Bad Idea; Chinese Will Flood The BVI
BVI Platinum News | 16 Opinions
Published: January 09, 2017 1:19 pm AST
Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
Long time National Democratic Party (NDP) supporter, Bishop John Cline has scolded government over the move to go ahead with the development of the T.B. Lettsome International Airport at this time; a move he said will put the Territory in further debt.

Cline, who also holds the position of Chairman of the BVI Health Services Authority (BVISHA), said that the country's finances are not stable to undertake such a mammoth project. He also warned against the decision to choose a Chinese company to carry out the project, citing that the Chinese will flood the BVI.

"The airport project right now, I am not saying never, but right now, I mean it’s a bad idea. I mean, there are other ways that we can get traffic into the BVI and get a greater return for a lot less money; make visitors feel comfortable, treat them with care," he said on the radio.

He said that they need to fine tune immigration, customs and improve the sea port.

"If we improve the transportation from our neighboring islands, I think there is tremendous opportunity to think outside the box…instead of going to spend a $153M on an airport when our financial stability is not so sure...But if the advise is to put us into more debt at this time..."

Late last month, government announced that China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) was selected to carry out the expansion at $153,432,572.10.

Cline, who is known for his vocal views against the BiWater agreement under the former Virgin Islands Party (VIP) government, said that he supports a business case on the airport.

"But what I am saying in terms of where we are now financially, let us ensure first of all that we are more stable financially before we commit to another $153M, $200M, because we know there will be overruns. Flood the place with Chinese who will bring in their laborers, who want a village, working village, import everything," he lamented.

He asked that government be wise and not do the project just to please a few, while putting the country in jeopardy financially, "because the airport is not going to generate the kind of revenue that we need to pay that bill."

The businessman said that there are other countries such as Anguilla that does not have an international airport because they are focused on improving their infrastructure first, but are still finding ways to take care of their guests.

"They (tourists) go there...they take care of their guests in ways, not just big jets flying in. I don’t think that's something we need right now."

It is no secret that several government members had expressed concerns about the government moving forward with the project at this time, given the financial situation.

Extension of the runway from 4645 feet to about 7100 feet will allow current airline fleets (737-800 and Airbus 320) to fly directly to and from continental US and Latin America. The project is being done under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour, headed by Deputy Premier, Hon. Dr Kedrick Pickering.
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Readers' Opinion
16 Opinions | Post Your Opinion
Please note that the opinions posted are the opinions of its author and does not reflect the views of the management, staff, parent company or sponsors of Virgin Islands Platinum News.
Honestly | Report Abuse
I agree with Cline. This government of ours just like to spend money. There's servers other aspects of the Virgin Islands that needs to be fine tuned and fix and they looking to spend so much?? Y'all got to do better.

Best I stay where I is cause if that's what home looking like I... more
January 12 at 7:15pm | Like    Dislike
Concerned | Report Abuse
Bishop John Cline is 100% correct!! I have been saying this very thing for years and every time I speak I am told "it is a done deal, we little people have no say". Well I am here to tell you "big people" are starting to wonder, so get behind them. Support the rally against... more
January 10 at 7:20am | Like15 People like this.   Dislike2 People dislike this.
Help us Lord!!!! | Report Abuse
II Mr. Mr. Cline is right on target with his assessment of the airport, and Chinese.
Our little island will become flooded with Chinese. The Chinese are smart people, and will do anything to make a dollar, fake rice, cheap construction building material.
BVIs why are you sitting down and allowing... more
January 10 at 2:01am | Like10 People like this.   Dislike2 People dislike this.
Where will labour housing go? the extended healthcare for its workers? added school space for their families? added vehicles on the road? classes for cultural understanding? noise studies for aircraft descending over residents for landing? they are VERY loud and frequent already. FOCUS on... more
January 09 at 11:45pm | Like8 People like this.   Dislike
Even though I agree that the BVI cant afford to spend a lot of $$ but I see nothing wrong with hiring the Chinese to do the job if it needs to be done. Face reality here folk...if we use locals at the slow pace that I have witnessed here we would probably spend twice as much if not more in labor... more
January 09 at 8:02pm | Like6 People like this.   Dislike6 People dislike this.
the airport needs to happen. if not now then when? This argument is old and there is no better alternative being presented. We can no longer rely on outside means to get persons to our shores.
January 09 at 5:47pm | Like3 People like this.   Dislike23 People dislike this.
confused | Report Abuse
the 200000 BVI companies owned by chinese not a flood?
January 09 at 5:00pm | Like13 People like this.   Dislike7 People dislike this.
pastor u a big joke dr please move ahead
with that project
January 09 at 4:24pm | Like5 People like this.   Dislike34 People dislike this.
Bvigurl | Report Abuse
Totally agree with you Bishop Cline. It seems like the decisions being made are not fully thought through, with the interest of keeping the BVI the BVI. It's always about money spending. Customer Service on the ferries and in businesses need a 360 turnaround. Tourism is important so why... more
January 09 at 3:01pm | Like30 People like this.   Dislike6 People dislike this.
Truth | Report Abuse
Good point Pastor Clyne
January 09 at 2:37pm | Like21 People like this.   Dislike10 People dislike this.
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