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VIP Gov't scrapping NDP’s 'unfair' $5 Airport Development Fee

- Premier Andrew A. Fahie says citizens were unfairly ‘paying for mismanagement’
Airport Passengers were being taxed to finance development works at the T.B Lettsome Airport. Photo: VINO/File
Signage at the airport outlining the fee including Security and Departure Tax. Photo: Team of Reporters/File
Signage at the airport outlining the fee including Security and Departure Tax. Photo: Team of Reporters/File
Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) has announced that the $5 Inter-Island Airport Development Fee (ADF), which forces domestic passengers to pay for development works at the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport on Beef Island, will soon be disbanded. Photo: GIS/File
Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) has announced that the $5 Inter-Island Airport Development Fee (ADF), which forces domestic passengers to pay for development works at the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport on Beef Island, will soon be disbanded. Photo: GIS/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – In May 2019, Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) contributing columnist, Ms Lorna M. George had complained to our newsroom that even as the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) was now at the helm of the Government, citizens were still being forced to pay a confusing and exorbitant tax imposed by the former Administration on domestic travels.

Implemented by the National Democratic Party (NDP), just days before being ousted from office in 2019, the $5 Inter-Island Airport Development Fee (ADF), forced domestic passengers to pay for development works at the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport on Beef Island; however, according to Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) the fee will soon be disbanded.

The Premier made the announcement during his presentation at the Monday, July 16, 2019, Fifth Sitting of the First Session of the Fourth House of Assembly (HoA) in Road Town, Tortola, where he noted that the recommendation to remove the fee came from the new British Virgin Islands Airports Authority (BVIAA) Board.

Citizens under pressure

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 ADF, bringing the fee to $30 for International travel with the domestic fees set at a standard $5.

Ms George in her complaints to this news website pointed to an instance on April 7, 2019, where a party of 9 persons were traveling 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”

“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,” she said. 

Calling the initiative a ‘burden,’ Premier Fahie said, “This is a perfect example… what happens when [the] government doesn’t do its work, then our regular citizens, our hard-working citizen’s, end up having to be paying for mismanagement.”

The Premier further pointed out that the new board in recognising the plight of passengers, has moved to take action against the NDP implemented tax, charged to persons traveling to and from the sister islands of Anegada and Virgin Gorda.

New Board taking action

“It is the view of the Board that this fee [ADR] 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,” Premier Fahie underscored. 

Ms Georged told our newsroom in May, “If VIP cannot correct the injustices done to the BVI by the NDP, then they are just as corrupt.”

The Premier in his announcement revealed that the fee would be scrapped for travels to and from Virgin Gorda and Anagdia given the circumstances, “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.”

4 Responses to “VIP Gov't scrapping NDP’s 'unfair' $5 Airport Development Fee”

  • anegada (18/07/2019, 12:22) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Thanks for listening to the people. I agree we should not have to bear the burden for mismanagement, not a cent.
  • tola (18/07/2019, 14:57) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Wonderful When you have a minister that's listen to what the people's what that bloody good counting with the great works and there will be no more NDP in many years to come
  • Jordana (18/07/2019, 16:00) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Min. Fahie, May God Richly Bless you and your team..
  • RedStorm (19/07/2019, 20:51) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply

    So the people were paying airport exit fee, while they were not leaving the British Virgin Islands? Eh eh, that’s a lot ah five dollars. NDP need to give back those money.


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