ANU Spot 1
Vere Cornwall Bird International Airport (ANU/TAPA) to date is the only airport on the island of Antigua (pronounced “Ann-Tee-Ga”). Originally built as a base for the USAF in 1941, it became a civil airport in 1948. The airport is considered a gateway to the Eastern Caribbean, and it is the largest of the Leeward Island airports. A new terminal was completed in 2018 to handle the 981,159 annual passengers.
LIAT – Leeward Islands Air Transport – has its headquarters at VCBIA, hence their ATRs can be seen frequently. Besides LIAT various other regional airlines, such as Sky High, Seaborne and Winair, operate regular flights to the island. Due to Antigua’s history as a British colony for an extended period of time – the island became independent in 1981, but is still part of the Commonwealth – British Airways currently offers six weekly flight from London Gatwick to ANU. The only other link to Europe are seasonal charters by Virgin Atlantic (from LGW) and Blue Panorama (from MXP).
Throughout the day though, flights from the US and Canada account for the the major portion of traffic. All US mainline carriers – American, Delta and United – as well as Air Canada, WestJet and Sunwing serve the airport frequently. Several Cargo carriers serve the airport as well, namely Amerijet (B763F from MIA), Ameriflight (Fairchild Metroliner), DHL and Fedex Feeder (with Cessna Caravan).
Written by Thomas Okaty and Clive Grant. Last update by Martin Rogosz (March 2020)
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|07/25||3068 m (10,066 ft)|
|Terminals||There is just one terminal which is used for all flights.|
|Ladder||Not required at the listed spotting locations.|
|Car/Public Transport||Required to get to spot #2, 3 and 4. Recommended for spot #2, however, the location can be reached by foot as well, but it’s a 20-25 min walk along a busy road, which lacks proper sidewalks. Also, keep in mind that they drive on the left! A car is also advisable as it means that you can keep cool out of the Caribbean sun in between taking photos.|
|Restrooms||In the terminal.|
|Drinks/Food||In the terminal. There is also a gas station – Rubis Dee’s Service Station – on the way between spot #5 and spot #2 (at the corner of Sir George Walter Hwy and Old Parham Rd).|
|Hotels||Carter’s Guest House near Spot #5 and Anne’s Apartments near Spot #2 are very conveniently located. Other guest houses are located in nearby St John’s, but if you’re staying at one of the island’s resorts, then a car is definitely advisable.|
|Season||Best time to visit is December to April. It starts getting humid in May and the rainy and hurricane season lasts from June to November.|
|07/25||As Antigua is right in the path of the trade winds over the Atlantic Ocean, easterly winds are dominant, hence Rwy 07 is operative for both arrivals and departures most of the time.|
|Spot #1 – Sir George Walter Hwy – Backtrack RWY07|
|WHERE||Next to Sir George Walter Hwy, drive from Terminal in dircetion of St. Johns until you see the “Hertz car rental” Station, turn right and park there, after that walk to photo position. The fence is on one part a bit lower as normal (neardrain pipe crossing the street).|
|WHAT||Backtrack of RWY07 and also Arrivals|
|TIME||Backtrack from around 2 p.m. until sunse, landing from around 3 p.m.|
|MISC.||Ladder, little chair or something like that necessary for backtrack photos. Skyshots possible without ladder possible. Be careful with the peoples there, some don´t understand what planespotters are doing there and becoming crazy.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||60-120mm (B772 ~65mm; A321 ~90mm)|
|Spot #2 – Burma Rd Mound – Rwy 07 Arrivals & Departures|
|WHERE||A rental car or taxi is needed to get to this spotting location. Coming from the airport take Sir George Walter Hwy towards St. John’s. Once you are past the western end of the airport you will approach a traffic-light-controlled intersection. Make a left at the traffic light – Rubis Dee’s Service Station is on your right – onto Palmetto Drive. Follow this road until it makes a sharp right turn and where you have to turn left onto Burma Road. Follow along Burma Road until it changes from a paved road into a gravel road. There you will see the dirt mound in front of you on the left side of the road. Just park your car roadside at the dirt mound #2a. Mind the trucks which occasionally go into or come out of the Pigotts Hill quarry pit at the end of this road.
To get to Spot #2b, you have to walk across the gully which winds between the two locations; it’s not possible to drive between to two spots without going the long way around.
|WHAT||Arriving and departing traffic on Runway 07 in the winter only.|
|TIME||In the winter, until approximately 3p.m.|
|MISC.||Nothing near by, bring everything you need. No shade, no shelter!|
|FOCAL LENGTH||B767-300: 60mm, ATR72: 120mm, Islander: 250mm|
|Spot #3 – Gate No. 14 – 07 departures|
|WHERE||From Spot #2a routeing back along Burma Road, immediately take the left hand fork past Anne’s Apartments. At the crossroads with Pigott’s Main Road turn left, then take the third left onto Fitches Creek Drive. Where the road turns to the left take the right hand fork onto Central Avenue. After about 500 metres, take the right fork again to stay on Central Avenue and turn left at the end of this road onto St George’s Drive. After another 500 metres or so take the right hand fork onto Burma Road. Follow this road for 1.2km to reach Gate No. 14 on the left; this is Spot #3.|
|WHAT||Departing traffic on Runway 07 in the winter only, although you don’t get much warning before they appear. Also, arriving bizjets parking at Signature Flight Support will pass this point.|
|TIME||In the winter, until approximately 3p.m.|
|MISC.||There is no shade here and there are no facilities, so bring what you need. NOTE: Routeing back along Burma Road, it is possible to take the chalky track to the right, (the former Burma Road), to get to Spot #2b.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||Citation Latitude: 210mm, PC12: 350mm|
|Spot #4 – Signature Flight Support – Parked bizjets|
|WHERE||From Spot #3, continue east on Burma Road for about 500-700 metres. Bizjets tend to be parked in a line at this spot and you’ll need to take photos through the fence here.|
|WHAT||Bizjets parked on the disused Runway 10/28.|
|TIME||Because of the angle the bizjets tend to park at, this spot is best on winter mornings.|
|MISC.||Unfortunately, cables draped across the site may get in the way of your photos. There is no shade and there are no facilities here, so bring what you need.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||Global 6000: 90mm|
|Spot #5 – Carters Guest House/Budget Car Rental – Rwy 07 Arrivals & Departures|
|WHERE||By car from the terminal, take Pavilion Drive and turn left onto Sir George Walter Highway. Follow this route for about 1km, then turn off right towards Carter’s Guest House, but park along the track parallel to the main road. Spot #5a requires you to take photos with care through the fence and then crop them later, but it is good for departing traffic which taxies out close to this spot. Spot #5b requires you to continue up the track parallel to the main road to the Budget car rental. Just park your car under the trees on your left and walk further up the hill until you are high enough that the airport fence is out of your frame. This is better for landing shots, but for departures you may get the fence at the bottom of your photos.|
|WHAT||Arriving and departing traffic on Runway 07 and traffic using taxiway G.|
|TIME||For traffic on the runway: In the summer, all day; in the winter, from late afternoon until sunset. For traffic on the taxiway: From about 3p.m. until sunset.|
|MISC.||Nothing near by, bring everything you need. No shelter, but there are a few trees, which provide some shade.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||Spot 1a: ATR42: 80mm, Metroliner: 110mm, Islander: 170mm
Spot 1b: PC12 (taxiing): 280mm, PC12 (landing): 250mm