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Monday, January 30, 2023



Sept. 13, 2001 – Regularly scheduled civilian air traffic across the nation began resuming at 11 a.m. Thursday, but it was clear that the number of flights would be limited, and the timeline for a return to full operations remained uncertain.
No specific information concerning flights into or out of the Virgin Islands was immediately available.
As of 9 a.m., David Mapp, Port Authority assistant director, had no word on when flights in and out of the territory's two airports would resume. He said that the Federal Aviation Administrator advised him that he would receive more information near noon.
Two airplanes were stranded at Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas when the FAA closed all airports on Tuesday, Mapp said. One is the American Airlines plane that left New York's Kennedy Airport around 8 a.m. that day. The other is an American Eagle plane.
Mapp said Cape Air officials told him they are ready to resume flights between St. Thomas and St. Croix. He said many local residents, including himself, have not been able to get back to their home island. He said there were cars lined up outside Cyril E. King Airport filled with people hoping for flights out Thursday.
Shortly before 11 a.m. Thursday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta announced that some airports would reopen at that hour. Around 5 p.m. Wednesday, he had announced authorization for the aircraft diverted on Tuesday for emergency landing to reboard passengers from those flights and transport them to their ticketed destinations. Those flights began taking place Wednesday night. Many had been diverted to Canada.
Some officials indicated it would be "several days" before all airports reopened; others suggested it might be longer than that. There also have been repeated advisories that passengers should expect check-in to take up to two hours, even for domestic flights.
Anyone wanting specific information about flights scheduled to depart and arrive in the Virgin Islands should try to contact the airlines directly. Toll-free numbers are given below.
U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft stated Thursday morning that the top priority of the federal government with regard to resuming flights was "to secure airports and airplanes."
According to media reports, the beefed-up security will include such things as these:
– No more use of electronic ticketing (by computer, with purchasers issued ticket numbers and other information to print out for themselves).
– No more curbside check-in of baggage.
– No more access to boarding areas by non-passengers.
– No more allowing of passengers to carry aboard small knives, including plastic knives.
– Requirement of certified, uniformed personnel to operate scanners and other security check-point operations.
– Random identification checks at airports.
– Close monitoring of all vehicles arriving at airports.
– Use of dogs for security.
In the Virgin Islands, the ban imposed by the Federal Aviation Administration applies to inter-island flights, including those by seaplane, as well as flights from outside the territory.
Toll-free passenger information numbers for off-island airlines serving the territory are:
American 1-800-474-4884
Continental 1-787-793-7373
Delta 1-800-325-1999, 1-800-221-1212
United 1-800-241-6522
USAir 1-800-622-1015

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