The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) has pledged to support the BVI government in its work to expand the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport on Beef Island.
It’s unclear whether the FCDO’s support will be monetary or just technical expertise, but Works Minister Kye Rymer secured the commitment recently after leading a delegation to the United Kingdom where constructive conversations were held with the FCDO.
The minister said the talks with the FCDO were a bid to ensure meticulous planning and adherence to international standards as the government has commissioned the development of a comprehensive business case to determine the way forward for the development of the territory’s main airport.
Minister Rymer said the FCDO recommended that the business case should adopt His Majesty’s Treasury Green Book 5 case model to ensure a robust and well-considered approach to the project.
The BVI Airports Authority, under the guidance of the government, recently published a Request for Proposals to develop the business case that will determine the financing model to be undertaken for the expansion of the airport.
Minister Rymer said feedback was also received from a number of stakeholders who provided invaluable insights that will serve as the cornerstone for the direction of the airport expansion project.
He said the public’s input is invaluable, and the successful company that will get the job to develop the business case will be tasked with fostering an inclusive dialogue, ensuring that the community’s voice is heard and considered throughout the development stages.
The minister said this commitment to transparency and public engagement underscores the government’s dedication to a project that benefits and resonates with the broader community.
“The collaborative efforts between the government and the BVI Airports Authority underscore a shared vision for a modern, efficient, and world-class aviation facility that meets the evolving needs of the territory,” the minister said.
He added: “As we embark on this transformative journey, the government of the Virgin Islands invites all stakeholders and community members to stay informed and engaged. Together, we are building the foundation for a brighter and more connected future.”
It is believed that the expansion of the TB Lettsome Airport will greatly enhance the BVI’s tourism product and by extension, the local economy. However, successive governments have failed to complete the undertaking, despite many promises and business models aimed at achieving the goal.
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