Turks and Caicos posts record numbers for Q1

The Turks and Caicos Islands has enjoyed a record start to 2024 with a surge in air arrivals during January and February, outpacing the same period in 2023.

For January, there were 61,924* air arrivals with 64,088* arrivals in February. This represents a six percent increase over January 2023 which saw 58,413 arrivals and a 13.3 percent increase over February 2023 which saw 56,581 arrivals.

Cruise visitors were lower in January and February 2024 when compared to the corresponding period for 2023. The Grand Turk Cruise Centre welcomed 86,822* cruise passengers in January 2024 and 78, 293* in February compared to 88,471 cruise passengers in January 2023 and 96,127 in February 2023, a 1.89 percent and −18.56% percent reduction respectively.

The increase in air arrivals continues the upward trend evidenced in 2023. As the Turks and Caicos Islands continue to attract increased visitors, the destination is working to ensure the comfort of guests as they arrive and depart.

New airport features

For arrivals, the TCIAA has procured additional tents to provide a protective haven from the elements should the line extend beyond the building and the distribution of chilled bottled water to ensure passengers remain cool during their wait.

For departures, the ongoing Congestion Alleviation Project aims to enhance passenger experience and minimise congestion at the airport while the TCIAA advances the redevelopment project.

This project includes the immediate terminal buildout:

  • Expanded vehicle drop-off area (Completed)
  • Relocation of airline offices (Completed)
  • Second-level security screening (Ongoing)
  • Departure hold room expansion on the second level (Ongoing)
  • In transit passenger screening and holding room (Completed)
  • Expansion of the departures and boarding gates (Ongoing)

To enhance efficiency during peak periods, and mitigate delays, the TCIAA has also implemented several initiatives among them the addition of Apron Controllers to closely monitor aircraft parking and turnaround times, aiming to minimize delays through improved communication and aid in faster turnaround times for aircraft parking, and a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) restricting General Aircraft (GA) operations between 12:00 noon and 3:00 pm on Saturdays. This prioritises airlines, potentially reducing overall air traffic at Howard Hamilton International Airport and alleviating airspace congestion.

Other initiatives include increased security personnel, strategically positioning hosts to ensure efficient flow in high foot traffic areas and live entertainment to serenade passengers.