the airport so they can check who is coming and going. Do we really need millions of dollars for this? Connect computer systems to the mail island…

      • true says:

        anywhere on the island is close enough to the airport to get there before the plane lands. There is already paid for by the governement Customs and Immigration officers on Anegada, the story os far from correct. The only piece they have correct is that they don’t need to radio Beef Island Tower to land

  6. Really? says:

    Well, base full time Customs and Immigration on Anegada. You dont need to spend a million to figure this out. Surely?

  7. A Better Virgin Islands says:

    Is that airspace now considered “International Airspace”?

    Also, what about our waters?

    Can these Chinese fishing boats with huge nets continue to fish in our waters?

  8. Tax says:

    Yup don’t miss out on collecting the $10 “white tax” no matter what it will cost. Can’t let whitey get by with paying. Need to fill the pockets of the government officials. It is a loophole. Just another source of income that the powerful are not getting. Need to close that loophole. Might miss out on $25k a year in white tax. Like all the smart Belongers, spend $900k to collect $25k. Great return on investment. Must have learned that in your High School

    Like 15
  9. Mo Money says:

    Although it may be uncontrolled airspace as soon as an aircraft lands it would be under the jurisdiction of the BVI. If the main thing is security how about some remote cameras and $4K of radio equipment. Save $800K and do something better. I wonder, how long would it take to recoup $900K using air arrivals at Anegada?

    Like 13
    • true says:

      At last someone nearly gets it, its only about contacting Beef Island Tower the rest is wrong, there is Customs and Immigration officers on Anegada and the landings all pay the airport landing fees

  10. Mmmmmh.. says:

    Redefining the airspace does not solve anything. Making the sister islands airports part of a controlled airspace achieves nothing unless the controlling agency is equipped with radar to track airplanes and even then, that does not oblige airplanes to actively participate in flight following. Enforcement needs to happen on the ground at the airport. BVIAA airport staff collecting landing fees and airports fees, Immigration and Customs presence around the clock (i.e. adequate staffing and pay!). The lack of police presence (or any security for that matter) at the Anegada airport and gaping holes in the perimeter fence are certainly contributing factors to inviting contraband…

  11. Jane says:

    Not sure why the government is promoting this loophole on the media. Solve the problem first and THEN brag about solving it. You just told the World’s criminals about a neat way to smuggle people, guns, drugs and anything else they want into the Territory, really, really smart. Good work guys.

    Like 10
    • @Jane says:

      I was thinking the samething. When ever there is a national security issue it is dealt with quitely. Andrew has some learning and growing to do.

    • @Jane says:

      They are giving the criminals a head up. Keep it out the press. Anegada,I wish you well.

      • Yes Andrew says:

        It is like telling the Island my home Address, my front and backdoor is always unlocked and where I keep cash in the house. Someone is going to bite. This should have been kept quiet for security reasons.

    • This! says:

      It was one of the single most dumbest things he has done so far.
      Who tells the world that they have an unsecured house, except! if you are trying to get robbed!

      He clearly did not have a conversation with the man responsible for security of the BVI.

      It was his sole intent to make things seems like the reason the border is unsecured had to do with the Airport authorities (which he was throwing under the bus at the time) and the previous government.

      however that worked out well and didnt backfire at allllll….right Andrew?

      stupid.

      • Telling the world says:

        IS like telling a child where the secret stash of candies is. The BVI and their sister Islands is a drug runner gold mine. As we blog, stuff is comming in be it coke,weed,molly and pills. Maybe all is not going to stay here but, it get to Tortola, it will make it to where it is going. They don’t F**k with USVI because Homeland security is watching. At least USVI got their boarders and airspace on lock.

        Like 3
        Dislike 1
        • @Telling the world says:

          and, it is not the local with spped boat that has monoply on the trade either.

          And though a some huge pocket locals involved, the larger percentage of illicit traffiking are ran and controlled by white expats.

          They go unchecked, unsearched and unaccountable. They had and have our politicians in heir pockets. They go and come as they please. They load vessels way overseas and deliver their goods directly to their private islands, undisturbed and unchecked.

          This is some of what has been occuring in the BVI for decades. Privilidge for few because of being rich with money and skin color.

  12. Eyes wide shut says:

    Just another way siphoned off thousands of dollars!!

  13. True says:

    The only security question is Beef Island Tower not being notified. Anegada AirPort know who is landing and when, they pay landing fees and contrary to this story and blogs the “white tax of $1o is collected as is the departure tax, AI know I use the airport

  14. False says:

    There is customs and immigration on duty. How is it that we are able to publish such things defaming our country.

  15. Much Vulnerabilities and Shortsightedness says:

    Anegada has been a broken link for decades. Yet, every government supposedly spends millions on national security.

    Another broken link is food and medicine secrity. Not one penny or thought is spent on food and medicine/health security. They take it for granted that there are honest peaceable people out there selling us legitimate foods and medicines. Furthest thing from the truth.

    As such, until our society begin to see significant rise in cancers and sterilization of our women and men and other biological warfare atrocities that have plagued Black people in other parts of the world, is when our people and government will wake up to reality of the supremist world, its hate, evil and the lenghts it would go to spread terror..

    Additionally, we allocate millions for border security, yet, foriegn vessels park in our channels for days and weeks never being inspected or monitored day or night.

    But now police want free access to our private information inside our bodies,, by way of forcibly taking our DNA, while the crooks, smugglers and murderers live and trade unmolested or unchallenged.

    Foriegners exploit our sea resources at will while calling us lazy. And, we will continue to be called lazy until we take control of our borders and resources with might and force.

    Our national, food and medicine security is vulnerable despite the supposedly huge amounts of money usually allocated for it. One can only wonder where that money actually goes.

    Our politics, polices and governance continue to suffer from shortsightedness as our community remains vulnerable to all the ills of the unscrupulousness of capitalism.

  16. Huu says:

    Drugs drop off and they know who is doing this. Government is just to weak to stop thus man doing what he wants in the BVI.

  17. From Anegada says:

    The airport on Anegada is being used for illegal drugs and undesirable persons.open eyes people!!start with the staff that work at the airport over here.they know what going on but them getting a cut too !

    Like 1
    Dislike 2
  18. Retired says:

    I thought the old style security system of livestock grazing and sleeping on the Anegada airport runway every day and night was more than adequate and very inexpensive. By the time any plane made 2-3 noisy passes over the runway to herd the livestock off the runway the Police in the Settlement would be on the scene.

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