Press Release

Ministry of Communications and Works
Release Date:
Tuesday, 22 August 2023 - 12:37pm

Stakeholders and a diverse group of industry partners from a wide cross-section of the public service and the private sector, the tourism and hospitality industry, gathered to share ideas and discuss the potential expansion of the Terrence B. Lettsome International Airport on Friday 18th August.

The visioning meeting was chaired by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications and Works, Mrs. Elvia Smith-Maduro, who presented a timeline on the previous attempts to commence the airport expansion project, outlining the various roadblocks along the way.

Progressing forward upon the directive of the Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Dr. Natalio Wheatley, the Ministry is undergoing the process with engagement with stakeholders and various industry partners to ensure that the Terrence B. International Airport expansion can be executed in a way that takes into account as many factors as possible.

Premier Wheatley thanked the Minister for Communications and Works, Honourable Kye Rymer and his team for their efforts in planning and executing the visioning exercise as well as stressed the importance of investing in the Virgin Islands’ tourism product. He said, “When we look to the expansion of our economy, we have to look towards tourism, and certainly this government and whenever I have the opportunity, I speak to the fact that we have to develop tourism and invest more in tourism.”

He added, “It is ultimately going to be our efforts. The efforts of ourselves which will lead to the expansion and strengthening of our tourism product and economy overall. So we cannot take a passive approach that if they want to come they will come. We have to put ourselves in the best possible position for our economy to grow and to develop. One of the major things that our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will thank us for is expanding this runway.”

Honourable Rymer thanked the stakeholders and industry partners for attending the visioning meeting and stated that his ministry is well underway in contacting the relevant authorities that will be crucial in the expansion of the airport.

He said, “I know these conversations wouldn't be the first for some of you. But after being given the mandate of extending the runway publicly, I thought it was important that we have this dialogue and engage the stakeholders on how to move forward with the airport expansion. Within the ministry, I want to acknowledge the Permanent Secretary as well and all the work that she has started doing in terms of this airport expansion. We have already engaged the Attorney General's chambers and other stakeholders in terms of moving this project forward. But it's time for us to get to the wider populace so that we can further these discussions.”

The Ministry of Communications and Works continues to ensure the continued development and maintenance of public infrastructure in keeping with international standards so that the infrastructures are in support of an enhanced community life for every resident and visitor in the Virgin Islands.


Paul Bridgewater

Information Officer I (Ag.)
Department of Information and Public Relations