TB Lettsome airport departure tax scrapped, payments now in airline tickets
This information was confirmed by Managing Director of the BVI Airports Authority (BVIAA) Denniston S. Fraser MBA, LLB. The Authority, which falls under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour, is responsible for all three airports in the Virgin Islands.
Mr Fraser confirmed this information while testifying before the House of Assembly’s Standing Finance Committee while his agency was making a presentation on the 2017 Budget. He told the body that “payment of departure tax was now included in the tickets to facilitate passengers ease of travel.”
In an exclusive interview with our newsroom, Mr Fraser further confirmed that this scrapping of departure tax payment at the airport booth was put in place from last year around September 24, 2016, but went into effect from November 1, 2016 giving it time to kick in.
Tickets after Nov 1, includes airport departure tax
It means going forward from November 1, 2016 according to the Managing Director, all tickets purchased for travel will include the department tax already paid for in tickets, therefore no one will have to pay at the booth. He further stated that if there were tickets purchased before September 24, 2016 then those persons will be required to pay their departure tax of $20.00 at the airport booth.
The $20.00 departure tax is broken down into $5.00 for airport security and $15.00 for the BVIAA.
When asked, if the booth will be closed eventually and staff laid off, Mr Fraser said “no.” He stated “the staff will be used as information resource for questions, along with persons having issues with the parking machine and the parking lot.” However, he told our newsroom this move was part of the BVIAA's “cost saving measures.”
The only passengers who will be required to pay are those who are traveling on private flights "or if traveling on an airline with whom we have no agreement or is not associated with IATA," Mr Fraser added.
The departure tax collected through the tickets is facilitated via the International Air Transport Association (IATA).