Antigua airport guide
Antigua’s V. C. Bird International Airport (IATA code ANU) is the only international airport on the island. It’s situated in the northeast part of the island, about 8 kilometres from the capital city, St. John's.
Antigua’s airport began as a US Air Force base, but in 1949 was converted into a civil airport. In 1985, its name was changed from Coolidge International Airport to V.C. Bird International Airport, in honour of Antigua and Barbuda’s first Prime Minister, Sir Vere Cornwall Bird.
Today the airport serves several leading international airlines, among them British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, American Airlines, and Air Canada. It’s also the main hub for Leeward Islands Air Transport (LIAT).
V.C. Bird International: new terminal
In mid-2015, V.C. Bird International is due to open a brand new airport terminal, spanning 23,000 m2 and providing travellers with a range of modern facilities. Although the existing terminal building will be left intact, all flights will operate from the new terminal.
Airport facilities at the new terminal will include:
- A total of 46 check-in counters and 15 self-check-in kiosks
- Five baggage carousels and a state-of-the-art baggage processing system.
- Food court, restaurants and a range of shops.
- A range of VIP and first class lounges.
- Conference room.
- Two smoking rooms.
- Four jet bridges.
- Updated security screening and monitoring.
The current terminal
The existing terminal at V.C. Bird International Airport is comparatively small but covers the main bases in terms of facilities. At the airport, you’ll find a selection of duty-free shops selling souvenir items along with jewellery, liquor and perfume, a restaurant and cafés, a bureau de change, an ATM and a post office.
The airport also includes a business lounge – the VIP Lounge – with internet access. It doesn’t currently provide conferencing facilities.
Getting to and from Antigua’s airport
No public transport is available for getting to and from V.C. Bird International Airport. However, taxis operate from a canopied area outside the arrivals hall. Taxis to and from the airport are regulated, with prices charged per vehicle (assuming occupancy between one and four passengers) and set according to distance.
By taxi, the trip into St. John’s takes 10 to 15 minutes.
Taxi companies operating from the airport include Mill Reef Taxi Association (tel: (268) 784-2653) and the United Taxi Association (tel: (268) 562-0262).
Many Antiguan hotels and resorts provide their guests with a shuttle service to and from the airport.
Car rental at V.C. Bird International
You’ll find car rental agencies across from the check-in counters at the main terminal. Among the companies operating from the airport are Alamo, Avis, Capitol, Carters, Dollar, Hertz, Naj, Oakland, St. Johns and Thrifty Car Rentals.
Note that you need a permit to drive in Antigua. Your car rental company can help you obtain the permit, which is valid for three months and costs about US$20.
Parking is located just to the west of the current terminal building. Both short and long-term parking are available at reasonable rates.