Back in March there was public outrage as a result of the Airport Development Fee (ADF) being enforced. In consideration of various aspects of the fee, Premier and Minister for Finance Hon. Andrew Fahie has announced that Government is terminating the $5 fee that sister islands had to pay as part of the ADF.
It was no secret on 1 March that the decision to implement the fee was an unpopular one because residents publicly aired their disagreement on the matter on facebook in response to the BVI Airport Authority’s announcement of the fee.
The $5 ADF fee was blamed for making travel between domestic ports unattractive. However, at the time it was explained that the ADF was approved by Cabinet and came into effect on Wednesday February 6, with enforcement commencing on the first day of March. One of the concerns about the new fee was the announcement that there was domestic/inter-island travel fee of $5 that was applicable to Anegada and Virgin Gorda travellers.
While speaking in the House of Assembly on Tuesday 16 July Premier and Minister for Finance, Hon. Andrew Fahie declared that the $5 fee will be scrapped. “The BVIAA Board has looked at the $5 Inter-Island Airport Development Fee that is charged to persons traveling from Anegada and Virgin Gorda to Tortola,” Premier Fahie announced.
Noting that such a fee was unfavorable Hon. Fahie told the House: “It is the view of the Board that this fee places an unfair and unnecessary burden on our sister-islanders who have no choice but to travel to Tortola in order to conduct business, shopping and so forth.”
“The Board proposes to disband this fee to Anegadians and Virgin Gordians. Some may say it is not much but it is our way of saying to our sister-islanders that we recognise the challenges they face and we appreciate them,” the Premier added.