Expansion Alert! What Airport Improvements Are Expected in Turks and Caicos?
When travelling to the Caribbean, the airport conditions are often times just assumed to be pretty weak. Open air terminals, long line ups especially on Saturdays and busy charter days, chaos outside as the buses and/taxis herd people to and from the resorts, overpriced and undesirable food options, etc. Good news, however, coming from Turks and Caicos. The government has confirmed a $10 million expansion to commence in early 2013, to be completed over a two-year period. A major runway expansion already took place a few years ago, significantly increasing the flight capacity (and therefore affordability) of flying into Turks and Caicos. The next project will significantly improve the guest experience arriving and departing the upscale island.
This upcoming effort is projected to almost double the size of the terminal to better accommodate the 500,000 or so passengers who pass through the airport annually, increasing the area square footage from 51,462 square feet to 92,321 square feet. Here are some highlights of the expansion:
- Increase existing facility by 80 percent
- New traffic circulation system
- Extension to the existing west car park
- Extension of the departure lounge
- Extension of the international check-in area and
- Extension of security check point
- Improvements to the arrivals hall
- Expand on the domestic flight area expansion
- Continued improvements on the arrivals area
- Completion of an improved car park area
- General aesthetic improvements, including the addition of some water features
According to Governor Ric Todd as stated in www.tcfreepress.com, “Providenciales International Airport is absolutely crucial to the islander and visitor experience,” said Todd. “First impressions are vital, and I am certain that this work will provide the level of experience that our visitors demand.
“People who use the airport facilities know that it can become crowded at peak times — so does the airport’s management. That is why they have been planning these crucial works as part of their overall master plan which also saw the runway expansion completed last year.”
As an added bonus for those flying out of or connecting through Miami, that airport has just completed a terminal expansion, greatly reducing the amount of walking distance and time required when arriving in via American Airlines from Providenciales.
Ease of access has been a key selling feature of the relatively undiscovered Turks and Caicos resorts over the past few years. With many direct flights available from major cities such as New York, Boston, Montreal, Miami, Toronto, and Charlotte, getting to Turks and Caicos has never been easier or faster. Most of the major Turks and Caicos resorts are less than 20 minutes from the airport, and with most direct flights under 4 hours, you’ll be poolside before you know it.
**note top two photos are artist renderings of the expansion plan.