<strong>Deputy Premier</strong> and Transport Minister Derrick Burgess. <em>*Photo by Kageaki Smith</em><br />
Deputy Premier and Transport Minister Derrick Burgess. *Photo by Kageaki Smith

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24: Deputy Premier Derrick Burgess kept his budget address short, sharp and to the point.

The Transport Minister said the island could rake in between $25 million and $28 million by taking control of its own skies.

He said: “I am excited about our plans for the airport and bringing it up to international standards.

“All our air space is controlled overseas at the moment.

“But if we bring it under our control we could get between $25 million and $28 million in revenue.

“That would be a new revenue path and would take five years to put in place.”

Mr Burgess said the airstrip at LF Wade International would need to be widened and the capacity of the towers increased for this upgrading to take place.

He added: “The length of the runway is in compliance with international standards and we would widen the strip by reclaiming land.”

The Ministry of Transport has been given a budget of $79.5 million for the next year, which is an increase of $3.2 million from last year.

Just over $21 million will be spent on airport operations.

Mr Burgess added: “Our aim is to have a first class transportation system of buses and ferries supplemented by taxis and mini-buses.”