This morning, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air traffic controllers handled the landing of the first commercial air carrier flight in weeks into the Cyril E. King International Airport in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands (TIST). Working from a mobile air traffic tower the FAA moved to the island last weekend, the controllers are now managing a mix of commercial, military, relief and recovery flights to and from the storm-ravaged island.
The FAA continues to support similar operations on San Juan, Puerto Rico where the first commercial air carrier service began a week ago. The total number of flights in and out of Luis Munoz Marin International Airport in San Juan (SJU) has increased dramatically over the past week, to more than 400 arrivals and departures yesterday.
U.S. commercial passenger air carriers flew 18 flights in and out of San Juan yesterday, including a mix of relief and revenue passenger service. Another three U.S. commercial cargo flights also flew to the island. The Official Airline Guide, which publishes planned airline schedules months in advance, shows that about 28 U.S. air carriers were scheduled to operate into San Juan on September 28, before the hurricanes hit the island.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been setting priorities for flight operations into and out of San Juan, based on their mission needs.
In addition to Luis Munoz Marin Airport in Puerto Rico, four other airports on the island are open with no restrictions:
Fernando Luis Ribas Dominicci Airport (also known as Isla Grande), in San Juan (SIG)
Eugenio Maria de Hostos Airport in Mayaguez (MAZ) is closed.
Henry E. Rohlsen Airport on St. Croix to expected to be open for commercial service soon.
All other airports on Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands are open with restrictions and, at a minimum, are accepting military, emergency, and relief flights.
Please check with your airline to find out if it is flying to an airport in the affected area.