Investors ready! Gov’t eager to start airport runway extension — Rymer
Works Minister Kye Rymer has expressed hope that a proposed runway expansion for the Terrance B Lettsome airport could get underway soon.
Consecutive governments have acknowledged that the runway needs to be expanded to accommodate airlift but despite the plans and promised efforts made over the years, this has not been realised.
Rymer told reporters at a recent press conference that he was able to have a meeting with the recently formed BVI Airports Authority (BVIAA) Board led by Theo Burke and related that he gave a mandate that the board needs to be taking the airport into the direction of increased airlift and the expansion of the runway.
“Over the years, we have done quite a lot of consultancies and have various drawings and so forth in terms of the expansion. So I don’t think we need to recreate the wheel,” Rymer said.
He added: “I know the Premier can confirm, too, that we have some investors that are ready to come in and assist with certain parts of the airport expansion. So we are eager to get started in terms of making sure that the runway extension is a priority.”
When asked what efforts had been made during his tenure overseeing the BVIAA, Rymer said he has been reaching out to various airlines in terms of increasing airlift to the territory.
The minister explained that sometime recently an Embraer E190 was able to land at the airport.
“That plane is able to take direct flights from Tortola direct to the mainland, Miami, and the Eastern Seaboard. So, we have been working with that agency in terms of trying to cement that relationship to have increased airlift and have a direct flight to the US as well,” Rymer said.
Rymer further explained that since his government came to office in 2019, the previous BVIAA board explored various options in terms of the airport’s expansion.
“I know there were plans to do some work on the adjacent land; the hunglands that we are all aware of but we are not sure where that is at now but the board would be able to give me a better update on that,” he added.