George F. L. Charles Airport

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George F. L. Charles Airport
George F.L Charles Airport, Castries St Lucia, Runway View, Aug2014.jpg
Summary
Airport typePublic
OperatorSaint Lucia Air & Sea Ports Authority
LocationSaint Lucia Castries, Saint Lucia
Elevation AMSL22 ft / 7 m
Coordinates14°01′13″N 060°59′35″W / 14.02028°N 60.99306°W / 14.02028; -60.99306Coordinates: 14°01′13″N 060°59′35″W / 14.02028°N 60.99306°W / 14.02028; -60.99306
Websitehttp://www.stlucia-airport.com/
Map
SLU is located in Saint Lucia
SLU
SLU
Location in Saint Lucia
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
09/27 1,898 6,227 Asphalt
Helipads
Number Length Surface
m ft
H1 16 60 Asphalt
Statistics (2016)
Passengers195,859
Passenger change 15–16Increase1.2%
Aircraft movements17,569
Movements change 15–16Increase2.51%
Source: DAFIF[1] 2012 SLASPA Statistics

George F. L. Charles Airport (formerly Vigie Airport) (IATA: SLU, ICAO: TLPC) is the smaller of the two airports in Saint Lucia, the other being Hewanorra International Airport. It is located 2 km (1.2 mi) north of Castries, the capital city. George F. L. Charles Airport is managed by the Saint Lucia Air and Seaports Authority (SLASPA). Its runway runs parallel to a pristine beach, Vigie Beach, which is a popular tourist attraction.

History[edit]

The airport was renamed on 4 August 1997 in honor of Saint Lucia politician Sir George Frederick Lawrence Charles (1916–2004).[2]

Traffic[edit]

On average, George F. L. Charles Airport handles 32,000 flights per year carrying 394,000 passengers. Most of these flights operate with turboprop aircraft such as the ATR 72-500 or the Bombardier Dash 8.

The airport currently has no scheduled jet service. All jet service into St. Lucia, including transatlantic flights, operates via Hewanorra International Airport, on the southeast portion of the island. The airport previously had jet service flown by Caribair (Puerto Rico) which in 1970 was operating McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30 jetliners with nonstop flights to Barbados and Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe with direct service to Antigua, Port of Spain, Trinidad, San Juan, Puerto Rico, St. Croix and St. Thomas.[3]

Vigie Beach, immediately opposite the airport check-in and departure lounge area.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

The following airlines operate passenger flights to George F. L. Charles Airport:

AirlinesDestinations
Air Antilles Fort-de-France
Air Caraïbes Fort-de-France, Pointe-à-Pitre
Air Sunshine Dominica - Douglas-Charles, Saint Croix
Caribbean Airlines Port of Spain
InterCaribbean Airways Dominica - Douglas-Charles, Tortola
LIAT Antigua, Barbados, Port of Spain, Saint Vincent

Charter[edit]

AirlinesDestinations
Airawak Fort-de-France
Air Century La Isabela, Punta Cana, Vieux Fort
FlyMontserrat Montserrat
Fly One Caribbean Saint Vincent
Mustique Airways Mustique, Union Island
Sky High Aviation Services Santo Domingo
St Barth Commuter Saint Barthélemy
SXM Airways St Maarten
Trans Anguilla Airways Anguilla

Cargo[edit]

AirlinesDestinations
Ameriflight Anguadilla, Grenada, Port of Spain, San Juan
DHL Aviation Grenada, Saint Vincent, Dominica-Canefield
FedEx Express
operated by Mountain Air Cargo
Fort-de-France, Grenada, Saint Vincent, San Juan
M&N Aviation Saint Kitts, Saint Vincent

Helicopter[edit]

AirlinesDestinations
Bristow Helicopters Charter: Port of Spain
St Lucia Helicopters Vieux Fort

Other facilities[edit]

The airport houses the George Charles Outstation of the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority,[4] General Aviation Services, and the Island Flyers Club.

Navigation[edit]

The airport offers an RNAV and NDB approach only on Runway 9. Landings on Runway 27 are strictly visual.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

On 8 November 2015, a Beechcraft Model 99, registered N7994H, veered off the runway into a grassy area at George F. L. Charles Airport after the aircraft's right landing gear malfunctioned. The sole occupant of the aircraft, the pilot, was not harmed. Following the incident, Hummingbird Air suspended all operations, and the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority launched an investigation.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Airport information for TLPC at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.Source: DAFIF.
  2. ^ "St Lucia government press release concerning re-naming" (Press release). stlucia.gov.lc. Archived from the original on 2005-11-26.
  3. ^ http://airwaysnews.com/html/timetables/caribbeanairlines[permanent dead link], April 1, 1970 Caribair system timetable
  4. ^ "George Charles Oustation." Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority Retrieved on 23 December 2012.