BVI News

Not right! Skelton upset over airport security checks

Opposition Leader Ronnie Skelton strongly protested the stringent security checks he has endured at the local airport even as other dignitaries get privileges.

“I get annoyed with what is happening to us officials when we travel through the airport,” Skelton said in the House of Assembly. “I leave this island, go through St Thomas – I got global entry, I got TSA pre-check, I have all that and they don’t know me. They just go off of their research and they give me this stuff.”

He continued: “But I come to my airport to go out on official business and I got to take off my shoes, my pants, my jacket, my belt and then they open my bag in front there to check to see what’s in it. What kind of foolishness going on at the airport? That can’t be right.”

He questioned what airport officials might suspect he was carrying and said he would have understood if he was travelling on private business.

“Something is wrong if members of this House, they’re going to be treated like that,” Skelton said while comparing the ease of using US airports versus those in the BVI.

Skelton said the Governor, Premier and judges are all exempt from the kind of searches he has faced and expressed surprise when he discovered that the House Speaker was also exempt.

“That level of security you’re talking about, something is wrong. Somebody needs to get a handle on this. We’re destroying everything to build a society. We’re doing the wrong things,” Skelton said.

Skelton pleaded for intervention from the Premier and House Speaker on the issue.


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  1. Daniel says:

    To be treated like normal people he means.

    Considering the former Premier Fahie just got convicted of conspiracy to import more than five kilograms of cocaine, conspiracy to engage in money laundering, attempted money laundering and Foreign travel in aid of racketeering these checks are more than appropriate.

    Also, it’s not YOUR airport, it’s the British Virgin Islands Airport.

    Like 98
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    • Anonymous says:

      It is not just your royal self. Everyone leaving at the Beef Island airport is way over checked.

      Like 54
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      • @Annonomus says:

        Isn’t it better to be safe than over checked? To many crazy things is happening in the time that we are living in. When I travel, I travel light, sweats, flip flops, slip on vans and comfortable shorts so they don’t have to strip me down to my underwear. Just get in the security line like everyone else and have a safe flight.

        Like 24
    • Laslow says:

      That’s why those guys run for office. They do it for the special treatment. To look and feel better than others.

  2. All are equal but some are more equal than others says:

    Everybody including Judges, Politicians, Police, and Govt employees should be subject to the same searches! Nobody should be too important to be searched whether they were on official business or not. Andrew was on official business in Miami when he was arrested.
    Ronnie – I am disappointed in you. I thought you were better than that.

    Like 80
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    • Cream Puff says:

      Some of you actually did not read the article before commenting, he is asking why the Governor, Premier & Speaker of the house are exempt from these searches Customs need to release a policy paper statement saying exactly who are exempt from this treatment and why.

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    • @All are equal says:

      Couldn’t have put it better myself, who does this man think he is? No-one should be above our security and safety, Fahie is the perfect example!

      Yes he has TSA precheck but you still have to go through the scanners, etc and they have the right to search you. I really thought Ronnie was better than this

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  3. Someone’s got says:

    Airs & Graces

    Like 18
  4. maria louisa varlack says:

    look at the condition of the british virgin islands. what is going on in the uk parliament? what is going on with the uk prime minister? what is going with buckingham palace? i thought the british politicians were better for the british virgin islands. i thought that the royal family was better for the british virgin islands. i thought that the royal family were putting the british virgin islands in a better way.

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  5. my opinion says:

    That seem like a will ful act But who God bless no man curse be still … its not the clothing and pockets it the phones they should worry about.then you do their seach.
    pure hate.

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  6. Mr. Entitlement says:

    That is the entitled behaviour that this man has. He was entitled to be premier so he broke away from the NDP and form a party after he loss the elections. Every time I think about his entitled behaviour I can’t help but blame him and others for the state of this country. If they were not such entitled brats Andrew would have never been Premier to be putting us through all this. Natalio would have never become Premier to have us like a laughing stock. Thanks to entitled Ronnie Skelton. Now he expects everyone to do checks at the airport except him. Wow!

    Like 41
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  7. Ahhhhh Come on says:

    First it Melvin Turnbull and now it’s YOU??? Why do you all have to get special treatment at a small airport Ronnie???? Take the line like everyone else.

    When you were not elected, didn’t you had to take the regular line???

    Well damnit take the regular line and stop nagging like a house wife!

    Like 38
    • Yesssssss says:

      I recall Mitch Turnbull throwing a melt down hissy fit up at the Airport about having to go through security check with the ordinary folks. LOLLLLLLLLLLLLLL,EXCUSE ME!!!!!, DON’T YOU KNOW WHO I AM!!!!!??????. LOLLLLLLLLL.

      Like 12
  8. Get Used to it says:

    No reason to TRUST…..but OK, stay special in your own mind even if you don’t realize you are the REPRESENTATIVE (of the country) who is supposed to set the proper example of supporting and following rules and laws that keep all travelers safe.

    Like 25
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  9. Resident says:

    Beef is the worst airport to travel through.
    Security is STUPID we get checked for ridicules things. you have to carry 4 trays plus your baggage
    they are generally rude and dont even know what they are looking for. they just take your tooth paste and perfume.
    there are long lines because the personnel dont know how to do it.
    and how about removing your flip flops, just shows they dont know what they are looking for.
    coming back in through immigration and customs not much better. Rude people not welcoming tourists, the poorly worded and silly questions on the entry form.every other country you have a 5-800 allowance to bring in duty free, this streamlines process. and why do you care if a tourist brings in their favorite cognac. let them and be happy.

    Like 28
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  10. RONNIE IS RIGHT says:


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  11. vg resident says:

    Everyone should be checked. Any one of these folks could carry a gun or knife on the plane. Not right.

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    • @Vg resident says:

      Correct, everyone who is boarding a plane should be checked. throughly. I don’t want to be caught 30.000 feet above the clouds and something breaks out where someone got through security with a weapon. Where are we going to run to.

  12. maria louisa varlack says:

    are you sure it is not the US FBI or the US CIA or the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement or the US Border Patrol or the US Marshals spying on the UK territory?

    Like 1
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  13. One love says:

    Good and keep it up.Your delusional entitlement is finally under scrutiny.God be praised.Coach did his wrongs all on Gov business.Check them all UK.They check my simple as everytime I leave..same for the bigwigs.

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  14. BuzzBvi says:

    Wow. I see Ronnie is no longer one of the people. What an arrogant attitude. No respect for him anymore and he was our last hope. What is wrong with our leaders?

    Like 22
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  15. Pandora says:

    Think you’re so special don’t you! Well, guess what? You’re not! Suffer the same things the voting public go through. Or, as you view them, the peasants and the unworthy!

    Like 22
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  16. ERRRR, Sir says:

    Perhaps if you act and carry yourself like a true public official, you would be treated as such. ITS NOT THAT SERIOUS.

    Like 8
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  17. SMH says:

    Who does he think he is? Mr. Big Stufg. Why he complaining? The folks just doing their job.

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  18. In understand Mr. Skelton's frustration; however, says:

    post 911, airport security has taken on another level.

    Everything that Mr. Skelton mentioned he was subjected to appears routine except for the removal of his pants as a part of a general screening.

    That’s unusual, and if it was requested of him, hopefully that should have been done in a private setting.

    I gather from Mr. Skelton’s experience, he believes the level of security check he was subjected to should be similar to other government officials he mentioned: the Governor, Premier, and House Speaker.

    IMO, everyone should have to go thru the same level of security check whomever they may be unless they were pre-checked. Unfortunately, there is no Pre-Check here in the BVI to my knowledge.

    I don’t want to assume too much here, but perhaps the security folks were sending a subtle message to Mr. Skelton that he was no different from anyone else.

    Sometimes when people want to make that point, they really go out of their way to do so especially if your protest.

    I travel quite often within the U.S, and Europe. The worst part of my trip is usually sometimes going thru the long lines for security.

    I do use TSA pre-check in the U.S., but every time I travel to the U.K, I get pulled over for additional security checking. It never fails.

    It’s a frustrating experience, one I have mixed feelings about.

    On the one hand, I know it’s important that passengers are checked properly for drugs, importation of prohibited items, and terrorism associated concerns, but on the other hand, there is no doubt in my mind, I am being profiled sometimes as a minority, mostly in U.K. and some European ports.

    I have adjusted to the additional level of scrutiny by first not traveling with anything that can be considered prohibited items.

    I can always purchase those items when I get to my destination. I don’t do drugs, either consuming or having them on my person. So, they will always come up negative there.

    So, as far as I am concerned, they are wasting their time with me as they will NEVER find anything on me illegal.

    What they may find however, is that I have an extra 3rd leg that may tickle their fancy, and I don’t have a problem dropping my pants and making their day.

    I can imagine it’s not a fun job looking at luggage all day. I give them some good and surprising luggage to look at and brighten their day.

    So, here is some advise to you Hon. Skelton, as a member of the HOA, lead by example.

    Don’t let these security searches upset you to the point of complaint unless they are clearly out of the norm. You know who you are. Just go thru the process as if it’s not a big deal to you.

    You are in a position to do something about your experience rather than complain about it. Get your colleagues to work with you on legislation to be put in place to allow Pre-Check for the general public which will facilitate ease of travel of those who have been vetted to use that service.

    Surely the folks at the airport will say they are doing their jobs. Nevertheless, it does feels like you are being singled out at times, but as the saying goes, if you don’t have anything to hide, there is nothing to worry about.

    Take a Viagra next time before you show up at the airport. Give them something to search and talk about next time. Then again bad idea. That would probably just make someone want to search you even more the next time around as word spread.

    The bottom line is this: Security is a must. It can be frustrating, but in my experience, I don’t let it upset me. I follow the rules, and keep it moving third leg and all.

    Like 4
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  19. maria louisa varlack says:

    can’t you see that this is a conspiracy against the british government?

    Like 2
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  20. Trevor says:

    The airport security procedures are draconian and over the top.
    Certainly the process could be streamlined without compromise to security.

  21. Enforcement is Key says:

    The pressure in fact comes from the US. The BVI is a foreign port to the US. As such the US states what checks must be completed and to what percentages and degrees to any aircraft’s next US port of entry. Our ICAO airport authority is following the rules. This isn’t the old days with Mr. M. Creque at the helm.

  22. Listen says:

    This is what PVIM represents. It’s always about them. Power at all cost. Entitlement! Why should the regular public be checked but you are not checked? Ronnie and Mitch are nothing more than some power hungry people.

    Like 13
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  23. What says:

    Is wrong with these Politicians and the Carte Blanche attitides

  24. funny says:

    its even worse, i have to do all that stuff include no liquids and yet im jumping on a charter flight to Anegada…. this is an internal private flight do they think im blowing myself up!

    • Here goes... says:

      I found this recently as well, under ICAO rules private flights under 10000kg don’t need to go through security. But the insane security at Beef makes you take your flip flops off!

  25. Me says:

    They ck me so you should be ck too my brother we bleeds the same blood T

    Like 5
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  26. WEW says:

    With the well publicized drug running through the BVI, they see that passport you’re lucky not to get a cavity search.

  27. Resident says:

    It’s not just bvi Airport. All airports have stringent checking. Personally I think if he is in the line he should be allowed to move at the head of the line. Just my opinion. He is the Leader of the Opposition. But he should still be checked.

    Like 2
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  28. Whitey says:

    Every single time I am randomly selected for a pat down. Every time! I laugh now when they say “randomly”.

    I remember travelling through when my kids were barely toddlers. I wasn’t even allowed to carry them through they made the baby walk through the arch alone. Absolutely ridiculous.

    All of this and they don’t catch any of the product being smuggled in and out. Performative without efficacy.

  29. Man please says:


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  30. Interested says:

    I totally agree with Hon Skelton. If judges are exempt why isn’t the leader of the opposition or any other house of assembly member for that matter. A person has no honour in his own country.

    Like 7
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    • @Intrested says:

      Really? How is that? The leader of the Opposition does absolutely nothing but sit and walk around disgruntled and acting like a cross setty fowl sitting on unhatched eggs because he did not get the Premier’s position. He seems to don’t care or give a rat’s behind. Now he have the gall to spaz out because he felt he was to good to stand in the security line like everyone else.

      Like 6
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  31. Real talk says:

    Same how I feel for paying NHI for over 15yrs at a very high rate. Now that i retired, and the little money I get monthly hardly can compensate for all my bills. Your NHI just keep canceling my insurance with them hardly use to use it at all now I need it. It’s falling me. So take it like the rest of us sir. Yiu can’t have everything free because your a minister

    Like 4
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  32. Desmond Hodge says:

    Ronnie stop behaving like a dam setty fowl

    Like 4
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  33. I have always said says:

    The security at the airport is backwards, they make up rules that on the spot… I can see the frustration the Hon is having. The security machines are programmed to screen random, which sets off a sound. The employees don’t have to take off their shoes on a standard basis, but as soon as the machine sounds (random) they have to remove everything. This makes no sense, just have the individual walk back out and walk in again like other international airports for these executives and workers. The rules are not bent it’s just how the management and their employees are programmed by the training officers.

  34. sturpss says:

    All kinda blows we getting as a people and he in the news talking about not getting special treatment at the airport. That’s what on his mind.

    Like 4
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  35. maria louisa varlack says:

    are you politicians in the british virgin islands aware of springette and his gang as the taliban and as al queda that brought down the british virgin islands with drugs and guns and crime and police corruption and political corruption? now the british virgin islands is a dangerous place to live with nothing but conspirators every where in the bvi.



  37. Bet says:

    I bet is a island man working on the airport stop him, them island man police need to get checked they family have the most drugs to bring here

  38. ISN'T IT AMAZING says:


    Like 3
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    Is saying )> am pissed off , this should not happen to me , I ain’t no ordinary man I nearly became the ruler of this continent

  40. He overing says:

    Because I not to leave the island I did not have to remove my pants.

    But then again our previous premier was charge for drugs and such.

    So therefore they saying no special treatment

  41. What? says:

    Dumb but nor entirely unexpected comment from Ronnie. But he’s right about one thing- Tortola airport security is off the charts. nowhere I have travelled, and I mean nowhere, do they search you like EIS. And answer this for me- you fly to Anegada- full security check in EIS. you fly back- same plane- no security in Anegada.

  42. Thats our problem. says:

    These people in high position thinks they can do what they want, how they want, when they want and no one can talk to them or correct them, no wonder they so afraid of a Britain take over, thats the reason why we need a Britain take over.

    Like 2
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  43. Not above the law says:

    Going through the xhecks keep
    You protected dont be a orick

    Like 1
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  44. I Wonder says:

    If we actually sit down and read these blogs and realise how disgusting we are. We really hate each other and for no reason. Hon. Skelton play high and mighty? Wow. And the sad part about it is the bloggers actually don’t know him at all. Must be some covetous, jealous bull crap. I suggest we stop it. Everybody from everywhere else ban together and will soon use our angst and seemingly disgust for each other against us.

    Hon. Skelton as Leader of the Opposition should be exempted from a full on search. Why? Because other Members of the HOA are. He has to walk through the machine and put his things on the belt. That should definitely be enough. If I worked there, I would let him keep his belt and shoes. I am sure, knowing Hon. Skelton, that was his issue. Lots of you who are blogging would expect these perks and probably plenty more if you were in his shoes. He drives around in a car that he bought from the time he was elected to this day, even when he was Finance Minister, and is approachable and sensible. That sounds like a humble, hardworking man to me. Unfortunately, he is on the Opposition and cannot deliver as he would have if he was on the other side. Now, that’s just my opinion. Everybody is welcome to theirs.

  45. Facts says:

    Officials from other countries visiting the bvi are not treated that way. We dislike we!

  46. Webster says:

    Was he made to take off his pants, really?

  47. maria louisa varlack says:

    it has to be a problem with united states immigration and naturalization services (USCIS), department of homeland security (DHS) and immigration and naturalization services (INS) and us law enforcement which is having an adverse effect on the british virgin islands and on bvi islanders.

  48. you are a politician says:

    and therefore should be triple checked

  49. Good 4 Nothing says:

    What is good for the goose is good for the gander. Wasn’t D Coach on official duty when he went Miami? He no come back oh!He nar come back in a hurry! Why should the rules be different for are you? How does your grief lighten the common man load?

  50. Really??!! says:

    WTF!! Every! Body! Gets! Searched! Sir! Should we point out Andrew as a reminder of how y’all can’t be trusted?! I rest my case!

  51. Thought says:

    Sorry sir, but after the antics of Fahie, you should all be under the same inspection requirements as anybody else. You aren’t special.

  52. edward says:

    No one should be exempt!!

  53. Yes says:

    Ronie stop tell lies they never make you or one take off pants at the airport..stop it stopit stop it stop making us look like dam idiots to the wprld. Where ever you go airtport are same thing every out pocket shoes off laptops phone in bin arm strech out wide ladies pat down hair i travel from the bvi not even them other places….so mr.politian stop your look like a vilant..iam a tourist no know better than shows you not ready as a need traning

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