Beef Island Airport
The Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport, re-named in
honor of a prominent local politician in March, 2002, is the only major airport
in the British Virgin Islands. The airport is situated on Beef Island, a small
island on the East End of Tortola, to which it is connected by a bridge. The
airport is situated some 9 miles (15 kms) from Road Town.
||Despite the opening of a new terminal building when the
airport received its new name, and several other improvements since then,
the airport still does not have the capability of accommodating major jets
currently, the largest aircraft flying out of here has a capacity of only 64
Consequently, travelers arriving in Tortola by air generally have to
take a flight from the major Caribbean airports of San Juan, Puerto Rico or St
Thomas, a US Virgin Island. It is also possible to take connecting flights from
the island of St Maarten, jointly controlled by the French and the Dutch.
Passengers from St Thomas often prefer to take the ferry across to Tortola.
Currently, there are 21 daily flights from Beef Island to
San Juan, with a flight time of 30 minutes, using American Popular Airlines, Air
Sunshine and Cape Air. This compares with just 8 daily flights to St Maarten,
with Liat or Windward Islands Airways. In addition, there are daily flights to
St Thomas, Antigua and Anegada this being a 10 minute flight with Clair Aero,
in a plane that has a maximum capacity of 7 passengers and reaches just 2,000
There is a charter service available at the airport for
people who wish to use it.
At present, about 8,500 passengers travel out of the
Terrance B. Lettsome Airport each week.
It might be important to be aware of the fact that,
although there is plenty of car rental available on Tortola, it is possible to
rent a vehicle at the airport. There are also plenty of taxis available and many
resorts will provide their vacationers with Courtesy Vans or, in the case of
island resorts, shuttles to water taxis, to take guests directly to
destinations. Its advisable to make yourself familiar with the situation well
On your flight home, make sure that you arrive at the
departures area for check in at least an hour and a half or two hours before
departure as security for international flights has been tightened up
everywhere. There is a restaurant, and also a bar, for passengers at the
airport but dont forget you will have to pay 15 US dollars departure tax and 5
US dollars Security charge when you leave Beef Island by air.
It might not be one of the worlds largest airports but
what it lacks in size the airport at Beef Island more than makes up for with the
spectacular views you get of the Virgin Islands as you approach the runway.
Click here to return to Tortola Beaches
Home from Beef Island Airport.