Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport
|Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport|
|IATA: EIS – ICAO: TUPJ|
|Serves||British Virgin Islands, United Kingdom|
|Elevation AMSL||16 ft / 5 m|
Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport (IATA: EIS, ICAO: TUPJ), previously known as Beef Island Airport, is the main airport serving the British Virgin Islands, a British overseas territory in the Caribbean. The airport serves as the gateway to just about all of the islands within the BVI. Many travellers fly into Beef Island, with the intention of taking a ferry to the other smaller British Virgin Islands. The airport is located on Beef Island, a small island off the main island of Tortola, to which it is connected by the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge.
The Terrance B. Lettsome airport underwent a major $55 million renovation in 2004. After dredging was completed the runway was expanded to allow larger planes to operate into the airfield. This renovation was the largest capital project ever undertaken in the territory at that time. However, the airport currently does not receive any scheduled airline passenger jet service. The largest aircraft serving Tortola was the 64 passenger seat ATR-72 turboprop aircraft operated by Executive Airlines flying as American Eagle on behalf of American Airlines. However, American Eagle ended all service to the airport on 31 March 2013. Currently, the largest aircraft to serve Tortola is the 50 passenger seat de Havilland Canada DHC-8 Dash 8 DHC-8-300 turboprop aircraft operated by Leeward Islands Air Transport (LIAT). Recently, Seaborne Airlines began operating Saab 340 turboprop aircraft into the airport.
Some of the highlights of the renovation and expansion project include:
- A new 46,000 sq ft (4,300 m2). terminal building
- An enlarged flight apron
- A new control tower
- 3,700 ft (1,128 m). runway extension
- New airport road with expanded parking (150 parking stalls)
There is a $20 departure tax for anyone over the age of five years old.
Airlines and destinations
The below lists direct flights from the airport only:
|BVI Airways||Dominica-Melville Hall, Sint Maarten|
|Cape Air||Saint Thomas, San Juan|
|Air Sunshine||Saint Thomas, San Juan|
|Seaborne Airlines||San Juan|
Historically, in 1986 the airport had scheduled passenger jet service operated by British Caribbean Airways, with direct flights to Miami. British Caribbean operated British Aerospace BAe 146-100 jetliners. This was the only time that Tortola had airline jet service.
Accidents and incidents
- On 5 April 1971, Douglas C-47A N57372 of Vinair was damaged beyond economic repair in a landing accident at Beef Island Airport. The aircraft was operating an international cargo flight from San Juan, Puerto Rico.
- On 6 May 1993, a Short 330 turboprop operated by Atlantic Air BVI overran the runway and landed in the sea after aborting on takeoff. It was a passenger flight, and all passengers and crew survived. The airframe was damaged beyond economic repair, and was sunk as a scuba diving site off Great Dog Island.
- Airport information for Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport at Great Circle Mapper. Source: DAFIF (effective Oct. 2006).
- "BVI Outstation." Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority. Retrieved on 23 December 2012.
- "N57372 Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
- "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 7 February 2011.