The British Virgin Islands Airports Authority (BVIAA) is preparing to launch an in-transit lounge at the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport.
Speaking ahead of the official launch set for Saturday, February 1, Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon. Andrew Fahie commended the new Board as the initiative will increase the revenue generation capacity of the assets under its management.
The BVIAA will earn revenue from the lounge as a $10 levy will be charged to transiting passengers.
"This will impact positively on the experience of transiting passengers, as airline operators are already indicating. With increasing frequency, airlines are using our airport at Beef Island as a transit hub to other Caribbean airports, and this facility will encourage growth in this aspect of our airport business," Premier Fahie stated.
He stated that what is even more commendable is that the current Board and management have been able to achieve this simply by re-purposing a space that was previously under-utilised and conducting some renovations to the space to outfit it for this purpose.
"You have heard me saying on previous occasions, and particularly in relation to our airports, that expanding and upgrading will take time and money so, in the meantime, we have to use what we have and make the most of it. This is a classic example of making maximum use of what we already have, and for this initiative the Board and management of the BVIAA must be commended," Premier Fahie said.
According to the Premier, in order to achieve the vision of transforming the BVI into a leading regional economy by 2025 through innovation, entrepreneurship and local and foreign investment, there must be world-class air travel facilities and services.
"Of course, as we raise the profile of the Virgin Islands as a leading economy, as a place to do business and to hold meetings, seminars, training and conferences, and as a preferred air transport hub, we increase the opportunities for persons involved in supporting businesses such as bed and breakfast, food and catering, restaurants and bars, taxi drivers, and tour operators, to increase their earnings," Premier Fahie said.