BTA CEO Kevin Dallas On Need For New Airport

January 30, 2017

“Bermuda requires a partner with deep relationships with airlines and a track record of successful route development to work alongside our existing team,” according to Bermuda Tourism Authority CEO Kevin Dallas.

Mr. Dallas said, “First impressions matter, and there is no denying that the current facilities at LF Wade International Airport set the wrong first impression. We welcome visitors, including a rising number of first time visitors, through a gateway that does not reflect our status as a first-world country and destination.

“Bermudians are a rightfully proud people and our current airport sends a message to our visitors, potential investors and our friends and families that is incompatible with who we are and how we see ourselves. They, and we, deserve better.

“At the Bermuda Tourism Authority [BTA] we have a bold vision for the future of Bermuda that we believe all Bermudians can and should rally around. We see the continuous growth in visitor arrivals during 2016 as the start of something big – as our Chairman David Dodwell wrote recently, “the buzz is back” – but sustaining our momentum requires continuous ongoing investment.

“Sustained growth in tourism will create new jobs in hotels, retail and hospitality-related services. Those jobs and the money spent locally by more visitors will generate additional income for Bermudian families, dues for our unions, and revenue for the Bermuda Government, which can reduce our debt and be redirected to the services our community sorely needs – a better education system for our children, better care for our seniors.

Kevin Dallas TC Bermuda January 30 2017

“There is no other component of the island’s economy that can affect this kind of change on a near-term basis. If so much of the economic future of our country is dependent on tourism then it only makes good business sense, and good common sense, to invest in one of the most important tourism assets we possess: our airport.

“The investment we need to make is not just in physical buildings. An often overlooked point in the current debate over redevelopment of the airport is that our partners need to be more than airport builders.

“Bermuda requires a partner with deep relationships with airlines and a track record of successful route development to work alongside our existing team. Such a partner will be invaluable to Bermuda as we seek to grow our airlift supply to keep pace with rising demand. Connections to new cities, and more competition on existing routes, will deliver convenience and cost benefits for visitors and residents alike.

“There is an urgency to act now. The current proposal includes a plan to ‘fix’ our existing facilities in time for the 2017 season and the America’s Cup while a new terminal is built. But more importantly, we should act now because Bermuda’s economy is entirely reliant on a functioning airport.

“Imagine the impact on tourism, and the economy more widely, if the airport was unexpectedly inoperable. The weak state of the existing buildings and the fact that it’s defenceless in a statistically probable storm are unacceptable risks to our future, and those risks are amplified the longer we delay.

“The economic recovery that tourism is driving is underway and while the benefits have not yet been felt across our community, the path for them is the clearest we’ve seen in decades. Risking our progress at this critical point in our history and jeopardising our own prosperity would be irresponsible. Let’s give ourselves what we deserve.”

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Comments (50)

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  1. Self-informed says:

    The United Kingdom is the primary reason we do not have more flights serving the island… They hold the monopoly (biritish airways) on connecting Bermuda to the other side of the world.

    • sickofantz says:

      They don’t have a monopoly. Other airlines are welcome.

    • Micro says:

      Please explain how the UK government is blocking other airlines from flying routes to Europe.

  2. watching says:

    Do we really expect the new BTA CEO to speak out against the current government and their plans? Let’s be serious.
    This is a joke.
    He speaks of the need for a new airport, but for all the wrong reasons. He hasn’t mentioned the workers who are working in “deplorable conditions”. It is all about the aesthetics and making it pleasing to the visitor. But he should well know that how an airport looks is less important to a visitor than the full experience he or she will receive once through the airport.
    Mr. Dallas might want to talk to Minister Cannonier about paving the roads, cutting back hedges, fixing the causeway. Perhaps something can be done about the landfill full of trashed cars. Where does that fit in the plans?
    This op-ed is a cookie cutter endorsement of the government’s airport plan. Yet it doesn’t check all the boxes. It is interesting that Mr. Dallas has decided to enter the fray in this way.

    • Steve Davis says:

      Is he the CEO of the TOURISM authority or is he in charge of public works? The guy is commenting on tourism centric issues, of course he is not going to comment on public works and labour conditions, that is not his remit! WTF!

      • Onion Juice says:

        Getting paid $1000 a day cushion job, what else you expect him to say.

        • Anbu says:

          Ok so because of hus salary its a cushion job?! Lmfao bie. Why dont u give it a try then oj. We all know why u have a gripe with his and the formers position and pay. Only select people such as yourself are allowed to do that kind of thing. Dont hate lol

        • Earth watch police says:

          Chris furbert makes way more than that and produces nothing.

  3. Game Changer2017 says:

    As clear as it can get…..We NEED a new Terminal, like 20 years ago…..

  4. Jim bob says:

    Has anybody spouting this ‘we need a new airport to attract more visitors’ rubbish actually seen Cayman Islands airport? It’s a fraction in size and looks worse than ours yet they still manage to get significantly more visitors than us!!

    • Charlie says:

      Caymans airport is a shack and I won’t be going back there, not to mention the hassle for two hours at Miami on the way back. Pre-clearance is such a bonus for Bermuda that they don’t have.

      Bahamas airport is paradise, I wouldn’t mind flying there anytime.

      • Rightok says:

        Cayman’s tourism industry has better numbers than ours. Oh and by the way… Their national debt is much lower too.

      • PBanks says:

        Bahamas does pre-clearance too, right? What a huge advantage that is for international travel (especially when the destination is Miami).

      • Kangoocar says:

        The Caymans are right now totally redoing their airport and making it much larger! You need to catch up on things!

    • sandgrownan says:

      That’s largely because Caymanians aren’t dicks to their visitors.

    • Jus' Wonderin' says:

      maybe because it’s warm year round and people go down there for one thing only…to sit on de beach lmfao!

  5. Onion Juice says:

    Go figure, for getting paid $1000 a day…..

  6. Say Whaat? says:

    Someone recently went to Fiji and their airport was garbage. You think that stopped people from traveling there? Why would it when you don’t STAY IN THE AIRPORT!

    Stop trying to act like our tourism numbers would rise because we have a nice airport.

    We can definitely do repair work on the airport and make a better deal than 30 years. but the OBA have an agenda with this airport deal and we ain’t buying it!

    Cayman Island is laughing at us because we are being taken for fools. And the OBA don’t care about that either.

    • Onion Juice says:

      Well at least someone else is not blinded by de Fuzzieness.

    • Jus' Wonderin' says:

      How are we being taken for fools lmfao?! What better deals are out there for the airport?

      • Onion Juice says:

        For starters not giving our ONLY airport away for 30 years.

        • Kangoocar says:

          Hey dum dum!! Even if we had a loan on it, it would be giving it away for however long it takes to pay it back, if you think anyone owns anything until a loan is paid off, you are delusional, the one that lends the money owns it until you pay it back! With that said, being the Caymans were sensible and let the U.K. Government sort their mess out, thaybnow are in better fiscal standing than we are by a long shot! You can thank your plp for losing $800 MILLION, for having to give our Airport away, if they were not so incompetent, we could have paid for almost 3 Airports CASH!!!

        • Fredo says:

          What is the best way for Bermuda to raise the finance without giving the airport away for 30 years. Also are you also upset that the hospital has been given away for 30 years?

        • aceboy says:

          You just don’t understand how the real world works do you? Have you ever bought a house with a mortgage? Guess who holds the Deeds on that house when they give a 20 or 30 year loan? The bank.

        • serengeti says:

          Much better to borrow the money from overseas banks, overspend when it all goes over budget, and then spend the next four or five generations in debt.

    • Steve Davis says:

      Does FIJI have an International Business Community that uses the airport almost on a weekly basis? Bermuda is a first world destination with a first world economy. Guess what, I went to Botswana last year and went to an Airport that was 10 times better that Bermuda, with shops, dinning and lounges. I was impressed and it looked like the airport was employing a lot of people both on the service side and the operations side.

    • Lady Bug says:

      LOL – use google images and look it up. I have been there myself and let me tell you, it is much better than ours. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not state of the art… but it is definitely in better condition then our little LF Wade!

    • Anbu says:

      No camaynians r laughing beause a massive chunk of bermudians are absolute s@$theads to people who arent bermudian. We are getting what we deserve tho.

  7. Cedar Bark says:

    We are going to build an airport and make Canada pay for it!

  8. NO MORE WAR says:

    Mr. Dallas like others have it wrong we do not NEED a new airport we WANT a new airport.

    • SMH says:

      and you sir only WANT to say something on here…you don’t NEED to..#sipstea

  9. Jus' Askin' says:

    Allow for Gambling across the Board

  10. We Need it Now says:

    Thank you Mr. Dallas. Along with the Bermuda Hotel Association and BTA the voices of the major stakeholders are important for all Bermudians to understand how necessary this is to our futures.

  11. Point boy says:

    Very well-defined Mr. Dallas. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

  12. Justin says:

    Kevin, in all fairness both parties agree that we need a new airport but they disagree on how to get it done. You have some catching up to do…..

    • Yup yup says:

      I’m yet to hear of a coherent alternative from the opposition. How would they get it done?

      • Anonymous says:

        This. This so much. This is the reason I will be voting oba in the next election. The plp do nothing but say that almost everything the oba has done is terrible, but I hear no alternative solutions coming from them.

  13. swing voter says:

    I’m done. stick a fork in me…go ahead and build the damn thing, no different than ACW. What’s the difference. There ain’t none. Burt or Richards….who cares

    • Wahoo says:

      Legalize weed and it will pay for itself in a flash. OBA will be in gov for ever.

  14. SMH says:

    For all of you saying we WANT a new airport and we don’t NEED one…I’ll ask you the same question when either you/or someone you care about slips walking through the airport to baggage OR better yet when the roof which softens when it’s wet falls right on your head. I suppose then you’ll want to sue someone and come on platforms like this to voice your pathetic opinion. That’s the problem with some of you…always wanting to put a band aid on things instead of investing the money and time to fix it up the right way and allow it to last another lifetime. Get your head out of the sand and think about it. To be honest, these are probably the same people who are on ‘closing’ cracks in their roofs and tanks with super glue and complaining when the roof falls in……..there’s a Mercedes parked outside though. SMHHH

  15. Tony Brannon says:

    BUILD IT !

  16. I agree Tony build it a used to b.plp voter until I woke up from the nightmare