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Hon. Pickering: Nothing will be done to destroy Trellis Bay!

- Government leaning towards option six in airport development
The meeting was held to get feedback from the public on their views on the planned airport development. Photo: VINO
Some residents are concerned that Trellis Bay will adversely affected by the expansion. Photo:
Some residents are concerned that Trellis Bay will adversely affected by the expansion. Photo:
A resident making a point at the meeting last evening, March 29, 2012. Photo: VINO
A resident making a point at the meeting last evening, March 29, 2012. Photo: VINO
A resident making a point at the meeting last evening, March 29, 2012. Photo: VINO
A resident making a point at the meeting last evening, March 29, 2012. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – The environmental impact to Trellis Bay in correlation to the planned Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport development is being looked at with a fine tooth comb, and according to the Natural Resources Minister Dr. Kedrick Pickering, nothing will be done to destroy the area.

Speaking last evening, March 29, 2012, at the Sir. Rupert Briercliffe Hall, Dr. Kedrick Pickering assured residents that his Ministry will try to mitigate all the possible negatives “because no matter what is finally done Trellis Bay will still function”.

“Nothing will be done to destroy Trellis Bay. So it’s a question of whatever recommendations are made by the Kraus-Manning team and then taking it beyond that with the engineers to find the right solutions,” Hon. Pickering charged.

Since Government green-lighted the project, there has been a brouhaha by organizations and citizens of how ponds and some areas near the airport will be adversely affected.

Hon. Pickering revealed to the small crowd in attendance that the “biggest problem with Trellis Bay right now is the water currents within the Bay itself.” He noted that with Government leaning towards option six in the airport development; it is likely to create a stagnant pool of water.

“So part of the environmental impact assessment has to tell us how to help prevent that. In terms of Trellis Bay itself and being able to maintain the Bay, the water current and flow there are a number of ideas on the table. One is to dig a channel parallel to the airport from Trellis Bay straight down to Well Bay. It is not as prohibitive as it sounds it is just a straight channel and the silt that we would take out we will just use it to fill out part of the airport that we will be reclaiming,” the Natural Resources Minister divulged.

Other suggestions that were put forward to Government include digging a similar channel at Strat Point because it’s a flat area on the eastern end which will allow the currents to flow, Dr. Pickering added.

Placing culverts under the airport itself was another suggestion but the disadvantage with that is, the Minister explained, “We are told by the engineers that the culverts tend to full up with silt very easily so long term it may not be the best option.”

The Natural Resources Minister further stated, “There is a suggestion of putting up a bridge in the airport. Someone has a very creative idea of putting a bridge under the airport that could be used as an artificial reef and to do things like night diving and things like that. The problem with that is its very expensive and what the engineers are saying putting a bridge at the airport is not only a difficult construction exercise but that will also be in the area where the jets having to land from the eastern end would be landing and from an engineering point of view you want to prevent that as much as possible.”

A brief synopsis of option six

At the first meeting held on March 27 in East End, Managing Director of the BVI Airport Authority (BVIAA) Denniston Frazer stated Government had two options for the airport’s expansion – four and six.

Option six, which will cost Government an estimated $38M, will have the runway extended to some 7,000 feet from 4,000 plus feet, and accommodate AB 390, 320 and the Embrea 190. This option will also reduce the environmental impact, which would save the pond and beach, reduce crosswinds, and accommodate code C and D aircrafts.

However, the disadvantages include higher weather minimums- meaning jets would have to use a height of about 1,290 feet and the runway must be visual, as well as the circling approach. The concerns include future widening will have an environmental impact on Trellis Bay and salt ponds.

And in an effort to clear the air on any doubts of how the Government is proceeding with the expansion of the main port of entry, Hon. Pickering reiterated to residents last evening that, while a decision has been made to further develop the airport, the way forward for the project depends on a number of factors that are outside Government’s control.

“The physical work to be carried out on this project will only be done when the Government of the day is satisfied that it has all the relevant information at its disposal to make the decisions that are necessary to ensure that the least and negative effects from this capital project are realized.”

32 Responses to “Hon. Pickering: Nothing will be done to destroy Trellis Bay! ”

  • voter (30/03/2012, 08:38) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Doc mehson go ahead wid dey airport project. The same people who wanted dey bvi to be a bird santrary back to dem old tricks again
  • Big Bird (30/03/2012, 08:43) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    We need the airport expansion…so let the critics blow their hot hair
    • Well Sah (30/03/2012, 13:18) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      If the deman is there airlines would come to matter where or how
  • Fact (30/03/2012, 08:58) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    People. People. People. Please do not allow this Minister to Hood Wink you with his nonsense that nothing will be done to destroy Trellis Bay. Just see for yourself, to the contrary, if Option 6 is used, nothing can be done to save Trellis Bay. If Option 6 is used, they will be extending the current Runway from 4,000 feet to 7,000 feet, that is 75% or 3/4 the current length added. Look at the picture, and imagin 3/4 the length of the runway extended into Trellis Bay and tell me if there is any bay left. Not to mention the protected area required to be free of obstruction. This means that only dingue could sail in and out of Trellis Bay, and that will be when there are no flights. I support extension, but for the sacrifice it must make sense, and the only option that makes sense is Option 4. It will cost more but we must look at the future.
    • cut the check (30/03/2012, 11:38) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      You talking nonsense, the Hon Prickering stated time and time again that he will see to it that nothing is done to Trellis Bay, with option 6 they will have to open the channel or dredge a new channel on the point in which small boats, ferrys and even yachts will still be able to come in whether aircraft or flying in or not its just that the mask have to be a certain height from the water. The only issue which is a major concern is the flow of water in and out of the bay and that is y they or waiting on that report from Krauss Manning. Sometimes we need to try and understand things and use logic with our arguments and stop misleading ppl. We can't stop progress the BVI can't remain like it was some 20yrs ago, when Cuba open its doors who is behind will be left behind trust me on that and this is the reality of this thing.
      • Fact (31/03/2012, 08:38) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Look at the picture and see for yourself. You don't even think, you are blindly following what you hear.
        • rat (02/04/2012, 12:28) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
          But the thing is you aint making no sense when u look at it appears to me that u didn't went to non of the meetings and just looking at what u see
  • ooooo (30/03/2012, 09:04) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    lets wait and see
  • Notes...... (30/03/2012, 09:22) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
  • Notes...... (30/03/2012, 09:47) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Why is it every time there is some improvement to the the BVI there is some resistance?? my people WE CANNOT CONTINUE TO RELY ON ST THOMAS OR SAN JUAN FOR AIR EXCESS TO THE BVI. When scrub island waas developing that island was there resistance like this?? NO! because those business at trellis Bay would benefit in a way. and am sue that there was some damage to the eco system. Should the BVI become second class to the caribbean?? i think not! and i do agree that option 6 (Six) is the best option.
    • Well Sah (30/03/2012, 11:40) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      YUh dont see trellis bay is a tourist spot. option goin kill dat tourist spot. Dis cud cause my harm dan good. other than that if we bring in large jets where the people from d jet going to go? We have no where to put them! What facilities we have for a big jet? NONE! So what extra revenue dis goin bring in? NONE! Option 6 run thru people businesses, dis is not an improvement. Improve d road dem PROPERLY, finish d hospital, fix d incinerator, clean up the damn beach chair off cane garden bay from blockading locals, find solutions for alternative energy (BVIEC killin we), Move back the traffic department into town, clean up road town, fix d sewerage problem with or without biwater. those are the projects that need to be done first.
    • Well Sah (30/03/2012, 12:55) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      If demand is there for larger aircrafts, the airlines will come wether the airport is short or long or the approach is crazy
      • Fact (31/03/2012, 08:35) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Honduras Population: 8,143,564 (July 2011 est.), Virgin Islands 30,000 (may be). Absolutely no comparison in terms of leveraging an airline to risk
        • Well Sah (01/04/2012, 09:43) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
          An Haiti Population is over 10 million and you don't see all kind of airlines flying in to that country. You know why because the demand is not there expecially as a tourist destination
  • ReX FeRal (30/03/2012, 09:51) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    There was a time you could drive straight along trellis bay but now we cannot. First time ive seen so many white people to a government meeting. Hmmm.
  • Notes...... (30/03/2012, 10:55) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Thank You! .................ReX FeRal come here to tell us what to do in this country.......
  • Well Sah (30/03/2012, 12:35) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Why a longer runway with performance by modern aircrafts such as the 757. Clearly this shows if demand is there the airlines will fly to wherver.
    • Real Talk (30/03/2012, 15:10) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Are you serious? You would want to be landing at TB Lettsome in that manner? You have got to be kidding!!! Incase you didn't know, there are insurance and regulatory requirements which bar certain aircraft from landing here. It is not just about the runway length, there are other factors involved which is why we cannot get larger commercial or private aircraft, even if the 'capability' to land on the strip is there.
      • Well Sah (30/03/2012, 22:10) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        @ Real talk So you are saying that not all airport have to have the same requlations and insurance requirements. I am positive that if a U. S. airlines is flying into that airport they had to meet all of the requirements of the FAA>
  • dog meat (30/03/2012, 15:38) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    just extend the dawn ting and tell the critics to go suck an egg
  • two cents (30/03/2012, 16:14) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I am a taxi driver and i for one is gung-hoo about the airport extension!!!! it is a must for the betterment of our people and our small two cents
  • taxpayer (30/03/2012, 16:52) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Now, Now, Now, just look how you peole are here massaging Kedrick's ego. Let the darn man enjoy himself. Sooner than later he will hit a stone wall which will deflate him.
  • tola (30/03/2012, 16:58) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The people of the bvi don't let the government do their jobs they always have something negative to say its like the people running the country not the government I see a need of a expansion of the air port
  • white flight (30/03/2012, 17:41) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    in the countries where these people come from who here opposing our run way expansion they could not get their own mother country (UK, USA) to not do bigger projects than this, now they come here trying to retard our progress...please!
    • LieStink (01/04/2012, 13:11) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      @whiteflight - You and your anti-outsider pals who writing on here - you sick in the head or what? You making out that people who are against this airport aren't worth listening to because they are white? Or because they 'not from here'? Or because, for some reason, you think they want to hold up the progress of the BVI? Who are these supposed opposition people? Some of the loudest are people from Trellis Bay whose business and livelihoods are threatened by the runway expansion. You SERIOUSLY saying they shouldn't raise any concerns when the govt. tells them there's a 'done deal' that looks like it will destroy their businesses? Seriously, you expect anyone - white, black or blue - to lie down and accept a government plan that will take away their livelihood? Would you? Of course not. Some of them in business there for 20, 30, even 40 years. They have families, they have futures. They have the right to respond in this case, and to be heard. From what I know, many white expat or local residents think the airport is a bad idea, but that's because it doesn't make sense in the context of the BVI tourism economy, which is based on its UNTOUCHED NATURE. The more our govts. fill in and destroy one piece of nature after another, the less of a quality tourism product these islands have. Considering the way the BVI markets itself using campaigns like 'Nature's Little Secrets' etc. is no wonder people raise concerns when the govts. keep destroying one piece of nature after the next. If the BVI pretends to care about its nature in front of the outside world, but actually destroys it, at some point the world will notice and the whole tourism product will collapse. Throw in a reputation for race-based hostility and you'll have a very quiet ariport indeed, no matter how long it is.
  • rodent (31/03/2012, 08:14) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    787 Super Jumbo Jet misses runway bounces off Marina Cay's restaurant and resort and crash lands on Scrub. The tourist are so excited that they book rooms on the 2 islands for years to come hoping to see another crash which the BVI's are getting famous for.
    • Tram (01/04/2012, 09:55) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      And what if the another superjet misses the runway in St. Thomas and bounces and crashes on the highway? You people chat so much nonsense that it is not even funny. The only "crash" I'm aware of in the BVI occurred many years when drug smugglers tried to illegally land a plane on Beef Island at night when the airport was closed. Also a propeller plane ended up in the sea during take-off because the pilot believed he was running out of runway space and tried to abort.
  • taxpayer (31/03/2012, 20:39) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Well, Well, look how we are here getting the bowels over a project which Pickering and a hand full of self serving advisors have sold to this Government. My people please, there must be something more productive and rewarding than this. Since this proposal will remain just that, a proposal, please get on with your lives and treat this as a bad dream.
  • Quiet Storm (31/03/2012, 22:51) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Great discussion on the pro and con of extending the runway. The big disappointment is that decision to extend the runway appear to be foregone conclusion. It was bad form to announce that the decision was already made. At least it was honest. Nonetheless, many of the commenters see extending the runway as a potential source of making a dollar. But we need to look at the total cost of extending the runway. The total cost is more than the $M that will be spent. There are environment degradation costs, as well as opportunity costs, things that may not be done. These things include the hospital,schools, roads and other critical infrastructure projects. We have limited resources so we need to address our needs before wants. Statistics show that the majority of tourists come sea. As such should not our focus be on marine facilities and ferries? We need to keep the discussion real. If option 6 is exercised it will adversely impact Trellis Bay. It is clear and a blind person can see that if the runway is extended 6000-7000 feet that it will encroach on the Trellis Bay footprint. Extending the runway entails more than the landing strip. It entails taxiways,parking aprons, and accident potential zones at the end of the runway. There appears to be strong belief that if the runway is extended that direct flight will automatically follow. Well, not neccessarily. From my faint memory from airline economic class, direct flights are predicated on much more than the length of the runway. A route is determine based on revenue per passenger mile(RPM), revenue per available seat mile(RASM), cost per available seat mile(CASM)......etc. The airline industry has large fix cost and needs strong and consistent passenger loading to at least breakeven. It selects and commits to routes that maximize available seat miles, number of seats times miles travel.
  • taxpayer (01/04/2012, 20:04) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    What is conspicuous here is Pickering is the only Minister present at these meetings and the Port Authority's staff is under stiff orders to attend or else. Dr. Smith needs to keep a little space between himself and this proposal as he would be the main object of criticism when the $hit hits the fan. Remember Fraser and the traffic lights at the round about? Doc. keep a safe distance.
    • ??????? (02/04/2012, 10:36) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      not sure I understand your point!
    • Diaspora (02/04/2012, 11:22) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Dr. Smith is the Premeir and leader of government business in the HOA and needs to take astrong stance on this project and others whether he is on board or not. He cannot and should not duck behind his more locquacious and outspoken ministers. The people needs to hear his position on issues and projects. Leadership comes with authority, responsibility, and accountability. Many think the extension is a done deal. If so the people need to know. And also needs to know how it will be paid and what other projects will not get done? Further, how the UK blessed this project as yet? What is the status of the road repiair and drainage loan from the CDB?

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