Gateways to the
United States Virgin Islands Economy
Virgin Islands Port Authority (VIPA) is a
semi-autonomous agency that owns and manages the two
airports and the majority of the public seaports in the
United States Virgin Islands. We are also charged with
maintaining the harbors in the territory. The law
stipulates that VIPA must make its properties available
to the public so that the populace may reap the benefits
of these facilities.
VIPA derives it operating revenues from user fees and
rental fees charges to users of its airport and marine
facilities on St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John, U.S.
Virgin Islands. The agency is expected to be financially
self-sufficient, and does not receive nor does it
contribute any funds to the USVI government. Federal and
state government grants are given to the Authority to
support its capital construction programs - provided
that VIPA meets all eligibility requirements. The
federal government also offers Passenger Facility
Charges (PFC's) to fund airport projects only. These
airport related improvements must be approved by the
Federal Aviation Administration.
Just about everything that is used or consumed by the
residents of the U.S. Virgin Islands enters the islands
through boat or by plane. Food, clothing,
machinery, mail, furniture, vehicles, building supplies,
medical equipment - it all enters through the ports.
Therefore, the Port Authority touches the lives of every
single resident and visitor in the Virgin Islands.
In addition, the territory's major economic contributor
is a bustling tourism industry which blossomed in the
1960's. Tourism accounts for about 80 percent of
the islands' gross domestic product and employment. The
islands are a popular destination for travelers from
every corner of the world seeking the perfect vacation.
These key factors make the airports and seaports in the
territory a critical component in the strength and
growth of islands' economy. Any investment or
improvement to our port facilities secures our
territory's economic future.
The Port Authority is governed by a Board of
Governors which sets policy. The executive director is
responsible for implementing these policies, and
overseeing the day-to-day operation of the agency. Board
meetings are held every third Wednesday of each month.
At these meetings, the board reviews the Authority's
financial reports, review and approve requests to lease
port property, award contracts for port development
projects and set policies that will efficiently manage
our resources as well as keep our port facilities
competitive with other destinations.
Note: The VI Port Authority does
not control the mooring and anchoring of vessels in our
ports. This is coordinated through the VI
Department of Planning and Natural
The Virgin Islands Port Authority (VIPA) owns and
manages two airports – the Cyril E. King Airport on St.
Thomas and the Henry E. Rohlsen International Airport on
St. Croix. The Port Authority also manages the majority
of the public seaports in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Its
mandate is to promote the wise use of these facilities
for the betterment of the Virgin Islands and its people,
and to assist the government of the U.S. Virgin Islands
in fostering and sustaining sound economic development.
To this end, the Port Authority is committed to:
Maintaining and developing the airports and seaports
of the Virgin Islands to accommodate the current and
future demands of its users;
sure that the airports and seaports are accessible
to all qualified users;
efficient and quality service to the public;
a safe and secure environment at all of its port
with the government of the U.S. Virgin Islands on
initiatives to attract tourists and private
investors to the territory;
commerce by providing incentives to airlines, cruise
ships, cargo operators and other potential investors
to entice them to do business in the Virgin Islands;
sure that all of its facilities are in full
compliance with local and federal regulations; and
port facilities to keep up with modern technology.