U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS — Governor Albert Bryan Jr. commended the Virgin Islands Port Authority (VIPA) and Executive Director Carlton Dowe for their successful Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process that resulted in eight respondents, four of whom were put on the short list to potentially modernize, manage and maintain the Territory’s airports under a public-private partnership (P3) with the Government of the Virgin Islands (GVI).
“Upgrading our airports to be on par with those on the mainland has been something we in the Territory have wanted and needed for a long time. I congratulate ED Dowe and VIPA for keeping the process of finding a private entity to modernize and manage both of our airports in a P3 agreement on schedule,” Governor Bryan said. “I have said many times that the Virgin Islands is on the move with the many, many projects underway, and the response to the Port Authority’s RFQ process shows that the rest of the world knows we’re on the move, too.”
The Port Authority is working to identify a private company that will invest in the Territory’s airports and make major improvements to them, including installing skyways, upgrading the terminals and adding other much-needed improvements. Under a P3 agreement with the GVI, the winning bidder would manage and operate all facets of King Airport on St. Thomas and Rohlsen Airport on St. Croix while the GVI maintains ownership of the airport properties and remains as the Federal Aviation Authority certificate holder, which allows the Port Authority to maintain its eligibility to receive FAA grants.
The Port Authority will issue a Request for Proposals to the companies on the short-list in June, and Executive Director Dowe said he expects to be able to recommend a preferred company to the Port Authority board in January 2024.
“As the Bryan-Roach Administration continues its nonstop initiative of enhancing the USVI’s Tourism offerings to enhance visitors’ experience, upgrading our airports is a key component of that initiative’s success,” Governor Bryan said. “Of equal importance, are the benefits to our residents, who will experience a heightened level of convenience and efficiency whenever they travel off-island.”
The Bryan-Roach Administration is investing in the Territory’s people, infrastructure and future through transparency, stabilizing the economy, restoring trust in the government and ensuring that recovery projects are completed as quickly as possible. Visit transparency.vi.gov