Cyril E. King Airport

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Cyril E. King Airport
Cyril E. King Airport (terminal).jpg
Airport typePublic
OwnerVirgin Islands Port Authority
LocationSaint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
Focus city forAir Sunshine
Elevation AMSL24 ft / 7 m
Coordinates18°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 U.S. Virgin Islands
Location in the Virgin Islands
Direction Length Surface
ft m
10/28 7,000 2,134 Asphalt
Statistics (2017)
Aircraft operations61,255
Based aircraft98
The Cyril E. King Airport from an observation overlook

Cyril E. King International Airport (IATA: STT, ICAO: TIST, FAA 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 1,403,000 passengers from July 2015 through June 2016.[2] The airport also serves nearby St. John and is often used by those traveling to the British Virgin Islands.

Although passports are not required for U.S. citizens who are visiting the U.S. Virgin Islands, all passengers bound for the United States and Puerto Rico must pass through U.S. Customs and Border Protection screening before boarding their flight. Private planes can either use CBP Preclearance or arrive in the United States as an international arrival.

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.[3][4][5]

Historically, a number of airlines operated scheduled passenger jet service into St. Thomas as well as St. Croix in the past. These air carriers included Air Florida with Douglas DC-9-10s, Caribair with McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30s, Eastern Airlines with Boeing 727-100s, 727-200s and 757-200s, Midway Airlines with Boeing 737-200s, and MD-87s Pan Am with Boeing 727-200s as well as A300B4s, A310s [2] and Trans Caribbean Airways with Boeing 727-200s.[3] One air carrier that has served St. Thomas for many years is American Airlines. In 1974, American was serving the airport with Boeing 707 and Boeing 727-100 jetliners with nonstop flights to New York City.[4] In 1994, American was operating Airbus A300-600R wide-body jets into St. Thomas with nonstop service to Miami.

Also historically the airport hosted Air Force One and Two, respectively, carrying Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and Joseph Biden using Boeing 707s and later Boeing 757s.

Cyril E. King Airport also hosted a number of charter airliners, from the 757 to the 767 to the DC-10. 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[6]. A new passenger terminal opened in November 1990 and retained the name.

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, 2017, the airport had 61,255 aircraft operations, an average of 167 per day: 58% air taxi, 14% scheduled commercial, 27% general aviation and 1% 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 one flight school at the airport, Ace Flight Center. The St. Thomas Jet Center, on the north side of the runway, handles private aviation.


The two-story terminal has 11 gates in two departure areas. The main section serves flights bound for the United States and Puerto Rico. It contains a restaurant and bar, gift shop, and duty-free store. Three smaller departure lounges serve international and St. Croix departures.

Arriving passengers from the United States and Puerto Rico over the age of 18 are greeted with complimentary samples of Cruzan Rum.

Terminal Expansion and Upgrade Project[edit]

There are plans to expand the Cyril E. King Airport terminal to include a second departure lounge on the second floor as well as install jet bridges and move airport offices to the third floor[7][8]. Governor Kenneth E. Mapp will unveil a $230 Million modernization plan in June for Cyril E. King Airport [9][10]. On Tuesday, June 26, 2018, at 5:30, there will be a charrette about the modernization plans of the Cyril E. King Airport terminal [11][12][13]. The unveiling of the modernization plans of the airport has been implemented, to include a pedestrian bridge as well as a ferry terminal to improve transportation.[14][15][16][17]

Airlines and destinations[edit]


Air Sunshine Anguilla, Dominica–Douglas–Charles, Nevis, Saint Croix, Saint Kitts, San Juan, Tortola, Virgin Gorda
Charter: Anguilla, Dominica–Douglas–Charles, Nevis, San Juan, Sint Maarten, Tortola, Virgin Gorda
American Airlines Miami, Charlotte
Seasonal: New York–JFK, Philadelphia
Cape Air Saint Croix, San Juan
Seasonal: Tortola, Virgin Gorda
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, New York–JFK
Seasonal: Boston
Express Carrier LLC Dominica-Canefield
JetBlue Airways San Juan
Seasonal: Boston (resumes February 14, 2019)[18][19]
LIAT Antigua
Seaborne Airlines Saint Croix, San Juan
Sea Flight Airlines Saint Croix
Spirit Airlines Fort Lauderdale, Orlando[20][21][22][23][24][25][26]
Sun Country Airlines Seasonal: Minneapolis/St. Paul (suspended)
Tradewind Aviation Saint Barthélemy
United Airlines Seasonal: Chicago–O'Hare, Houston–Intercontinental, Newark, Washington–Dulles
VI Airlink Anegada, Tortola

^a Sun Country flights from STT to MSP make a stop for fuel in San Juan. However, flights from MSP to STT are nonstop.


Air Sunshine Saint Maarten, San Juan, Anguilla, Nevis, Tortola, Virgin Gorda
Amerijet International Miami
DHL Aviation San Juan
FedEx San Juan
UPS Airlines San Juan

Top destinations[edit]

Busiest domestic routes from STT
(September 2017 - August 2018)
Rank City Passengers Carrier
1 Miami, Florida 99,900 American
2 San Juan, Puerto Rico 84,080 Air Sunshine, Cape Air, JetBlue, Seaborne
3 Atlanta, Georgia 58,410 Delta
4 Christiansted, St. Croix 33,660 Cape Air, Seaborne, Sea Flight
5 Fort Lauderdale, Florida 32,440 Spirit
6 New York City, New York 19,450 American, Delta
7 Washington–Dulles, DC 9,480 United
8 Charlotte, North Carolina 670 American
9 Newark, New Jersey 650 United
10 Houston–Intercontinental, Texas 560 United

Airline market share[edit]

Largest Airlines at STT
(12 months ending August 2018)
Rank Airline Passengers Share
1 American Airlines 199,000 29.40%
2 Delta Air Lines 153,000 22.67%
3 JetBlue 95,380 14.12%
4 Spirit Airlines 61,550 9.11%
5 Cape Air 58,500 8.66%
6 Other 108,000 16.04%

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • 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.[29]
  • On April 27, 1976, American Airlines Flight 625[30] 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[31] 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.[32]
  • On March 25, 1977, Douglas C-53 N692A of Island Traders was damaged beyond economic repair in a heavy landing.[33]
  • 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.[34][35][36][37][38][39]
  • 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.[40]
  • 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.[41] All four people on board escaped as the aircraft floated for about ten minutes before sinking.[42] The aircraft now lies in 100 feet (30 m) of water and is a dive site.[43]
  • 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.[44]
  • 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 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.
  • On September 6, 2017, Hurricane Irma hit the U.S. Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands. There was severe damage to the terminal especially around gate 6. Hurricane Irma was a Category 5 hurricane when it hit the U.S. Virgin Islands. No injuries have been reported.


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website

  1. ^ a b c FAA Airport Master Record for STT (Form 5010 PDF), retrieved November 27, 2008.
  2. ^ "RITA | BTS | Transtats". Retrieved 2016-09-12.
  3. ^ "HyperWar: Building the Navy's Bases in World War II [Chapter 18]". Retrieved June 7, 2015.
  4. ^ "Image: bases2-p10.jpg, (640 × 440 px)". Retrieved September 2, 2015.
  5. ^ "Airport Hangar (demolished) - St. Thomas VI - Living New Deal". Living New Deal. Retrieved June 7, 2015.
  6. ^ "Virgin Islands Port Authority | The United States Virgin Islands' Airports and Seaports". Retrieved 2018-06-15.
  7. ^ An Expansion Plan Is Given for Cyril E. King Airport
  8. ^ Letter To The Editor: The Stressful Nature Of Air Travel To And From The Virgin Islands
  9. ^
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  11. ^
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  13. ^
  14. ^
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  26. ^
  27. ^ "RITA - BTS - Transtats".
  28. ^,%20VI:%20Cyril%20E%20King&carrier=FACTS
  29. ^, photos of destroyed Trans Caribbean Airways Boeing 727-200 at St. Thomas
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^, photos of American Inter-Island Convair 440 aircraft at St. Thomas operating local flights to STX and SJU
  33. ^ "N692A Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved August 4, 2010.
  34. ^ "N4425N Hull-loss description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved July 27, 2010.
  35. ^ "N100SD Hull-loss description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved July 27, 2010.
  36. ^ "N4471J Hull-loss description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved July 27, 2010.
  37. ^ "N4577Z Hull-loss description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved July 27, 2010.
  38. ^ "N28346 Hull-loss description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved July 27, 2010.
  39. ^ "N101AP Hull-loss description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved July 27, 2010.
  40. ^ "N781T Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved June 21, 2001.
  41. ^ "N782T Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved June 21, 2010.
  42. ^ "MIA06LA125". National Transportation Safety Board. Retrieved June 22, 2010.
  43. ^ "Jul 2006 Gooney bird becomes latest dive site". Blue Island Divers. Retrieved June 22, 2010.
  44. ^

External links[edit]