V. C. Bird International Airport

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V. C. Bird International Airport
VC Bird International Airport (5916099180).jpg
IATA: ANUICAO: TAPA
Summary
Airport type Public
Operator Antigua and Barbuda Airport Authority
Location Saint John's, Antigua and Barbuda
Hub for
Elevation AMSL 62 ft / 19 m
Coordinates 17°08′12″N 061°47′35″W / 17.13667°N 61.79306°W / 17.13667; -61.79306Coordinates: 17°08′12″N 061°47′35″W / 17.13667°N 61.79306°W / 17.13667; -61.79306
Website vcbia.com
Map
ANU is located in Antigua and Barbuda
ANU
ANU
Location in Antigua
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
07/25 3,068 10,066 Asphalt
Statistics (2009)
Passengers 919,748
Passenger change 08–09 Decrease8.6%
Aircraft movements 40,489
Movements change 08–09 Decrease3.0%
Source: DAFIF,[1][2] 2009 World Airport Traffic Report.[3]

V. C. Bird International Airport (IATA: ANUICAO: TAPA) is located on the island of Antigua, 8 km (5.0 mi) northeast of St. John's, the capital of Antigua and Barbuda.

History[edit]

The airport originally was operated by the United States Army Air Forces.

The airport was built as a United States Army Air Forces base around 1941, and named Coolidge Airfield after Capt. Hamilton Coolidge (1895–1918), a United States Army Air Service pilot killed in World War I.[citation needed]

Flying units assigned to the airfield were:[citation needed]

Renamed Coolidge Air Force Base in 1948, it was closed as a result of budgetary cutbacks in 1949, with right of re-entry retained by the United States.[citation needed] Agreements were subsequently reached with the United Kingdom and, later, the Antigua government upon independence, for the establishment and maintenance of missile tracking facilities. Antigua Air Station was established on a portion of the former Coolidge AFB. As of 2011, NASA continues to utilize the Antigua facility for launch tracking services on an as-needed basis; and did so for the launch of the Mars Science Laboratory on 26 November 2011.[4]

Upon the closure of the base in 1949 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.

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 Monitoring 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. Construction of the new terminal is slightly behind schedule and is now set to be completed by February, 2015.[5]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Passenger[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Air Antilles Express Pointe-à-Pitre
Air Canada Toronto–Pearson
Seasonal: Montreal–Trudeau
Air Transat Seasonal: Toronto–Pearson
American Airlines Miami, New York–JFK
British Airways London–Gatwick, Grenada, Providenciales,[6] Saint Kitts, Tobago
Caribbean Airlines Barbados, Kingston, Port of Spain
Condor Seasonal: Frankfurt
Delta Air Lines Seasonal: Atlanta
FlyMontserrat Barbuda, Montserrat, Nevis
JetBlue Airways New York-JFK (begins 5 November 2015)[7]
LIAT Anguilla, Barbados, Dominica-Melville Hall, Pointe-à-Pitre, Port of Spain, Saint Croix, Saint Kitts, Saint Lucia-Vigie, Saint Thomas, Saint Vincent, San Juan, Sint Maarten, Tortola
Thomas Cook Airlines Seasonal: Barbados, Manchester (UK)
United Airlines Newark
US Airways
operated by American Airlines
Seasonal: Charlotte
Virgin Atlantic London–Gatwick
Seasonal: Saint Lucia
WestJet Toronto–Pearson

Cargo[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Air Transport International Melbourne (FL)
Ameriflight San Juan
Amerijet International Dominica-Melville Hall, Miami, Santiago de los Caballeros, Sint Maarten
Contract Air Cargo San Juan
DHL Aviation San Juan, Sint Maarten
FedEx Express San Juan
Mountain Air Cargo San Juan

Other facilities[edit]

  • The LIAT corporate headquarters, call centre, and customer relations departments are on the airport property.[8]

Incidents and accidents[edit]

  • 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.

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  1. ^ Airport information for TAPA at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.Source: DAFIF.
  2. ^ Airport information for ANU / TAPA at Great Circle Mapper. Source: DAFIF (effective Oct. 2006).
  3. ^ Airport Council International's 2009 World Airport Traffic Report
  4. ^ "Mars Science Lander launch coverage". NASA TV. NASA. Retrieved 2011-11-26. 
  5. ^ http://vcbia.com/about/airport-development
  6. ^ http://www.thebasource.com/british-airways-switch-providenciales-to-london-gatwick/
  7. ^ http://finance.yahoo.com/news/jetblue-expands-caribbean-network-adding-100000476.html;_ylt=AwrC1DF5UE5VVhQA4wDQtDMD;_ylu=X3oDMTBydWNmY2MwBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwM0BHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzcg--
  8. ^ "Contact Us." LIAT. Retrieved on 23 December 2012. "LIAT HEADQUARTERS LIAT (1974) LTD V.C. Bird International Airport P O Box 819 Coolidge Antigua"
  9. ^ "Antigua Outstation." Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority. Retrieved on 23 December 2012.
  10. ^ "Fly Montserrat Airplane Crash in Antigua reported." Spice Media Group. 8 October 2012. Retrieved on 8 October 2012.
  11. ^ Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority, ECCAA. "Interim Report Released on Cause of Fly Montserrat Crash: Water In Fuel Feeding System". MNI Alive. Retrieved 14 October 2012.  (Archive)

External links[edit]