By anguillian July 18, 2016 15:43



Boeing 737 Jet at Anguilla's Airport returning wedding party to Venezuela

Boeing 737 Jet at Anguilla’s Airport returning wedding party to Venezuela


Ground Crew of Lloyd's Aviation Services

Ground Crew of Lloyd’s Aviation Services

An example of how a flourishing private sector can positively impact the public sector and the development of the economy was demonstrated several days ago. That was over the past weekend when the Clayton J. Lloyd International Airport, usually quiet around this time, was a den of activity as a fleet of jet aircraft flew in and out of Anguilla with large numbers of passengers. From ground handlers to Immigration and Customs personnel, they all “literally had their hands full”, as some observers remarked.

The event was a marriage ceremony on the beach at Viceroy Anguilla where the wedding party came in from Spanish-speaking Venezuela on the South American mainland. A Boeing 737 aircraft (500 series), of Venezuelan registry, configured to accommodate 114 passengers, plus a number of executive jets, capable of accommodating many other passengers, kept the airport personnel extremely busy. It is estimated that close to 500 persons may have passed through the airport. One passenger, speaking on behalf of the others, spoke about the pleasurable time they had in Anguilla. He particularly commented on the warm hospitality they experienced and the wonderful beaches of the island. “We would love to come back again,” he stated.

Of all the visiting aircraft, the Boeing 737 was naturally the centre of attraction due to the number of passengers it accommodated. “We have had 737s in the past but they were in the corporate configuration where you would have a maximum of 20-25 passengers transported at a time,” a spokesman for Lloyd’s Aviation Services told The Anguillian. “This aircraft, however, has the configuration of a normal passenger aircraft carrying about 114 passengers.”

An obvious question, asked by a number of persons, was why other aircraft of that size couldn’t be used to provide more airlift to Anguilla on a regular basis? Lloyd’s Aviation Services spokesman answered that question in part. “It really depends on the airline’s policies,” he replied. “Not every airline is willing to take a chance with a limited runway. This aircraft, of course, can’t leave full of passengers, luggage, and fuel. If the airstrip was a bit longer, it would have been a different matter. There will be limitations with the current runway we have. From end to end its length is about 5,440 feet but when you talk about the available landing distance that is different from the actual length. That is because of certain displacements you have to miss quite a bit of the runway in order to land.”

The pilot of the aircraft said the direct flight to Anguilla from Caracas, Venezuela, took about one hour and 25 minutes. “You have a good airport runway here in Anguilla, but it is only a bit short,” he commented as he prepared for his late evening outbound flight on Sunday, July 10.

The aircraft, which had to be refuelled, left with 83 passengers and eight crew members.

By anguillian July 18, 2016 15:43


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