Virgin Gorda airport
The Taddy Bay International Airport on Virgin Gorda, above, was closed for maintenance on Aug. 29 with two days’ notice. It is slated to reopen Sept. 7. (File photo: GIS)

The Taddy Bay International Airport on Virgin Gorda closed Aug. 29 for its annual runway maintenance programme, and it is due to reopen Sept. 7, according to a press release issued by the BVI Airports Authority less than two full days before the closure.

The release — which the BVIAA sent the Beacon at 4:10 p.m. Aug. 27 and the government circulated Aug. 28 — stated that BVI Airports Authority Managing Director Kurt Menal was “urging travellers with confirmed tickets for travel during the period of closure to contact their respective airlines directly for information regarding their travel.”

Mr. Menal did not respond to a request for comment, but Darryl Flanders, the BVIAA’s acting director of operations, defended the BVIAA’s notice period.

“While the general public may have received the notice one day prior to closure, all airport operators and stakeholders were notified at least a week prior and all concerns raised were addressed,” Mr. Flanders told the Beacon in an email.

“Considering the peak of the hurricane season and the slowing down of the operational season for both the stakeholders and airlines operating in and out of Virgin Gorda, the timeframe was optimal.”

No bookings?

Despite Mr. Menal’s request for booked travellers to contact their airlines, Mr. Flanders denied on Aug. 29 that any bookings were scheduled during the period of the closure.

He also said that the closure and maintenance had been planned in advance.

“We have been observing the condition of the runway and initiating as many corrective measures as possible,” he wrote.

“Taking into consideration the season of airline operations and resorts, the decision was made to use this window to complete the rehabilitation in preparation for the upcoming peak season.”

In the press release, Mr. Menal encouraged anyone with questions or concerns about the closure to contact the BVIAA Operations Department at 394-8000 or