Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) has; however, revealed that no Virgin Islander applied for the position.
Hon Fahie, during a press conference today, January 28, 2022, also stated that the United Kingdom’s Air Safety Support International (ASSI) had a hand in the hiring process, adding that it was being stated in the public that the BVIAA Board alone was responsible.
“I did my research with the Airports Authority because as you know it is a corporate body and I made sure I asked them for all the information.”
Premier Fahie said he was informed very clearly that ASSI was involved in the hiring and also that more than 60 persons applied for the position of the BVI Airports Authority CEO, including persons as far as Afghanistan.
He lamented; however, that no local applied.
“No person from the Virgin Islands applied for that position, none,” Premier Fahie stated and repeated.
Prior to Mr Menal's hiring, former Speaker and Legislator of the House of Assembly, Mr Keith L. Flax, a pilot, had been named the new Acting Managing Director of the BVIAA following the departure of another local, Mr Clive Smith.
Speaking on the involvement of ASSI in the hiring process, Premier Fahie reminded that ASSI is charged with the oversight of Civil Aviation Safety Regulations with the UK Overseas Territories and the vacancy was also advertised on its website.
“They [Board] went through all the applications. ASSI helped to vet them because it was not only done by the Board as persons are saying. It was mainly dealt with by ASSI with a number of applications because they also have to certify and regulate the airport, so they were looking for certain things in the applicants.”
Hon Fahie continued that the applications, through vetting from ASSI, were shortlisted down to 10 persons and then the interviews were done.
“And the current MD now is the one who was successful.”
Premier Fahie said there is the perception being fueled by some that the Government was not looking out for locals but the reality is that “no one from the Virgin Islands applied.”
“But it is hard to place a Virgin Islander in a position if none applied,” Premier Fahie emphasised, adding that it would raise questions of transparency and accountability.
He said; however, that the majority of top posts in the territory are filled by Virgin islanders but he did not want to give the impression that the expertise of persons outside of the VI was not needed.
“Every country is going to need that. You need that balance at the end of the day, despite you want to make sure our people are on top of those areas.”
St Lucian Kurt A. G. Menal was appointed as the new Managing Director of the BVI Airports Authority (BVIAA) from a list of over 60 applicants.
Prior to the hiring of St Lucian Kurt A.G. Menal, former Speaker and Legislator of the House of Assembly, Mr Keith L. Flax (right), a pilot, had been named the new Acting Managing Director of the BVIAA following the departure of another local, Mr Clive Smith (left).