Antonio Rivera Rodríguez Airport
|Antonio Rivera Rodríguez Airport|
|Owner||Puerto Rico Ports Authority|
|Serves||Isla De Vieques, Puerto Rico|
|Elevation AMSL||49 ft / 15 m|
Antonio Rivera Rodríguez Airport (IATA: VQS, ICAO: TJVQ, FAA LID: VQS) is a small public use airport on the island of Vieques in Puerto Rico. Because a large amount of Vieques's yearly revenue comes from the tourism industry, this small airport plays an important part in Vieques's economic outlook. For decades, the airport has been the hub of Vieques Air Link, and also a landing facility for a number of small airlines.
As per Federal Aviation Administration records, the airport had 21,517 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2008, 20,759 enplanements in 2009, and 46,267 in 2010. It is included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which categorized it as a primary commercial service airport (more than 10,000 enplanements per year).
When anti-military demonstrators started flocking into Vieques, both by air and sea, in 1999, Vieques Airport saw a considerable increase to its normal yearly average of passengers. In addition, many celebrities who travelled from all over Puerto Rico and the rest of Latin America to join the protesters arrived at Vieques through this airport. When Carla Tricoli, a Vieques native, won the 2002 Miss Puerto Rico contest, her first flight as a beauty queen landed at Vieques Airport.
The airport does not accept jet aircraft, but a couple of international flights operate from it. Most of the commercial aviation operations are concentrated on domestic flights such as Vieques to Ceiba, Vieques to Isla Grande Airport in San Juan and Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in Carolina, a suburb of San Juan. Air ambulance flights to Fajardo and San Juan are also available.
Early in 2005, plans were announced to expand the airport's lone runway, so that the airport can accept flights by smaller jets. This would be done in preparation for American Eagle to start operations to the airport. The airline was expected to start flights to Vieques from San Juan's Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport in early 2010, but the airline decided not to begin service.
Facilities and aircraft
Antonio Rivera Rodríguez Airport covers an area of 124 acres (50 ha) at an elevation of 49 feet (15 m) above mean sea level. It has one runway designated 9/27 with an asphalt surface measuring 4,301 by 75 feet (1,311 x 23 m).
For the 12-month period ending August 16, 2011, the airport had 19,450 aircraft operations, an average of 53 per day: 89% air taxi and 11% general aviation. At that time there were 19 aircraft based at this airport: 21% single-engine, and 79% multi-engine.
Airlines and destinations
Scheduled passenger service is provided by the following airlines:
|Carrier||Passengers (arriving and departing)|
|1||Ceiba, PR||José Aponte de la Torre Airport (JRV)||29,000|
|2||San Juan, PR||Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU)||21,000|
|3||San Juan, PR||Fernando Luis Ribas Dominicci Airport (SIG)||14,000|
|4||Christiansted, VI||Henry E. Rohlsen Airport (STX)||4,000|
|5||Culebra, PR||Benjamín Rivera Noriega Airport (CPX)||2,000|
Accidents and incidents
- Vieques Air Link Flight 901A – On August 2, 1984, an Islander of Vieques Air Link crashed after take-off, killing all nine passengers and crew on board.
- FAA Airport Master Record for VQS ( PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective April 5, 2012.
- "Enplanements for CY 2008" (PDF, 1.0 MB). CY 2008 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. December 18, 2009.
- "Enplanements for CY 2010" (PDF, 189 KB). CY 2010 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2011.
- "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF). National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010. Archived from the original (PDF, 2.03 MB) on September 27, 2012.
- Getting to Vieques
- "Vieques, PR: Antonio Rivera Rodriguez (VQS)". Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), U.S. Department of Transportation. October 2015. Retrieved February 7, 2016.
- FAA Terminal Procedures for VQS, effective April 26, 2018
- Resources for this airport: