The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved a grant of $350,000 to help BVI and other Eastern Caribbean countries address the airlift capacity issues which are affecting tourism in the region.
The money was approved for the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) as emergency assistance.
According to a press release from the OECS, the funds will be used to “finance the cost of the consultancy service and to assist with interim arrangements for the re-establishment of regular air transport services within the sub-region.”
The CDB said the procurement process has already been completed and that the aviation consultancy will begin soon.
A technical working group comprising members from the OECS member states will also form part of the process to help guide the work of the consultant.
Tourism in OECS countries is affected yearly by a shortage of airlift. Most of the countries are unable to accommodate larger aircrafts at their airports and usually rely on the yachting industry to make up for the decrease in airlift .
Recently, the USVI was named the fastest growing Caribbean destination — a title the territory attributed to increased airlift.
In recent years, the BVI has been taking steps to develop airports in the territory in an effort to increase airlift to its islands.
In 2020, the Andrew Fahie
-led administration had announced plans to expand the Terrance B Lettsome Airport at a cost of $158 million. The expansion was expected to permit tourists and investors to fly nonstop to the BVI from major cities such as New York, Toronto and London.
The completion of the improvements was scheduled to be completed by the end of 2025.