V. C. Bird International Airport

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V. C. Bird International Airport
Logo of V.C. Bird International Airport.png
Airport typePublic
OperatorAntigua and Barbuda Airport Authority
ServesSt. John's, Antigua and Barbuda
LocationOsbourn, Antigua and Barbuda
Hub for
Elevation AMSL62 ft / 19 m
Coordinates17°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
ANU is located in Antigua and Barbuda
Location in Antigua
Direction Length Surface
m ft
07/25 3,038 9,967 Asphalt
Statistics (2018)
Passenger change 17-18NA
Aircraft movements38,305
Movements change 17-18NA
Source: DAFIF,[1][2] 2009 World Airport Traffic Report.[3]

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


The former terminal, now used as offices, but occasionally has general aviation-related flights.

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.

Flying units assigned to the airfield were:

Renamed Coolidge Air Force Base in 1948, it was closed as a result of budgetary cutbacks in 1949, with the right of re-entry retained by the United States. 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 honour 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 new terminal became operational on 26 August 2015. All flights operate from the new facility. The terminal covers 23,000 square meters (247,570 square feet), with four jet bridges, modern security screening facilities, up-to-date passenger processing and monitoring facilities, and a CCTV security system. It contains 46 check-in counters, 15 self-check-in kiosks, 5 baggage carousels, a mini food court, multiple VIP lounges, a bank, retail stores, first-class lounges, restaurants, and other facilities. Other improvements included a newly constructed car park; parallel to the old terminal, along with other airport offices.[5]

Airlines and destinations[edit]


ABM Air Barbuda, Montserrat (both suspended)
Air Canada Toronto–Pearson (resumes October 3, 2021)
American Airlines Miami, New York–JFK
Seasonal: Charlotte
Anguilla Air Services Anguilla[6]
Blue Panorama Airlines Seasonal charter: Milan–Malpensa
British Airways Grenada,[7] London–Gatwick, Providenciales, Saint Kitts, Tobago
Seasonal: London–Heathrow[8]
Caribbean Airlines Barbados, Kingston–Norman Manley, Port of Spain
Caribbean Helicopters Barbuda, Dominica–Canefield, Montserrat, Nevis, Saint Kitts
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, New York–JFK
FlyMontserrat Barbuda, Montserrat, Nevis
Frontier Airlines Orlando (begins December 4, 2021)[9]
InterCaribbean Airways Tortola
JetBlue Newark, New York–JFK
LIAT Barbados, Castries, Dominica–Douglas-Charles, Grenada, Sint Maarten, St. Kitts, St. Vincent–Argyle, Tortola
Seaborne Airlines San Juan
Sky High Aviation Services Santo Domingo–Las Americas
St Barth Commuter Saint Barthelemy
Sunwing Airlines Toronto–Pearson, Montréal–Trudeau
Tradewind Aviation Saint Barthelemy
United Airlines Newark (resumes November 6, 2021)
VI Airlink Tortola
Virgin Atlantic London–Heathrow
WestJet Toronto–Pearson (resumes November 21, 2021)
Winair Saint Barthelemy, Sint Maarten


Ameriflight San Juan
Amerijet International Miami
DHL Aviation San Juan, St. Maarten
FedEx Feeder San Juan, Dominica-Douglas–Charles

Other facilities[edit]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • 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 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.
  • On 7 October 2012, FlyMontserrat Flight 107, a FlyMontserrat Britten-Norman Islander took off and later crashed a few feet off the runway, killing the pilot and 2 of the 3 passengers on board.[11] due to significant contamination of the aircraft's fuel by water.[12]


Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

  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 October 2006).
  3. ^ Airport Council International's 2009 World Airport Traffic Report
  4. ^ "Mars Science Lander launch coverage". NASA TV. NASA. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
  5. ^ "V.C Bird International Airport - Airport Development". Retrieved 6 June 2015.
  6. ^ Liu, Jim. "Anguilla Air Services adds Antigua route from Nov 2020". Routesonline. Retrieved 23 September 2020.
  7. ^ "British Airways Trade Support - AskBA".
  8. ^ "British Airways - Timetables".
  9. ^ "Frontier Airlines Announces 20 Nonstop Routes, Including 5 New Destinations".
  10. ^ "Antigua Outstation." Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority. Retrieved on 23 December 2012.
  11. ^ "Fly Montserrat Airplane Crash in Antigua reported." Spice Media Group. 8 October 2012. Retrieved on 8 October 2012.
  12. ^ Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority, ECCAA. "Interim Report Released on Cause of Fly Montserrat Crash: Water In Fuel Feeding System". MNI Alive. Archived from the original on 4 January 2013. Retrieved 14 October 2012. ()

External links[edit]

Media related to V. C. Bird International Airport at Wikimedia Commons