By the Caribbean Journal staff
Commercial flights have officially resumed at the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport on Beef Island, Tortola, in a big step forward for the British Virgin Islands since the devastation caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
The announcement was made by the British Virgin Islands Department of Disaster Management.
Carriers that are resuming commercial operation to Tortola include Cape Air, which operated its first flight out of the airport to San Juan on Monday morning, and regional carrier LIAT, which was operating flights from the Eastern Caribbean.
Another important carrier for the territory, Seaborne, will be relaunching its San Juan-Tortola flights on Oct. 11, according to the company’s Web site.
Hours of flight operation will be from 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM daily, according to Denniston Fraser, managing director of the BVI Airports Authority.
Operations had been restricted to humanitarian, relief and evacuation flights only after the airport had sustained “severe damage,” Fraser said.
As a result, repair work had to be undertaken to rectify the issues and meet the standards of Air Safety Support International.
“Major concerns for ASSI were having competent staff in place, addressing issues with the fence, ensuring that equipment, control tower equipment and generators’ are in a reliable position so that the Airport can function properly,” Fraser said.
The Airports Authority is advising travelers to arrive at the airport at least three hours prior to departure time.