Airport Expansion Financing Under Scrutiny


Premier and Minister for Finance Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith says that Government is currently considering whether to self fund or enter into a public private partnership for the proposed airport expansion project.

In an October, update on the venture the BVI Leader told reporters: “We are actively considering both (types of agreement). We added an addendum to the agreement some time ago which asked the people who are bidding to look at the area of bid financing to finance as well as bid; so will be looking at both options.”

The project was opened for bidding, and the Minister of Finance disclosed that so far Government has received three bids.

Previously during his 16 July media conference Premier Smith noted that the plans to develop the main Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport were proceeding. Dr. Smith said: “The airport project is moving on, we have had submissions by the bodies who are interested in bidding. We have looked at it from a point of view of concession, we have looked at it from a point of view of building and financing, so they have looked at it from various points of view.”

“This matter now is being looked at by a Committee involving the Ministry of Finance, the Airport Development Authority, and as a matter of fact right now they are looking at that matter to consider which direction we will be going in finally,” Hon. Smith explained.

The Premier noted that the Committee will mainly consider the matter of financing of the project. For example, Hon. Smith said that the Committee will look at whether the airport will be totally built by the Government.

“We will have to look at how it will be financed. We have to do the projections for the business case, so that we will be able to determine whether it is affordable; and then present our case to the British Government who will have to agree with the financing of it,” the Minister for Finance added.