Airport expansion nears completion
There are two major contracts left on the airport expansion project and
these are expected to be completed within the next three months, it was
reported here Tuesday.
"There were several phases for the works that constituted the entire
package of projects that brought forward the Beef Island airport from what
it used to be to a modern facility that we now enjoy today," said Project
Manager Mr. Winston Wilson.
He recalled that the expansion project initially involved the demolition of
the old terminal and construction of the new building, which was
commissioned in January 2001 and expansion of the aircraft parking area or
apron, which can accommodate up to six aircraft the size of the American
Eagle ATR 42, with provision for smaller aircraft on the far east.
Regarding the extension of the runway, Mr. Wilson explained that this would
bring the BVI into the realm of larger aircraft into the territory, thereby
increasing the passenger flow.
This $5.5M project, being carried out by Lagan Holdings Ltd., is due to be
completed by the end of April 2004, to facilitate the new aircraft to be
introduced to the BVI in early May by American Airlines/Eagle, which
requires a larger runway.
"So, the sequence of events are quite in order in that we have the
processing facility already on the ground and now we are preparing to bring
in more passengers by virtue of having an extended runway which will bring
in larger aircraft," he declared.
The new control tower is being built by the firm of Johnson International
to the tune of just over $3.5M. It will replace the old structure, which
is now about 30 years old and is earmarked to be substantially completed
and functionally operational by March 21st, 2004.
The old control tower was not high enough to give proper coverage of the
airfield and there were some safety aspects to its present location,
according to the airport Project Manager.
With the new tower, air traffic controllers would have better overview of
the airfield and the tower would be in conformity with international safety
standards as it pertains to aerodromes of this nature.
In addition, new offices in the operations block will accommodate the
Director of Civil Aviation and his staff, who will be relocating from the
Central Administration Complex to the airport.
Apart from those four major components, there are several smaller sub
projects ongoing or recently completed at the new Terrence B. Lettsome
International Airport. These include the landscaping and the construction
of a sewerage treatment plant.
"We are just about completed installing a new sewerage treatment plant,
it's state-of-the-art, it employs the latest technology in sewerage and
wastewater treatment," Mr. Wilson stated.
He reported that the plant got started around December 17th, it is now
being monitored and the final commissioning will take place January
15th. He said the plant has a slight overcapacity, allowing for an
expansion of the terminal building facilities.
The sewerage treatment plant is being built by Caribbean Basin Enterprise
CBE, a local company, in conjunction with TSJ Technologies out of St.
Thomas and Florida as consultants. This project cost just under $350,000.
In reference to the landscape, he pointed out that it provides a beautiful
and really nice welcome to persons coming into the BVI through the airport
at Beef Island.
As of January 6th, 2004, there was a projected potential expenditure on the
new Terrence B. Lettsome International Airport of $68.74M.
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