Requesting More Consultancy Services For Airport Expansion Is “Stupidness” – Skelton-Cline
By Esther Durand, Journalist
Updated 6:59 AM AST, Wed Jan 12, 2022
(PLTM) - Former Government Consultant, Mr. Claude Skelton-Cline has bemoaned that it is a continued waste of resources that the Government is going back to the proverbial drawing board with the much-talked-about T.B. Lettsome International Airport upgrade.
The matter was also recently raised by Fourth District Representative, Hon. Mark Vanterpool, who said based on the Mid-Term Fiscal Plan (MTFP), the project is heading back to the preparatory phase, which means that the project would be delayed for the next few years again.
Addressing the issue via his platform, Honestly Speaking, Skelton-Cline said, “I noticed that the Recovery and Development Agency issued a Request for Expression of Interest for consultancy services for route development and traffic forecast for the T.B. Lettsome International Airport. You hear stupidness?”
He continued: “The last time in the House about four or five years ago when a question was put to the then Minister, Dr. Kedrick Pickering, who was responsible for airports, regarding what monies had been spent in the development of the airport, at that time it was $10 Million going north under the then Government. That airport has been studied, and studied, lengthening, redirecting, planes – American, Delta, JetBlue, you name. It’s been studied upside and down, the pancake been flipped to the left, flipped to the right, flipped on the side, the pancake been left wanting to be burnt, the pancake been burnt, you name it.”
Waste of Resources
The former Consultant said undertaking these consultancy services at this stage is a waste of money.
“You mean to tell me to this day we still here talking about engaging consultancy services for route development and traffic forecast? You know what that tells me? That tells me with all this talk, we don’t intend to build no airport! It tells me that we ain't serious! It tells me that we ain't satisfied with the multi-millions of dollars already spent and we haven’t had one move at the airport, and here we are again talking about engaging consultancy.”
He added: “Now let’s be honest, the Government don’t have no money! The then Government didn’t have no money, this Government don’t have no money and the next Government, if this one continues, ain't going to have no money. You don’t spend your own money to build no airport! You don’t go borrow $200 million to go build no airport! Governments are not in the airport business; that airport needs to finally go out for a request for proposal for finance, design, build and operate. Use other people’s money to develop that airport; make some concessions that will benefit and advance your country on behalf of your people! Stop monkeying around and stop arguing between this party and that party…that is all nonsense!”
He said the BVI is at a loss and will only be worse off the longer the airport expansion remains in limbo.
“The question is not should we build an airport, we need an airport to enhance and expand the tourism product, for national security reasons, for a multiplicity of reasons we need to lengthen the airport and we need the airport to be financed, designed, built and operated by the private sector, not Government.”
He said this matter has been prolonged for too long. “Go take the studies off the shelf, dust them off and let’s glean from the best and let's go do what we gotta do.”
According to Hon. Vanterpool, based on the MTFP, the territory is hoping to finalize the debt strategy in 2022 and will be seeking loan financing for $143 million for the airport development.
---- Copyright 2022 by Virgin Islands Platinum News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Please note that the opinions posted are the opinions of its author and does not in any way reflect the views of the management, staff, parent company or sponsors of Virgin Islands Platinum News.
@Our Leaders Our Problems, When you do business with China they own you, look at all the independent Caribbean islands than China has big investments in ask the leaders to tell you how that's working out for them, China doesn't make investments unless they are the ones that will come out on top.
To me, this is truly the very first thing that you have ever spoken about that actually makes perfect sense Mr. CSK, and I don't say this lightly. Keep this up and we may actually forgive and forget all of the other crazy stuff. Happy 2022.
This is an article that was on another media this morning.
August 2027 is Independence Day in this country’- Skelton-Cline reiterates
- Clergyman added that decisions made in 2022 will guide VI’s future for the next 8 years.
First of all, with the entire BS, the VIP government is doing with the tourist industry and taxing us to death that gives us an idea of what will happen to us if we were to go independent. People like you and Andrew Fahie want independence so you have no one to answer to. If the BVI were to go independent the trust companies will be gone the VIP is killing the Tourist industry, the taxes will be so high only the rich will be able to live in the BVI. A few days ago I picked up 2 pears and some Broccoli cost over $10.00 an independence BVI that would cost $30.00, it won't be long before we will be in the hands of China, most of the people don't want independence, and it's up to the people, not you and Andrew Fahie and whoever else is pushing it. You guys are like kids who can't have their own way in their parent's house so they want to leave and when they do they find out how hard things are.
I agree with you Claude. None of these jokers are serious. Talk, talk. Consult, consult!! And we have paid for how many studies and consultancies now?!! With nothing to show. Both Governments have been the real pits. Set of jokers!
Just this once, I agree with CSC. While it pains me to say those words, the man is spot in in this instance.
For heaven's sake stop talking about the airport and just crack on with it! "the BVI is at a loss and will only be worse off the longer the airport expansion remains in limbo".
It does not take a genius to figure out that we would get more casual, exploratory and short term visitors if we made it easier for them to get here. Right now, people come here because they want to come, not because it is easy. We are losing out on a HUGE section of the market. Ease of access = increased traffic. Why would I pay through the teeth and suffer the hassle of getting here for sand and sea when I can get that in any of a number of other destinations, who by the way also have better hotel facilities? Let us also not ignore our population who need the ease of travel for work and pleasure and the income that brings.
Come on now! STOP THE TALK and GET THIS DONE!
Agree 100% But you all are the same one when China made a reasonable offer to build the Airport with their own funds with some management responsibilities I remember most of you all were against. We would have already have our Airport. So China took their proposal to Bahamas and built not just an Airport but a 5 Star Hotel lots of Bahamian were against the idea, the Bahamas Govt stand firm. Now they are the #1 tourism destination in the world with the New Hotel and the Airport hiring more than 1000 Bahamian. U don't hear the noise no more....These leaders we have in this country like to surrender and throw up their hands whenever they come up against opposition. No matter what you do and How right you are there will always be opposition. Some people are programme to opposed...