BVI News

56-year single-engine aircraft ban lifted at VG airport as new airline expresses interest to operate

After nearly 56-years of being in effect, the single-engine aircraft ban at the Taddy Bay International Airport on Virgin Gorda has been lifted.

Premier Andrew Fahie said during Thursday’s sitting of the House of Assembly that consideration to lifting the restriction was made after an international airline company expressed interest to conduct business on the sister island.

“Following conversations with the regulator — Air Safety Support International (ASSI) — as well as an in-house assessment by the Authority’s operations team, a decision was made to lift the restriction following a request by Tropic Ocean Airways to operate flights into Virgin Gorda,” Premier Fahie stated.

“The Board of Directors held an emergency meeting where a resolution was approved to allow for the Accountable Manager to put the necessary measures in place to have the restrictions on single-engine aircraft operations into the Virgin Gorda Airport lifted,” he added.

Test flights conducted

According to the Premier, those measures included a number of test landings at the airport, which was conducted earlier this month and deemed a success.

He said: “On the instructions of the regulators, a series of familiarisations/test flights were conducted on 5th February 2020 to determine if in-fact the aircraft and crew were capable of operating into the airport.” 

“Cleo Hodge, an FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) designated examiner and pilot well versed with the aerodrome and its operations, was selected to conduct the flights. Mr Hodge confirmed that he was satisfied with the competence of the flight crew and the performance of the aircraft,” the Premier added.

He also said that measures were taken to ensure that the requisite insurance coverage is in place at the airport for single-engine operations, and said that by March 2020 at least one other airline company is expected to be added to the approved list of carriers.

History behind the ban

The single-engine aircraft restriction was placed on the Virgin Gorda airport in 1964, by Basil Fleming who was the then Director of Civil Aviation.

It was identified that high crosswinds associated with operations into the airport were the primary reasons why single-engine operations were not allowed.

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20 Comments

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  1. I wonder says:

    Interesting news.

    I wonder … is the ban lifted for all types of aircraft – commercial and private?

    Just wondering.

  2. Well well says:

    Bye Island Birds, Air Sunshine, and VI link. Thank you Bevis for killing our local that provided the service uninterrupted only the times BVIAA couldn’t keep their end out the toilet.

    Like 8
    Dislike 7
    • Get outta here says:

      VI Airlink deserves all credits I agree.

      But A** S******e……. please please please. That airline deserves no respect whatsoever. Amateurs.

      Like 2
      Dislike 1
    • Gordaguy2 says:

      Additional airlift to VG won’t cause the others to go out of business – it’s still a charter. VG needs many more flights to service the villas and hotels.

  3. Oh says:

    Well good for them, I won’t be flying any single engine plane.

    Like 6
    Dislike 6
  4. Looking says:

    New times; new governance; new pie feeders.

    The rest? well they are and will remaind bottom sludge feeders, and will vote to remain that way also..

    But, where are the big, bold futuristic ideas for upgrading the economy and making it less fragile and dependent on an unreliable frickle pucinary sector?

    Looking forward with hope for the new, but hope is dying it will be coming.

  5. well meh boi says:

    ayo going kill people just to make money?

    Like 12
    Dislike 7
  6. NICE says:

    VIP is doing well.

    Like 5
    Dislike 8
  7. Well says:

    So did Virgin Gorda move so as not to be affected by the cross winds the implemented the ban? Well at least the clinic upgraded.

    Like 13
    Dislike 1
  8. A special caee says:

    A lady was fired from ATC because she allowed a single-engine plane land there a few years ago, all because she didn’t know the type of aircraft and poor procedures to follow. VG is still an uncontrolled airport, so ATC can not clear aircraft to land and takeoff.
    I wonder why they took so long maybe the young lady could have still had here job if they reviewed procedures back then.

  9. Villa rentals says:

    Thank you for doing this! We need to get flights into VG again on a regular basis. Competition will fix a lot of problems. Way to go VIP!

    Like 3
    Dislike 4
  10. Chad D says:

    Thanks, we need more competition for flights into VG. What we have now are rip off airlines charging outrageous fees from San Juan to VG, this can end with more competition. Single engine aircraft are quite safe, look at every small to mid sized airport in the USA, there are plenty of safe single engine aircraft. Bring on the competition! Let’s see reasonable prices again.

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
  11. VG says:

    What you all don’t know is that this was only lifted because the big guns LDB are reopened now and that same aircraft was given special permission to bring in their guest. Our own V.I Airlink had one of the same aircrafts without the floats,some years ago and they stopped them from landing there.. now all of a sudden its ok for the same type of aircraft to land…well well

  12. Anonymous says:

    Single or Multi. It is easier to land at VIJ than at EIS cross wind or no cross wind according to some pilots. Just have to have respect for the wind direction and do the right approach and right R/W whether 03 or21
    and all should be safe and well.

  13. Good says:

    Single or Multi. It is easier to land at VIJ than at EIS cross wind or no cross wind according to some pilots. Just have to have respect for the wind direction and do the right approach and right R/W whether 03 or21
    and all should be safe and well.

  14. COMMON SENSE says:

    Single engine ban….hmmm if you have 1 engine and it conk out…that mean you don’t have a second engine for back up…that means you plunging from the sky…HMMM…okay

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  15. Fifty fifty says:

    Seems even pilots can’t decide which is safer.

    https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all-news/2013/june/pilot/dogfight-twin-versus-single

    With water all around us and on approach/exit, singles should be as safe as twins in VG

    If you are not a pilot, and genuinely scared about the difference between twin and single, you probably shouldnt be flying at all, or even riding in cars for that matter.

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