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Citizens cry foul over NDP's Airport Development Fee

- call made for VIP Gov't to get rid of 'exorbitant' charge
Airport Passengers are being taxed to finance development works at the T.B Lettsome Airport. Photo: VINO/File
Now, Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) contributing columnist, Ms Lorna M. George who is also the Planning Assistant at the Town & Country Planning Department, Central Admin Complex, has since complained to this news centre that even as the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) is now leading government, citizens are still being forced to pay the exorbitant charge implemented by the Dr D. Orlando Smith Administration, even for domestic travel. Photo: VINO/File
Now, Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) contributing columnist, Ms Lorna M. George who is also the Planning Assistant at the Town & Country Planning Department, Central Admin Complex, has since complained to this news centre that even as the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) is now leading government, citizens are still being forced to pay the exorbitant charge implemented by the Dr D. Orlando Smith Administration, even for domestic travel. Photo: VINO/File
 Signage at the airport outlining the fee including Security and Departure Tax. Photo: Team of Reporters
Signage at the airport outlining the fee including Security and Departure Tax. Photo: Team of Reporters
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Days before being ousted from office in 2019, the National Democratic Party (NDP) approved an Order that would see development works at the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport on Beef Island, being financed in part by all passengers travelling in or out of the Virgin Islands (VI).

Announced on March 1, 2019, the Order Gazetted on February 6, 2019 was made to increase the charges on all passengers flying into or out of the VI by $15 per person via the Airport Development Fee (ADF) bringing the fee to $30 for International travel with the domestic fees set at a standard $5.

Now, Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) contributing columnist, Ms Lorna M. George has since complained to our newsroom that even as the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) is now the Government, citizens are still being forced to pay the exorbitant charge implemented by the Dr D. Orlando Smith Administration.

Confusion with Tax 

Mrs George pointed to an instance on April 7, 2019, where a party of 9 persons were travelling to a sister island, “We paid $45.00 to go to Anegada and [same] $5.00 in tax paid in Anegada to return to Tortola. Total for one day $90.00”

The same happened on April 28, 2019, where for a total in party 8 persons, fees paid was $80.00. Further on May 12, 2019, Ms George said "For a party of 4 including a child; we paid $20.00... to go to Anegada and $20.00 in tax to return to Tortola. Total in tax - $40.00.”

“NDP know that it was wrong to charge tax to go to Anegada; so why did they make it law? Now VIP is collecting the tax,” Mr George said.

She further implored the Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) led VIP government to correct the wrong done to the country by the NDP, while adding, “if VIP cannot correct the injustices done to the BVI by the NDP, then they are just as corrupt.”

7 Responses to “Citizens cry foul over NDP's Airport Development Fee ”

  • YOLO (22/05/2019, 06:20) Like (8) Dislike (7) Reply
    simple don't use tortola airport do into st thomas its cheaper
  • Open Eyes (22/05/2019, 07:06) Like (8) Dislike (3) Reply
    Now I'm seeing how selfish and Anti people the NDP was.... He who rules sits high and looks low. Never give people more than they can bare. Hope now VIP has the love for people all people and the fear of God the Wisdom and the Courage to make all the wrongs right... Some of those PS and the disloyal Office leakers and underminers get switched up...
    • confused (22/05/2019, 16:27) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
      what is the money from this fee, used for? Is it going to an account that will be used to develop the airport as the name says? How much is in the account?.....If the fee is too high, then the sitting government should reduce or remove it. If they will not remove, I assume that they agree with the fee but will blame the NDP for putting it in place.
  • Anegadian (22/05/2019, 11:29) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    I'm an Anegadian. I'm all for improvement of our country HOWEVER, shouldn't these things be discussed prior to implementation? What I don't understand is that for years we were have had to make our OWN way to get to Tortola, Virgin Gorda, and yes, St. Thomas. We pay taxes like every other citizen of these Virgin Islands. We are grateful for the strides made in providing daily ferry service to Tortola. We are grateful for finally having a residential nurse etc. What we don't understand is why Anegada had to be the "Done Deal test tube baby" for implementation of taxes to travel inter-island while the same is not implemented ACROSS THE BOARD with neighboring Virgin Islands (UK).....What are we? Non-Virgin Islanders with seemingly deeper pockets? Hon. Fahie, yes, it was not implemented during your tenure but you are the Premier now. Please look into this. Either implement it across the board providing fairness to all or discontinue this process. To do nothing would imply that you are in agreement. To do nothing will exact an injustice to Anegadians experienced historically. Please do not let this a part of the legacy of the VIP Government. Yes, we know that you are busy. Yes, we know that cross border taxes is nothing uncommon or new world-wide. But this is the Virgin Islands (UK). Let's exercise fairness please. Respectfully, Concerned Anegadian citizen
  • YOLO (22/05/2019, 13:22) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    @I .....obviously you have money to (Fly) over to Anegada so Don't complain there is cheaper ways to get there use the boat or spend that cash. Thank you have a nice day
  • Nickel & Dime (24/05/2019, 06:30) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    While the need to raise monies is understandable, imposing these kinds of taxes and fees does not exactly promote tourism: environmental tax, cruising tax, departure tax, hotel tax, import tax on food tourists bring in, and so on. Sure, you can say people don’t have to come but that’s the point. If they don’t, you don’t collect the fees. It’s already pricey enough that many fly out of STT, and now more reason not to. Maybe the 7.2 mill shoulda been spent on the airport instead of giving it away to the airline that was going to brong direct service to MIA


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