V. C. Bird International Airport
|V. C. Bird International Airport|
|IATA: ANU – ICAO: TAPA|
|Operator||Antigua and Barbuda Millennium Airport Corporation|
|Location||Saint John's, Antigua and Barbuda|
|Elevation AMSL||62 ft / 19 m|
The airport originally was operated by the United States Army Air Forces. It closed in 1949 as Coolidge Air Force Base and upon the closure it became a civil airport. It was known as Coolidge International Airport until 1985, when it was named in honor of Sir Vere Cornwall Bird (1910–1999), the first prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda.
In December 2005, the Antigua and Barbuda Millennium Airport Corporation announced it would invite tenders to construct the first phase of a new passenger terminal designed to serve the airport for 30 years. In 2012, they announced the construction of its second terminal. Their website http://www.vcbia.com was officially launched in late 2013
Airlines and destinations
The VCBIA website contains things such as flight arrival and departing times, airport facilities, airport development and airline information. The website is http://vcbia.com/
The V.C Bird International Airport is currently in the process of constructing a new Airport Terminal. The terminal will be 23,000m2 (247,570 ft2),with four jet bridges, Modern Security Screening Facilities, Up-to-date Passenger Processing and Monitering Facilities and a CCTV Security System.It will contain 46 check in counters, 15 self-check in kiosks,5 Baggage carousels, a mini food court, multiple VIP lounges, Bank, Retail stores, First class lounges, Restaurants and other Facilities. The old Airport Terminal will not be fully out of use, some offices will still remain there. All incoming and departing flight will be operated out of the new facility once completed. Airside Improvements will also be made and a new car park is also being constructed in front of the old terminal along with other airport offices. The new terminal is said to be completed by September 2014. For more information on airport development visit http://vcbia.com/about/airport-development
The LIAT corporate headquarters, call centre, and customer relations departments are on the airport property. The Antigua Outstation of the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority is on the airport property.
- On 17 September 1965, Pan Am Flight 292, a Boeing 707-121B en route from Fort de France, Martinique, to St. John's struck Chances Peak on Montserrat, an island to the southwest of Antigua, killing all 30 hands aboard. The pilot mistakenly believed he was descending into Antigua. As a result, a VHF omnirange (VOR) transmitter was installed at the St. John's airport.
- On 10 May 2004, a LIAT de Havilland Canada DHC-8-311 flight made an emergency landing after one of its wheels fell off shortly after takeoff. The flight operated by the Antigua-based airline had departed from St. Maarten en route to St. Kitts when one of its wheels reportedly fell off. The Dash 8-311 turboprop was diverted to Antigua and was able to land safely on its three remaining wheels, without causing damage to the aircraft. None of the 24 passengers and three crew members were injured. The airline has launched an investigation into the incident.
- On 12 November 2008, a LIAT de Havilland Canada DHC-8-311 circled around V. C. Bird International Airport in Antigua following reports of landing gear malfunction. The de Haviland Dash 8 -311 aircraft should have landed at the Robert Bradshaw International Airport in St Kitts, but was diverted to Antigua because of the problem. It turned out that the landing gear was in order, but the indicators in the cockpit gave a reading that there was a fault. Firefighters, medical personnel and police were on alert but, after clearance, the aircraft landed safely with its 42 passengers and three crew members.
- On 7 October 2012 (FlyMontserrat Flight 107) a FlyMontserrat Britten-Norman Islander took off and later crashed a few feet off the runway due to bad weather conditions.
- Airport information for TAPA at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.Source: DAFIF.
- Airport information for ANU / TAPA at Great Circle Mapper. Source: DAFIF (effective Oct. 2006).
- "Contact Us." LIAT. Retrieved on 23 December 2012. "LIAT HEADQUARTERS LIAT (1974) LTD V.C. Bird International Airport P O Box 819 Coolidge Antigua"
- "Antigua Outstation." Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority. Retrieved on 23 December 2012.
- "Fly Montserrat Airplane Crash in Antigua reported." Spice Media Group. 8 October 2012. Retrieved on 8 October 2012.