Cyril E. King Airport

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Cyril E. King Airport
Cyril E. King Airport (terminal).jpg
Cyril E. King Airport Terminal.
Airport type Public
Owner Virgin Islands Port Authority
Location Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
Elevation AMSL 24 ft / 7 m
Coordinates 18°20′14″N 064°58′24″W / 18.33722°N 64.97333°W / 18.33722; -64.97333Coordinates: 18°20′14″N 064°58′24″W / 18.33722°N 64.97333°W / 18.33722; -64.97333
STT is located in the Virgin Islands
Location in the Virgin Islands
Direction Length Surface
ft m
10/28 7,000 2,134 Asphalt
Statistics (2014)
Aircraft operations 64,945
Based aircraft 84
The Cyril E. King Airport from an observation overlook

Cyril E. King Airport (IATA: STTICAO: TISTFAA LID: STT) is a public airport located two miles (3 km) west of the central business district of Charlotte Amalie on the island of St. Thomas in the United States Virgin Islands.[1] It is currently the busiest airport in the United States Virgin Islands, and one of the busiest in the eastern Caribbean, servicing 1,215,000 passengers from March 2011 until February 2012. The airport also serves nearby St. John and is often used by those traveling to the British Virgin Islands.

It was known as Harry S Truman Airport until 1984, when it was renamed to honor Cyril Emmanuel King, the second elected governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands. A new airport opened in November 1990 and retained the name.

The airport operates one main runway, 7,000 ft × 150 ft (2,134 m × 46 m) long. The terminal operates 11 gates.


During World War II, the United States Army Air Forces Sixth Air Force 23rd Fighter Squadron (36th Fighter Group) deployed P-40 Warhawk fighters to the airport from March 1942 – May 1943.[2][3][4]

Facilities and Aircraft[edit]

Cyril E. King Airport covers an area of 280 acres (110 ha) which contains one asphalt paved runway (10/28) measuring 7,000 ft × 150 ft (2,134 m × 46 m). For the 12-month period ending September 30, 2014, the airport had 64,945 aircraft operations, an average of 177 per day: 50% air taxi, 12% scheduled commercial, 36% general aviation and 2% military. During the same period, there were 98 aircraft based at this airport: 59% multi-engine, 35% single engine, 3% helicopters, 2% jet engine and 1% ultralight.[1] There is also flight school at the airport, Ace Flight Center.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Air Sunshine Anguilla, Dominica-Douglas–Charles, Nevis, San Juan, Sint Maarten, Tortola, Virgin Gorda
American Airlines Charlotte, Miami, New York-JFK
Winter Seasonal: Philadelphia
Cape Air Saint Croix, San Juan
Seasonal: Tortola[5]
Delta Air Lines Atlanta
Summer Seasonal: New York-JFK
Hummingbird Air Dominica-Canefield, Nevis, Saint Croix, Saint Kitts (all suspended)
Seasonal: Sint Maarten (suspended)
JetBlue Airways San Juan
Winter Seasonal: Boston
LIAT Antigua, Sint Maarten
Seaborne Airlines Saint Croix, San Juan
Sea Flight Airlines Saint Croix
Spirit Airlines Fort Lauderdale
Sun Country Airlines Winter Seasonal: Minneapolis/Saint Paul
Tradewind Aviation Saint Barthélemy
United Airlines Washington-Dulles
Summer Seasonal : Houston-Intercontinental Winter Seasonal : Newark, Chicago-O'Hare

Charter Airlines[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Air Sunshine Anguilla, Dominica-Melville Hall, Nevis, San Juan, Sint Maarten, Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Antigua, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Grenada, Trinidad, Dominican Republic, Turks and Caicos, Aruba, Curaçao, Barbados and many other destinations

Cargo Airlines[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Air Sunshine Saint Maarten, San Juan, Anguilla, Nevis, Tortola, Virgin Gorda
Air Cargo Carriers (for UPS and DHL) San Juan
Ameriflight (for UPS and DHL) San Juan
Mountain Air Cargo (for FedEx) San Juan

Historical Airline Service[edit]

Historically, the largest aircraft type to serve St. Thomas with scheduled passenger flights was the Airbus A300-600R wide body jetliner operated by American Airlines.[6][7] American operated the A300-600R nonstop to Miami and direct to New York-JFK, Boston and Orlando via San Juan.[8]

Other airlines that operated scheduled passenger jet service into the airport in the past included Air Florida with Douglas DC-9-10s,[9] New York Air with Boeing 737-300s,[10] Caribair with McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30s,[11] Eastern Airlines with Boeing 727-100s, 727-200s[12][13][14] and 757-200s [15] as well as their subsidiary, Eastern Metro Express[16] offering service to San Juan, Puerto Rico,[17][18] St. Croix,[19][20][21] Virgin Gorda and St. Thomas.[22] St. Thomas also had local airlines such as Crown Air[23] to name a few. Braniff[24] using Boeing 727-200s, to San Juan, Miami, and New York-JFK. Midway Airlines with Boeing 737-200s and McDonnell Douglas MD-87s, Pan Am with Boeing 727-200s and Airbus A300B4s,[25] Trans Caribbean Airways with Boeing 727-100 and 727-200s [26] and Private Jet Expeditions with McDonnell Douglas MD-80s.

The largest aircraft to operate charter jet service into St. Thomas was the McDonnell Douglas DC-10 flown by Iberia Airlines in January 1995; Cyril E. King Airport was further served by another DC-10 in November 1999 by a different charter airline. Another large aircraft that arrived on St. Thomas was the Boeing 767-300 flown by charter airline Air 2000.[27]

Before Seaborne Airlines, the largest regional airline to serve St. Thomas with flights to San Juan as well as Saint Croix was Executive Airlines operating as American Eagle on behalf of American Airlines via a code sharing agreement flying ATR-42, ATR-72, Shorts 360, and CASA 212 turboprops.

At one time, Cyril E. King Airport had scheduled international service to Canada featuring Air Canada flights to Toronto.[28]

On September 9, 2015, a chartered Eastern Air Lines flight flew stranded cruise ship passengers off St. Thomas utilizing a Boeing 737-800.[29]

The St. Thomas Cyril E. King Airport can prove itself to be unusually busy , as eight big jets crowd around the terminal at the Cyril E. King Airport Sunday, while another prepares to take off on a busier than normal day for St. Thomas air traffic.[30]


  • On December 28, 1970, Trans Caribbean Airways Flight 505 operated with a Boeing 727 jetliner made a hard landing and ran off the side of the runway. Two of the 48 passengers died in the subsequent fire and the aircraft was then destroyed by the ensuing conflagration.[31]
  • On April 27, 1976, American Airlines Flight 625[32] operated with a Boeing 727 jetliner ran off the end of the runway, killing 37 of the 88 on board the aircraft. Following the crash, American Airlines (AA) suspended jet service to the airport and began operating Convair 440 propliners instead for service to nearby St. Croix (STX) and San Juan (SJU) for connections to American mainline jet flights at these airports until the St. Thomas runway was extended to its present length. These CV-440[33] flights were flown by a division of AA, American Inter-Island, as an interim service until American elected to resume mainline jet aircraft operations into St. Thomas with the advent of the longer runway.[34]
  • On March 25, 1977, Douglas C-53 N692A of Island Traders was damaged beyond economic repair in a heavy landing.[35]
  • On September 17, 1989, Douglas DC-3 N4425N, Douglas C-47s N100SD, N4471J and N4577Z; and Douglas C-49J N28346 of Aero Virgin Islands; along with Douglas C-47A N101AP of Four Star Air Cargo; were damaged beyond economic repair by Hurricane Hugo.[36][37][38][39][40][41]
  • On December 30, 2003, Douglas DC-3C N781T of Tol-Air Services was substantially damaged when the starboard undercarriage collapsed on landing after a flight that originated at San Juan, Puerto Rico.[42]
  • On July 19, 2006, Douglas DC-3C N782T of Tol-Air Services ditched into the sea off Charlotte Amalie after an engine failure shortly after take-off from Cyril E. King Airport.[43] All four people on board escaped as the aircraft floated for about ten minutes before sinking.[44] The aircraft now lies in 100 feet (30 m) of water and is a dive site.[45]
  • A Kestrel Convair C-131F, registration N8277Q performing a freight flight from St. Thomas (US Virgin Islands) to unknown destination with 2 crew, departed St. Thomas' runway 28 and was in the initial climb around 07:47L (11:47Z) when the tower observed smoke from the left hand engine (P&W R-2800). The crew declared emergency reporting an engine fire and loss of hydraulics and initiated a return to St. Thomas' runway 10, where the aircraft touched down but could not slow. The airplane veered right off the runway, broke through the airport fence and came to a stop on a public road parallel to the runway (actually the airport access road). No injuries occurred, the airplane received substantial damage.The airport was closed for several hours.The FAA reported the aircraft went off the runway and received substantial damage.[46]
  • On October 13, 2012, a Piper Aztec, N5553Y, departing nearby St. Croix carrying three passengers crashed approximately eight miles south of Cyril E. King Airport. There was one survivor. After a year-long investigation, it was determined that the pilot suffered spatial disorientation, descended before he needed to and then crashed into the water.
  • On March 17, 2015, An American Airlines Boeing 757-200, registration N198AA performing flight AA-1320 from New York JFK,NY (USA) to Saint Thomas (Virgin Islands) with 126 passengers and 7 crew, was climbing through 1900 feet out of JFK's runway 22R when the crew reported they flew through a flock of geese and received a number of impacts but did not immediately require assistance. The aircraft was handed off to departure. While climbing to 12,000 feet the crew requested to level off earlier and stopped the climb at 7000 feet and advised they might need to return. The next departure reported passing a flock of bird at 1500 feet and another one at 2000 feet, at the same time warnings of flock of birds were issued to aircraft arriving on runway 22L. About 3 minutes after contacting departure the crew of the Boeing 757-200 declared emergency avising they were returning to JFK for an overweight landing, they were not sure what damage the aircraft had received, there were no vibrations or anything, and requested runway 22L then changed to 31L. The aircraft landed safely back on runway 31L about 20 minutes after departure.A replacement Boeing 757-200 registration N178AA reached Saint Thomas with a delay of 6.5 hours.The FAA reported a post flight inspection revealed minor damage to a wing of the occurrence aircraft.[47]
  • On June 17, 2015, an American Airlines Boeing 757 preparing to fly to John F. Kennedy International Airport was grounded due to a mechanical failure. After returning to the gate, an airport service vehicle collided with the aircraft, severely damaging one of the aircraft's jet engines. No injuries occurred.


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

  1. ^ a b c FAA Airport Master Record for STT (Form 5010 PDF), retrieved November 27, 2008.
  2. ^ "HyperWar: Building the Navy's Bases in World War II [Chapter 18]". Retrieved June 7, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Image: bases2-p10.jpg, (640 × 440 px)". Retrieved September 2, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Airport Hangar (demolished) - St. Thomas VI - Living New Deal". Living New Deal. Retrieved June 7, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Cape Air Offers New Non-Stop Service Between St. Thomas and Tortola". PRWeb. August 21, 2013. Retrieved June 7, 2015. 
  6. ^, April 2, 1995 Official Airline Guide (OAG), St. Thomas to Miami schedules
  7. ^ American Airlines Airbus A300B4-605R
  8. ^ "Photos: Boeing 757-225 Aircraft Pictures -". Retrieved June 7, 2015. 
  9. ^, Nov. 15, 1979 Official Airline Guide (OAG)
  10. ^ "N63305 B7373 New York Air". Flickr - Photo Sharing!. Retrieved June 7, 2015. 
  11. ^, Caribair system timetables
  12. ^ N8106N
  13. ^ N8145N
  14. ^ January 31, 1976
  15. ^ A DC 3 being flanked by an Eastern Airlines Boeing 757
  16. ^ Flickr N834MA
  17. ^ N914MA of EASTERN METRO EXPRESS, at San Juan - TJSJ, Puerto Rico.
  18. ^ N930MA
  19. ^ N934MA
  20. ^ N932MA
  21. ^ N928MA of Eastern Metro Express at Saint Croix - TISX.
  22. ^ Flickr N914MA
  23. ^ N272Z operating with Crown Air.
  24. ^ Braniff International Airlines
  25. ^ "AirlineFan - Pan Am A300 N202PA high quality photo". Retrieved June 7, 2015. 
  26. ^, Official Airline Guides (OAGs) dated Nov. 15, 1979 and July 1, 1983
  27. ^ "US Virgin Islands - St. Thomas: Cyril E. King airport - Air2000, Mancunian tourists return home on a Boeing 767-300 (photo by Miguel Torres) -". Retrieved June 7, 2015. 
  28. ^
  29. ^ Eastern Airlines Charter Picks up Carnival Passengers By Lynda Lohr — September 10, 2015
  30. ^,%202016%20-%2012:28am/STT-King-airport-jets_01.02.16.jpg (Gary Metz photo)
  31. ^, photos of destroyed Trans Caribbean Airways Boeing 727-200 at St. Thomas
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^, photos of American Inter-Island Convair 440 aircraft at St. Thomas operating local flights to STX and SJU
  35. ^ "N692A Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved August 4, 2010. 
  36. ^ "N4425N Hull-loss description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved July 27, 2010. 
  37. ^ "N100SD Hull-loss description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved July 27, 2010. 
  38. ^ "N4471J Hull-loss description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved July 27, 2010. 
  39. ^ "N4577Z Hull-loss description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved July 27, 2010. 
  40. ^ "N28346 Hull-loss description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved July 27, 2010. 
  41. ^ "N101AP Hull-loss description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved July 27, 2010. 
  42. ^ "N781T Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved June 21, 2001. 
  43. ^ "N782T Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved June 21, 2010. 
  44. ^ "MIA06LA125". National Transportation Safety Board. Retrieved June 22, 2010. 
  45. ^ "Jul 2006 Gooney bird becomes latest dive site". Blue Island Divers. Retrieved June 22, 2010. 
  46. ^
  47. ^

External links[edit]