GUIDE TO GEORGE F.L CHARLES AIRPORT ST. LUCIA (SLU) VIGIE
While many St. Lucia visitors are served by the larger Hewanorra International Airport, or UVF, those coming from other destinations in the Caribbean will find themselves flying into the smaller George F.L. Charles Airport, also referred to as Vigie or Castries Airport.
About George F.L. Charles Airport
The George F. L. Charles Airport code is (SLU), and the airport itself is located in the beautiful St. Lucian capital of Castries. The airport is unique in that the runway actually runs parallel to Vigie Beach, one of the island's most beautiful and popular beaches with tourists and locals alike.
The History of Castries Airport
The airport gets its name from Sir George Frederick Lawrence Charles. He was a politician on the island of St. Lucia and lived from 1916-2004. The airport was named after him while he was still living, on August 4, 1997.
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Flights Serving George F.L. Charles Airport
Currently, there are three airlines that service George Charles Airport. These airlines are Air Antilles, Air Caraibes, and LIAT. These airlines also provide service from St. Lucia, carrying passengers to destinations such as Antigua, Barbados, Curacao, Fort-de-France, Pointe-a-Pitre, Port of Spain, Saint Kitts, Sint Maarten, and Saint Vincent.
Serving Many St. Lucia Airport Passengers
While there are many cargo flights to SLU Airport, there are also many passenger flights. St. Lucia airport travel to George Charles averages 32,000 flights annually, bringing in nearly 400,000 passengers! Turboprop aircraft are the most commonly used at this smaller St. Lucia airport. There are currently no jets serving George Charles Airport, though jetliners have served the airport in the past.
Resorts Near Vigie Airport
Visitors to St. Lucia will find that there are many resorts located near Vigie Airport. Both Sandals Regency and Sandals Halcyon are only about 1.4 miles away, while the Rendezvous Resort is only .6 miles away. The Marigot Bay resorts are about 4.3 miles from the airport, and Gros Islet resorts are about 5 miles away.
In addition to popular tourist resorts and hotels, visitors also have the option to stay in local rental villas that provide a sense of island living that simply can't be found in a resort. Many of these villas are located in Rodney bay and near Soufriere, which is about an hour and ten minutes away from the Airport by rental car or taxi.
If you are a foreign national visiting the beautiful island of St. Lucia for work, study, or pleasure, you will be required to have a passport from your home country as well as a valid St. Lucian visa. These visas are issued by the Immigration Department of the Ministry of Home Affairs, which can be contacted via the methods below:
Telephone (758) 456-3825
Fax (758) 456-3823
The Airport Development Charge
As of May 1, 2011, people flying into St. Lucia will receive an additional charge of $35 per airline ticket which will be noted as an Airport Development Charge.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has many recommendations to make your flight more comfortable and safe. For starters, they highly recommend that you arrive at the airport at least two hours before you are scheduled to depart. This allows for baggage screening as well as allowing for random personal searches.
for baggage screening as well as allowing for random personal searches.
The following security and safety issues should be kept in mind while at the Airport:
Carry-On Bags and Luggage
As an airline passenger, it is essential that you follow the regulations and adhere to restrictions regarding carry-on luggage. You will find that there are limitations on both the weight and size of your bags. In order to obtain a complete listing of requirements and restrictions, including prohibited items, it is recommended that you call the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at 866-289-9673 or visit them at www.tsa.gov/public/index.jsp.
Some of the rules you will be expected to follow include:
For your comfort, you can easily book a St. Lucia airport Taxi, Helicopter Transfer, executive service, or private ground transportation to your resort or villa. For those traveling to destinations farther from Castries, helicopter transfers are also available.