The Taddy Bay Airport on Virgin Gorda (VG) was officially re-opened today, November 23, after being closed for some time.
The first flight into the airport was from the airline Tradewinds, which flew in from the T. B. Lettsome International Airport on Beef Island for the opening.
The aircraft was also given a water salute by the firefighters on duty.
Addressing attendees at the Virgin Gorda based airport, Premier and Minister for Finance Hon. Andrew Fahie said: “Today, tears came in my eyes when I saw the plane land because I know this one was God alone. Today is such a glorious day in the Virgin Islands. It is with great joy that we are here.”
Not For Show
The Premier explained that the reason for the reopening ceremony was not for the pomp only.
“Why have we done this? it is not for the show and don’t let anyone fool you, I like my ceremonies because when they criticize you, you hear a lot of laughter, when they criticized the government you hear laughter, so if they are going to take care of the laughter we are going to publicize the joy of God.”
He continued: “It’s not about picture taking, but about being purpose-driven and those who work with me know when you tell me you can’t, only then we pushing ahead, we can and a country that has seen so much challenges, we sometimes we forget the challenges we face!”
The Minister for Finance said, with so many high demands and limited resources, “sometimes it is easy to want to give up and we know if we continue to persevere one day our plane will land and today with great joy we watch a single-engine plane that we were told would never come into Virgin Gorda has landed.”
He also commended the teams who worked on the airport to make it ready for the re-opening.
“What has been created is more opportunity for the people of Virgin Gorda, more jobs for the people of Virgin Gorda, more money in your pocket to be able to feed your family. People coming from Anguilla, St. Martin, Puerto Rico… and landing! The first flight is a commercial flight is already scheduled I think for the 17th of December unless they changed the date, I think it's Cape Air, landing here with passengers and many more flights to come from many more airlines,” he said.
Ninth District Representative and Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration Hon. Vincent Wheatley was also pleased with the re-opening.
“It is indeed a glorious day, to God I give all the glory. This reopening here is an incredible deal because it means a lot to the island of Virgin Gorda.”
“So persons who have medical issues who would have to go to Tortola, imagine three minutes to half an hour on a boat, so this could possibly save a life! Or if you have to go to St. Thomas, or it’s about half an hour to Puerto Rico. That is significant. So not only are we going to get tourists in, but persons can travel for medical reasons you too would have another option,” he stated.
The Minister was also on the first flight in, carrying his Thanksgiving turkey in hand.