BVI News

No garage | Excessive exposure to weather caused new airport firetruck to malfunction

Provided photo of the newly-renovated section of the Virgin Gorda-based airport.

The absence of a proper garage facility for the firetruck based at the Taddy Bay Airport on Virgin Gorda is said to have contributed to the vehicle experiencing what the BVI Airport Authority (BVIAA) has described as ‘operation issues’.

Premier and Minister responsible for airports, Andrew Fahie, gave that indication in a statement on August 14; days after the airport was announced closed because of these said issues.

The Premier said the ‘suspension spring’ of the fire truck had broken, rendering the vehicle inoperable.

“It is important to note that, based on the advice I have received from the BVIAA, that the breakdown of the fire truck at the Virgin Gorda airport is connected to the critical work that was identified to be done at the Taddy Bay Airport, and which this administration inherited from our predecessors,” said Fahie, adding that repairs to the truck are underway and will be completed with the next 24 to 48 hours.

“In my statement to the House of Assembly on July 16, I disclosed that the said fire truck, which was purchased in November 2018, was being left constantly exposed to the elements during the day due to the lack of a proper garage facility for securing the vehicle,” the Premier further said.

Disagreement under previous gov’t delays airport works

Fahie also revealed that under the previous government, contracts valued more than $200,000 were issued to build the garage, along with other works but was never completed due to a disagreement.

“Sometime previous to the February 2019 General Elections, a contract was issued by the then Board of the BVIAA, under the previous administration, for construction of a garage for the sum of $89,000. Somewhere along the line, a variation was done to add an office and a watchtower to the contract for an additional $127,000,” he explained.

“There was a reported disagreement at the management level over this variation and the contractor halted work,” added Premier Fahie, who is also the Finance Minister.

Unless these issues are urgently rectified, the airport will continue to be vulnerable to interruption in service and more serious consequences which will affect both tourist and the public, the Premier said.

Normal operations are expected to resume at the airport once the repairs are completed.

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16 Comments

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  1. watching says:

    A complete pile of BS . If the springs were going bad a two year old would see the corrosion developing . Just a case of lazy or incompetent preventative maintenence

    Like 25
    • I say says:

      Termination of employment. Every airport should always have a working fire truck 24/7. Careless, just careless.

      Like 10
    • IMO says:

      In my opinion a lot more needs to go, including those who do not have a clue what they are about.

      This appears to be the result of inaction over the years by who was running it.

      Like 10
      Dislike 1
  2. Well Sa says:

    This is the part that I do not understand. Isn’t the Airport a seperate legal entity apart from Central Government. Why is the Premier getting so involved in the airport operations.

    Why was Mrs. Luce Hodge-Smith appointed as the Deputy Managing Director if the Baord had to appoint her junior as the Acting Managing Director?

    Touch much foolishness is happening now that your new board has been appointed. The airport has become more frustrustating. I personally did not think it had any lower to get.

    Mr. C** L****s had a right to walk away from the foolishness. God Will take care of him.

    Like 14
    Dislike 2
  3. Me again says:

    Pure lies and BS about this story .How much $ ? Them use the base and walls that CAPE AIR put there for fuel storage and it’s that kinda —— up $ ayaa talkin bout . Some thing STINKS at the BVIAA

    Like 6
    Dislike 1
  4. LOL! says:

    New truck them say them thing is old truck!only thing new is the paint Job!

    • Can’t we all just get along? says:

      Ask the current acting MD. He was the one that arranged to buy AND selected the truck. And still blame is on “no garage?” Please people. The truck is stored in the truck bay every night. It’s out in the mornings for immediate response to aircraft if needed. I sick ah all ayo. Running off your mouths and ill informed or not informed at all. Please people stop spreading rumors and gossip on the airport. If you don’t know what you are talking about, shut your mouths. Stop spreading negativity.

  5. Action says:

    Why are you people making so much noise is it because you want to keep flying out of USVI or is it because this new board started weeding out the corrupt ones and is now trying to put our airport back on the map?

    Like 1
    Dislike 6
  6. Tola says:

    You sound like an a$$ hole

  7. Really? says:

    $89 k for a garage? If it was 20×40 (should be plenty big enough for a fire truck), you’re looking at more than $1,000 per square foot!

  8. Welsah says:

    I heard they just sold a red vehicle in excellent condition for $700.00

  9. My take says:

    Thank you Premier for the update.

  10. We must be fools! says:

    The Premier must think we are fools.

    My car stays out in the elements day in and day out just like most other vehicles on this island. Having a garage or not wouldn’t prevent a spring breaking. If the vehicle needs to be serviced more regularly, then do that. If it need to be replaced, then do that (we just bought 5 vehicles for the HOA, maybe the HOA could carpool so that the money could have been spent on the fire engine).

    Sounds to me like the Premier is looking for a reason to build a garage to give his supporters an avenue to get the gov’t contracts. Whether or not that’s the case, the Premier needs to just do his job and stop trying to drag the former government into everything. The smear campaign is over. Let’s see how you move!

    Like 10
    • Ok says:

      That area where the airport is located has severe salt water blast, so it’s possible to wreak havoc on any exposed vehicle. Weather it be a Nissan March or a Military Tank. A shelter should of been built before the truck came to the Virgin Islands.

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