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UPDATE: Control tower strike ends, VI airports resume full operation

May 27th, 2023 | Tags: strike airport BVIAA increments staff closure
The BVI Airports Authority (BVIAA) has announced that airports in the territory have resumed normal operations effective today, Saturday, May 27, 2023, at 7:00 a.m, following a brief closure yesterday at the T.B. Lettsome International Airport. Photo: BVIAA
Sources at the senior level of the BVI Airports Authority (BVIPA) have told our new centre that air traffic controllers have taken industrial actions, forcing the airport to close. Photo: VINO/File
Sources at the senior level of the BVI Airports Authority (BVIPA) have told our new centre that air traffic controllers have taken industrial actions, forcing the airport to close. Photo: VINO/File
TRELLIS BAY, Beef Island, VI- The BVI Airports Authority (BVIAA) has announced that airports in the territory have resumed normal operations effective today, Saturday, May 27, 2023, at 7:00 a.m, following a brief closure yesterday at the T.B. Lettsome International Airport.

This comes after work at the control tower was yesterday, Friday, May 26, 2023, brought to a halt with the authority issuing a press release saying the airport has been temporarily closed due to an "operational issue at the Control Tower". 

Managing Director Mr. Kurt Menal in a press release, today said the airport was forced to close after the authority could not satisfy the minimum requirement in staffing levels to ensure continuous operations of the control tower in accordance with applicable regulations. 

Operational contingency plan went into action 

Mr. Menal added that upon realizing that the authority was unable to satisfy this requirement, yesterday, the management and operations teams immediately met to develop an operational contingency plan to allow operations to continue which was only possible through 1:00 pm on Friday.

Chairman of the Board of Directors Mr. Theodore E. Burke in apologizing for the inconvenience caused said that upon being informed of the imminent closure of the airports, the board of directors immediately convened an emergency meeting to reassure the management team that the board is fully committed to supporting any and all efforts to return the airport to fully operational status.

He added that the board of directors ware mindful and understands the national importance of the airport to the territory and recognizes that many business operations, family plans, and lives would have been affected during the temporary closure.

See previous story publishes yesterday, May 26, 2023

TB Lettsome International Airport closed due to staff strike

- employees allegedly demanding overdue increments 

TRELLIS BAY, Beef Island, VI- Sources at the senior level of the BVI Airports Authority (BVIPA) have told our new centre that air traffic controllers have taken industrial actions, forcing the airport to close. 

This industrial action was taken sometime today, Friday May 26, 2023.

It is unclear what the real issues are, but it may be surrounding pay and being short staffed. Reports are that the staff are demanding their increments.

The BVI Airports Authority issued a press release saying the airport has been temporarily closed due to an "operational issue at the Control Tower".

Regrettably, it comes on the heels of the hype yesterday when there was a test flight by American Eagle.

We will bring you more details as they become available.

62 Responses to “UPDATE: Control tower strike ends, VI airports resume full operation”

  • The watchdog (26/05/2023, 15:39) Like (15) Dislike (42) Reply
    They trying to kill kye and the vip
    • Message to Kye and Natalio (26/05/2023, 16:45) Like (11) Dislike (22) Reply
      REMOVE that green cloth from on the lamppost across from The New View Inn near Huntums Ghut.

      Why is it the only one of those witchcraft cloths left and District Rep passing it almost every day?????

      REMOVE IT!!!!
    • @Watchdog (26/05/2023, 17:01) Like (12) Dislike (5) Reply
    • stand (26/05/2023, 21:02) Like (26) Dislike (20) Reply
      I stand with you the staff at the TB Lettsome airport. Stand for your rights. Sick of this show and tell, crocodile tears and anansi lying government. They care nothing about the people. Give back the greedy bill money and pay the hard working people of the virgin islands. To all the people who voted for these imbeciles just because you got an envelope, tek what you get. Evil is evil! It has to stop NOW!!! Stand strong. Where the laba lip primer and his negotiator the snake. Which corner she in now. And where is Kye? Steeuupps.
    • NezRez (26/05/2023, 21:03) Like (25) Dislike (30) Reply
      So how long will the airport be closed because of these IDIOTS? This is totally unacceptable, new people need to be trained and fire the ones who stopped the air flights from coming in and out. UNACCETABLE! These disagreements should be met at meetings and solved. Never should an airport have only minimum trained staff and be stopped by peons.
      • @NezRez (28/05/2023, 18:34) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
        And when the new one get hire and not being paid or treating like dog and them walk off the job too. Then what will you say them need to fired n hire again. These people working hard for the money to get promise about raise and money that is own yo them to see new government ride getting buy and you walking.
      • Hmm (30/05/2023, 16:57) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        This why the ignorant will forever remain ignorant. No industrial action took place but yall always have more to say and know less than the cockroach running round in your cupboards. If ppl sick them sick plain and simple. Yearsssssssssss them ppl been complaining bout working conditions (mold), poor pay, equipment not working. Everyday yall expect the ppl to work miracles out them a$$ and provide an essential service to you ungrateful lot. I swear if they didnt have families to support airport woulda close lonnnngggg time. Working for peanuts and this is the thanks they get. damn shame. When ppl finally get sick of up there and resign that shoulda been a wake up call. Controllers are readily available to come work but not for the piss poor salary that airport offering. Yall need to do better.
  • RealPol (26/05/2023, 15:40) Like (34) Dislike (20) Reply
    Are not traffic control an essential service? Fire them as Regan dud in America.
    • alicia (26/05/2023, 16:36) Like (41) Dislike (19) Reply
      Nice job idiots. This country finally gets something positive with the American flight and you pull this ? I am sure the American bosses are re-considering their decision to come here.
      • Hmmmm (27/05/2023, 10:10) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
        You sure! You talked to them?
      • @alicia (27/05/2023, 11:45) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
        It’s because of the new flights that they’re striking. They know they demand a pay increase because they know that the government can’t afford to mess up the new flight route. They can hold their employers to ransom.
    • controversial (26/05/2023, 17:43) Like (20) Dislike (1) Reply
      And replace them with whom?
      • dolphin (29/05/2023, 09:34) Like (0) Dislike (3) Reply
        I'm sure one or two black American controllers would gladly relocate here on a yearly contract. One or two contracts would be a message to the idiots here who went on strike.
        • can they afford them? (30/05/2023, 17:00) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
          American wages for controllers are 100k plus. which of those Black americans gon come down here for 1/4 of that? hmmmm I'll wait
    • Miami Bvi (26/05/2023, 19:53) Like (15) Dislike (10) Reply
      So you have replacement air traffic controllers to go to work tomorrow momo?
      Pay the people their money, and their wouldn’t be a strike. You think this is the 7 million plane money??
      Wasting money, but won’t pay people their hard earned salary, is asking for things like this and more.
  • No winner (26/05/2023, 15:40) Like (52) Dislike (3) Reply
    Those who traveling have to suffer SMH
  • Really (26/05/2023, 15:43) Like (37) Dislike (15) Reply
    so these people decided to stop the people who pay their wages and by that i mean the people that all fly in and out on a Friday for sailing vacations because they spit the dummy out the pram and want more money? Pure greed and selfeshness , why not talk about it amicably, if it been going on for so long, why not strike in September? You all know the answer
    • To Really (26/05/2023, 16:47) Like (30) Dislike (5) Reply
      Proactive leadership could have avoided all this but sometimes the heads take the little man for granted and think they have no choice but accept what is dished out to them and their family.
  • JohnWayneGacy (26/05/2023, 15:54) Like (35) Dislike (37) Reply
    This is irresponsible. They should be fired. All of them. The government said they will pay increments. Wait your darn turn.
    • Really (26/05/2023, 16:14) Like (27) Dislike (7) Reply
      Fired? Where you going get controllers I. A heartbeat?
    • be quiet (26/05/2023, 16:31) Like (34) Dislike (8) Reply
      When folk like you don't know what going on you blog all kinda piss to feel important. We will wait our dam turn as you say, and hope when you got to work under all kind of freak conditions you will wait your turn too. Sometimes it is only a certain level of spoke people understand. If it was done in September you would have still had something to say. This shoulda go down yesterday. Let the world know that BVI leaders and administrators not who they claim to be. all talk
  • Testing (26/05/2023, 16:06) Like (21) Dislike (20) Reply
    most of those workers have no real social interest in BVI other than dollars & cents so disrupting a crucial service means nothing
  • WOW (26/05/2023, 16:13) Like (24) Dislike (14) Reply
    • BS (26/05/2023, 19:42) Like (15) Dislike (6) Reply
      Nope not held hostage. If they want they can charter a plane to VG or Anegada or go in STT and take the ferry. No one is forcing them to remain where they are.
  • madam speaker (26/05/2023, 16:15) Like (26) Dislike (38) Reply
    Give them what they need ! This is foolishness. This is a very high risk job or to late shall be the cry! DO BETTER VIP!!!
  • Lb (26/05/2023, 16:18) Like (44) Dislike (21) Reply
    These folks have been suffering for decades and no one has been listening to them or fighting for them. They could have done the strike yesterday but waited so as to not kill the vibes. But they had enough. They are so critical but can hardly pay their bills or send their kids to college. No one fighting on their behalf. They finally stand up for themselves and you selfish bloggers can only think of yourselves? Kudos to the air officers for finally taking a stand.
    • Exactly!!! (26/05/2023, 17:23) Like (34) Dislike (5) Reply
      Selfish *** inconsiderate bloggers!!! It’s not them so they could care less but when the teachers did it it’s no problem, I can’t even believe you guys siding with everybody but ATC, they have been through a lot, even security but ATC hold a tight lip for too long, actually I’m shock they didn’t do worst with nonesense they have endured , why you think it’s short staff? Because people can’t do better, no it’s because management turn airport into a hell hole and people left, why you think staff keep leaving airport? Because it’s amazing? Hell no it’s horrible.
  • Hmmmm (26/05/2023, 16:20) Like (24) Dislike (5) Reply
    Who feels it knows it. Everyone has a right to defend their interest. We looking on don't know the issues.
  • SHAME (26/05/2023, 16:22) Like (5) Dislike (20) Reply
    • Sick (26/05/2023, 17:23) Like (28) Dislike (3) Reply
      If a man say he sick he he sick I could be sick of work or sick of the pay sick people people are allowed to call in sick I don't see the problem.. the firemen an security need do the same thing next week... an you can't fire them cause they didn't break any laws... this should have been done years ago
    • Shame what (26/05/2023, 17:34) Like (35) Dislike (2) Reply
      If your “kids” were in UK when they had train strikes and couldn’t make it to their flights at Gatwick and Heathrow who would you seek legal counsel with . Shut up . Workers here are underpaid and under appreciated. All workers need to revolt until better is done. Point blank
      So shut it
  • Winky (26/05/2023, 16:30) Like (11) Dislike (28) Reply
    Fire them ! Selfish and outrageous !!!
  • KM (26/05/2023, 16:43) Like (14) Dislike (3) Reply
    We have nothing to lose but our chains!
  • Hmmmm (26/05/2023, 16:45) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Not good
  • smh (26/05/2023, 16:46) Like (18) Dislike (0) Reply
    Everyone has the right to fight for themselves. Everyone wants more money and some get it while others done. Fisherfolks and farmers got theirs in COVID while others got their salaries cut. It takes about 6 months to train a controller and then that person must pass a test by the UK Regulators. Everyone wants and no one want to give. SMH.
  • Finally (26/05/2023, 16:52) Like (25) Dislike (2) Reply
    The BVI is awake after all these years. Now you see the need for a trade union here. We are the only place without a union to debate our issues ant this would not of reach so far.
  • @ testing (26/05/2023, 16:56) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    Once you are a worker, it is about dollars and cents. Nothing else. Once the dollars and cents show up. Things including social stuff will happen, not the other way around.
  • Hmm (26/05/2023, 16:59) Like (13) Dislike (21) Reply
    They should all get fired because I think the governor say payments might start in June please correct me if I'm wrong.
  • Hmm (26/05/2023, 17:03) Like (7) Dislike (21) Reply
    The government should just bring a temporary team from St. Thomas or Puerto Rico or somewhere close by and let the airport be operational.
  • smh (26/05/2023, 17:07) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    The best air traffic controller that ever stepped foot up there was Mr.Penn.....R.I.P
  • #@@ (26/05/2023, 17:12) Like (12) Dislike (18) Reply
    So, when things was about to get a little better, this is you guys best move. This is not only going to hurt the Government but the people of the BVI. This should have been more business,. Let's just hope that this does not damage our International reputation or this signed agreement with the direct flights. Who should we blame if this happens?
    • reality (26/05/2023, 20:56) Like (30) Dislike (1) Reply
      You should blame the government for not running the airport properly. Staffing comes first; focus on the essential positions.

      The government is quick to add ministries with countless ministers, deputy ministers, permanent secretaries, deputy permanent secretaries, assistants to the deputies, etc. They're all well paid. No one would even notice if they were gone!

      But the skilled technical positions get short shrift. Not much seems to come of the salary reviews and countless consultants.

  • lol (26/05/2023, 17:25) Like (17) Dislike (1) Reply
    HLSCC ayuh pay attention ayuh coward backside. Working ayuh for decades and Not decent salary.
  • ... (26/05/2023, 17:46) Like (12) Dislike (15) Reply
    So just b/c the AA test flight was positive y'all now want to spoil yourselves with a strike. What a special set...the AA flights will bring in the same $$$ that can pay everybody more
  • justice (26/05/2023, 17:52) Like (28) Dislike (4) Reply
    Next time let us at electricity and water know we will strike with you also
    • @justice (26/05/2023, 20:43) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
      What water have to do with this. The whole of water system backward lol. Imagine they don't know if you pay your bills three years ago unless you have a receipt
  • HMMM (26/05/2023, 17:58) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
  • goat (26/05/2023, 18:25) Like (5) Dislike (4) Reply
    Menal needs to go gurvin and the two trainers
  • Stand up! (26/05/2023, 18:32) Like (21) Dislike (0) Reply
    To those on the outside who is being judgmental, you have your opinion and we are living in a country where freedom of speech is free. However, these people have been fighting for years and no one looking out for them. Poor working conditions, disrespect, amongst other issues. Do you think that that it is right to be working for an organisation for 5 to 15 years and cannot even take home $1000 good but the bigger one them taking home $3000 to $5000 biweekly. These people have rent to pay mouth to feed. However, modern slavery is at it best in this place. I could talk because I was a former employee and had to leave because of said issues and to be working for an organisation that only concern about the top was having an effect on my mental health. The next department to strike is Fire then Security, yeah, yeah I worked there for 14 years and we were managed better under Civil Aviation, those expats have courage may God bless and keep them but me being a local I just had enough.
  • Strike (26/05/2023, 18:37) Like (22) Dislike (1) Reply
    The whole point of a strike is to cause chaos, make things uncomfortable and force upper echelons to listen. Yes, some may suffer because of the strike, but how long have they been suffering in that work environment? They finally decided to do something about it and it’s an issue. Instead of saying fire them etc, stop and ask what would make them do this
  • UK (26/05/2023, 18:42) Like (4) Dislike (10) Reply
    huh...we all say we hate the uk, we want to separate from the UK, we dont want to be controlled by the UK.......yet here we are, becoming just like the UK.....Strike strike strike, pick the moment when it will hurt most.
    they should have warned publically of their strike intentions, with a deadline, and then do it. I sympathise for their reasons for doing the strike, but the way it has been done is grossly irrisponsible
  • The Reaper (26/05/2023, 18:55) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Guess My people from the Caribbean country feel the pressure…….????????
  • goat mouth (26/05/2023, 19:25) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    “All that happens in the dark must come to light”….. wa ayo dont know is that alotta them big heads and leaders in tha whole authority is a setta crook and all of them just position hungry and dont like to take on the responsibilities that comin with these positions up there the staff them dem dont have no motivation, no leader to lead them, nothing to motivate them to walk into tha airport every day cause them lil 2 cents them paying definitely aint doing it

    But thats just the way it is the staff have to deal with it because the have kids to feed and responsibilities but really and truly there are no leaders to lead just a set of position hungry bastards who have no interest in taking the responsibility the are getting paid to take

    ps. i only talking wa i know cause the amount of incidents ii heard that are still unanswered and left in the dark because leaders refuse to take responsibility is just sad to see.
  • Think About It. (26/05/2023, 19:47) Like (6) Dislike (16) Reply
    Wow, Airtraffic controllers holding our country hostage by shutting down our airports. I think this sound like a tourist plot to me and the military need to come in at once. In most places this will be a National Threat, the disrupting of day-to-day activities like food, medicine, and passengers into the country. The Governor and the government have to take note. No one group, or persons should be able to do this to any country.
    Wow this cannot be taken lightly at all.
    Something have to be done so it doesn't happen again in the future.
  • Equalizer (26/05/2023, 20:37) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    Its sbout time to unionize
  • Roberto (26/05/2023, 20:58) Like (10) Dislike (19) Reply
    Nobody forced them to take this job. If they think they aren’t being paid enough quit and get another one. Missed my flight today and haven’t seen my family in over a year - who knows when I will see them now. Lost thousands of dollars on flights / hotels.
  • Norris Turnbull (27/05/2023, 06:36) Like (6) Dislike (4) Reply
    Swell. One time I saw Ronald Reagan fired all air traffic controllers and replace their asses with trainees and experienced people. No time for fooling around. The government said they will pay increments. Hold them accountable.
  • Ratty (27/05/2023, 07:12) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    Great job this shows them bigger heads who run the show the small man does everyday the keep piling on more work while they collect bigger pay and convince the small man to work hard and be thankful you have a job this got to stop
  • Ummmm (27/05/2023, 07:39) Like (3) Dislike (8) Reply
    They have already lost their jobs, but just don’t no it yet!!

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