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Wednesday, July 6, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesKing Airport Revenues Outpacing Rohlsen by Millions

King Airport Revenues Outpacing Rohlsen by Millions

Looking at a large disparity in airport revenues between the districts, senators peppered V.I. Port Authority officials Thursday about what’s being done to improve facilities throughout the territory and why it appears that there’s more activity on St. Thomas than St. Croix.
VIPA head Kenn Hobson said after Thursday’s Appropriations and Budget Committee hearing that there are more enplanements and traffic on St. Thomas, along with more major airline carriers, which accounts for the approximately $17 million worth of airport revenues generated on St. Thomas, versus $4 million on St. Croix.
"In St. Thomas, we get over 600,000 passengers, whereas on St. Croix, we only get about 200,000," he explained. During the hearing, senators urged the authority to put more stock in partnerships with agencies such as Tourism and use its federal grant funding to improve the St. Croix airport, which many said is in want of repairs.
St. Thomas senators pushed for similar improvements to Cyril E. King Airport, which Hobson said is getting a facelift in the baggage claim area, to include expansion of the restrooms, along with enclosing and air conditioning the space. That project will be carried out in phases in order to minimize airport disruptions.
Hobson did mention that ongoing issues with the Anguilla landfill have continued to stall funding from the Federal Aviation Administration, causing problems with an application for a runway overlay at the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport.
Senators asked a few questions about the authority’s other capital projects, the status of its outstanding bond issues and why moving some of the port operations on St. Croix from Gallows Bay to the Gordon Finch Molasses Pier has caused such a problem with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Otherwise, Hobson and his team laid out the authority’s fiscal year 2011 budget, which is largely based on federal funds and the revenues the agency brings in, instead of contributions from the General Fund.
Of the $74.7 million projected in revenues and expenditures for FY 2011, approximately: $36.8 million is budgeted for operating expenses, $3.6 million for debt service payments, $33.3 million for capital projects and $836,000 for equipment.
Like many other agencies, personnel represents the authority’s highest cost. Hobson said the drop in air and marine revenues over the past few years has prevented VIPA from giving its employees increases but added that an insurance scale will be introduced to help cover their medical costs, while talks are ongoing with the unions for salary hikes.
Senators’ relatively easy hearing with VIPA shifted quietly during the afternoon into testimony from Housing, Parks and Recreation Commissioner St. Claire N. Williams, who was showered with accolades for expediting makeovers to numerous recreational facilities throughout the territory.
Generally, HPR has one of the smallest budgets out of the various departments and agencies, which is boosted from time to time by appropriations from the Legislature and funding requests from the Public Finance Authority.
For fiscal year 2011, the department’s recommended General Fund budget is $7.7 million, a 7.38 percent drop from this year’s appropriation.
Of that amount, $6.4 million is slated for salaries and associated fringe benefits, while the remaining $1.3 million is split up between supplies ($212,406), other services and charges ($318,786) and utilities (790,452).
The department will also receive $1.2 million in the miscellaneous section of the budget, $520,000 of which will go directly to the department’s programs or operations. Another $50,000 is also expected in federal funds.
Williams said that in order to work with the government’s money crunch, the department hasn’t included any new positions in its budget, while vacant positions have been eliminated.
Wrapping up Thursday, Williams also asked senators to reconsider a bill submitted at least twice last year by Gov. John deJongh Jr. to rename the department Sports, Parks and Recreation since its housing component was moved over to the V.I. Housing Finance Authority.
Present during Thursday’s hearing were Sens. Craig W. Barshinger, Carlton "Ital" Dowe, Wayne James, Terrence "Positive" Nelson, Nereida Rivera-O’Reilly, Sammuel Sanes, Patrick Simeon Sprauve and Michael Thurland.

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Looking at a large disparity in airport revenues between the districts, senators peppered V.I. Port Authority officials Thursday about what's being done to improve facilities throughout the territory and why it appears that there's more activity on St. Thomas than St. Croix.
VIPA head Kenn Hobson said after Thursday's Appropriations and Budget Committee hearing that there are more enplanements and traffic on St. Thomas, along with more major airline carriers, which accounts for the approximately $17 million worth of airport revenues generated on St. Thomas, versus $4 million on St. Croix.
"In St. Thomas, we get over 600,000 passengers, whereas on St. Croix, we only get about 200,000," he explained. During the hearing, senators urged the authority to put more stock in partnerships with agencies such as Tourism and use its federal grant funding to improve the St. Croix airport, which many said is in want of repairs.
St. Thomas senators pushed for similar improvements to Cyril E. King Airport, which Hobson said is getting a facelift in the baggage claim area, to include expansion of the restrooms, along with enclosing and air conditioning the space. That project will be carried out in phases in order to minimize airport disruptions.
Hobson did mention that ongoing issues with the Anguilla landfill have continued to stall funding from the Federal Aviation Administration, causing problems with an application for a runway overlay at the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport.
Senators asked a few questions about the authority's other capital projects, the status of its outstanding bond issues and why moving some of the port operations on St. Croix from Gallows Bay to the Gordon Finch Molasses Pier has caused such a problem with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Otherwise, Hobson and his team laid out the authority's fiscal year 2011 budget, which is largely based on federal funds and the revenues the agency brings in, instead of contributions from the General Fund.
Of the $74.7 million projected in revenues and expenditures for FY 2011, approximately: $36.8 million is budgeted for operating expenses, $3.6 million for debt service payments, $33.3 million for capital projects and $836,000 for equipment.
Like many other agencies, personnel represents the authority's highest cost. Hobson said the drop in air and marine revenues over the past few years has prevented VIPA from giving its employees increases but added that an insurance scale will be introduced to help cover their medical costs, while talks are ongoing with the unions for salary hikes.
Senators' relatively easy hearing with VIPA shifted quietly during the afternoon into testimony from Housing, Parks and Recreation Commissioner St. Claire N. Williams, who was showered with accolades for expediting makeovers to numerous recreational facilities throughout the territory.
Generally, HPR has one of the smallest budgets out of the various departments and agencies, which is boosted from time to time by appropriations from the Legislature and funding requests from the Public Finance Authority.
For fiscal year 2011, the department's recommended General Fund budget is $7.7 million, a 7.38 percent drop from this year's appropriation.
Of that amount, $6.4 million is slated for salaries and associated fringe benefits, while the remaining $1.3 million is split up between supplies ($212,406), other services and charges ($318,786) and utilities (790,452).
The department will also receive $1.2 million in the miscellaneous section of the budget, $520,000 of which will go directly to the department's programs or operations. Another $50,000 is also expected in federal funds.
Williams said that in order to work with the government's money crunch, the department hasn't included any new positions in its budget, while vacant positions have been eliminated.
Wrapping up Thursday, Williams also asked senators to reconsider a bill submitted at least twice last year by Gov. John deJongh Jr. to rename the department Sports, Parks and Recreation since its housing component was moved over to the V.I. Housing Finance Authority.
Present during Thursday's hearing were Sens. Craig W. Barshinger, Carlton "Ital" Dowe, Wayne James, Terrence "Positive" Nelson, Nereida Rivera-O'Reilly, Sammuel Sanes, Patrick Simeon Sprauve and Michael Thurland.