In a statement issued to the media on 5th June Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Andrew Fahie announced that a cow may quicker fly over the moon than the government funded BVI Airways.
BVI Airways despite announcing that it has received its necessary regulatory requirements is yet to announce a flight date, and it is in this regard that Hon. Fahie has announced his discomfort with the situation.
In his statement he said: “Thus far $7.2 million dollars have being paid outside the scheduled of payments in the contract for a plane to fly, but it seems as if a cow may quicker fly over the moon before this service starts; but the $7.2 million dollars has already being paid with reports that alleged that significantly more monies from government will be needed.”
In further noting his discomfort about the BVI Airways arrangement the Leader of the Opposition stated that the contract Government signed to have direct flights to and from Miami and the BVI, was done without involvement of the public directly or indirectly although prior to the Government's proposal, one of the local aviation companies attempted to get the government's support for the same service, but with no success.
“My position, to date, remains the same solely because the government's approach in addressing the aforementioned issues remains the same. Am I for a credible solution to our airlift problems? The answer is YES! Am I for a credible and cost effective extension of our runway? The answer is YES! But the manner in which is being proposed by the government thus far to address both is one I cannot support then nor now,” Hon. Fahie said.
Hon. Fahie also expressed concern about monies that were expended on consultations on the Airport Expansion project. In fact, Hon. Fahie noted that so far $13M has been spent by Government.
“Let me make it abundantly clear to the people of the Virgin Islands that thus far this government has spent $13.2 million cash dollars (not loans) but $13.2 million dollars of tax payers hard earn money stating that they are trying to address the issues in question where to date a shovel of dirt has not been thrown to extend the airport but over $6million dollars has gone through the door in consultancy.” the Opposition Leader stated.
The Leader of the Opposition further added: “This is irresponsible financial conduct especially while now seeking millions of dollars in loans to do many infrastructural projects...yes some are needed but how are we going to pay for these with a shrinking revenue base, a struggling economy, coupled with ongoing irresponsible financial conduct? So my stated position a few months ago was based on all these ongoing factors, it was not said in isolation like some want the public to now believe.”
- Source: BVIHotpress.com