Being faced with major objections from his own colleagues, Deputy Premier and Minister of Natural Resources and Labour continues to sell the importance of expanding the TB Lettsome International Airport.
"An important objective for any Government is to support the development of the economy for the benefit of all citizens. It is widely recognized that improved air access is one route to supporting the economic development of the Territory," he said this week in the House of Assembly.
He said extension of the runway to about 7,100 feet would allow current airline fleets (737-800 and Airbus 320) to fly directly to and from continental US and Latin America. At present, established US airlines all cite the inability of their existing fleets to operate from the BVI due to runway length.
Hon. Julian Fraser, Third District Representative then asked the Minister, what is the status of the Runway at the Terrence B Lettsome International Airport Project.
"Madam Speaker, a preferred bidder for the Airport Project was selected at the end of 2016. Some discussions have taken place, including with potential financiers and with regulatory authorities," Dr. Pickering said, adding, "The Government is now considering next steps."
He also disclosed that, the consultants completed the master plan for the proposed and as a result came up with some five (5) options for development. Subsequently, the Board of Directors established a committee to review the varied options and come up with a recommendation.
The team reviewed the options and recommended another option dubbed “Option 6”. Option 6 was reviewed by the International Airline Transport Association (IATA) who in turn concluded that “Option 6” was the preferred option.
He said Louis Berger was paid $603,000 for the plan.
- Source: BVIHotpress.com