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One air carrier that has served St. Thomas for many years is American Airlines, which began serving St. Thomas in 1970 following its acquisition of and merger with Trans Caribbean Airways. In 1975, American as well as Eastern and Pan Am were serving the airport with Boeing 727-100 jetliners, American and Pan Am with nonstop 727 flights from New York Kennedy Airport with American also operating direct one stop 727 service from Boston and Providence, RI, and Eastern with nonstop 727 flights from Miami and San Juan as well as direct 727 flights from Chicago O'Hare Airport, Cleveland and Dallas/Fort Worth.
Also historically the airport hosted Air Force One and Two, respectively, carrying Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and Joe Biden using Boeing 707s and later Boeing 757s.
Cyril E. King Airport also hosted a number of charter jet airliners including the Boeing 757, Boeing 767 and the McDonnell Douglas DC-10.
It was known as Harry S Truman Airport until 1984, when it was renamed to honor Cyril Emmanuel King, the second elected governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands. A new passenger terminal opened in November 1990 and retained the name.
Facilities and aircraft
Cyril E. King Airport covers an area of 280 acres (110 ha) which contains one asphalt paved runway (10/28) measuring 7,000 ft × 150 ft (2,134 m × 46 m). For the 12-month period ending September 30, 2017, the airport had 61,255 aircraft operations, an average of 167 per day: 58% air taxi, 14% scheduled commercial, 27% general aviation and 1% military. During the same period, there were 98 aircraft based at this airport: 59% multi-engine, 35% single engine, 3% helicopters, 2% jet engine and 1% ultralight. There is also one flight school at the airport, Ace Flight Center. The St. Thomas Jet Center, on the north side of the runway, handles private aviation.
The two-story terminal has 11 gates in two departure areas. The main section serves flights bound for the United States and Puerto Rico. It contains a restaurant and bar, gift shop, and duty-free store. Three smaller departure lounges serve international and St. Croix departures.
Arriving passengers from the United States and Puerto Rico over the age of 18 are greeted with complimentary samples of Cruzan Rum.
Expansion and upgrade
There are plans to expand the Cyril E. King Airport terminal to include a second departure lounge on the second floor as well as install jet bridges and move airport offices to the third floor. A $230 million modernization plan for the airport was unveiled by Governor Kenneth E. Mapp in June 2019.
The airport upgrades will include a pedestrian bridge as well as a ferry terminal to improve transportation. The architectural firm awarded the task of redesigning and renovating the airport is Lemartec Corporation and Perez & Perez Architects and Planners.
On September 3, 2019 the VIPA board approved a $175 million budget for FY 2020.
Delegate Plaskett announced three transportation grants for V.I. Airports to redesign the apron and improve lighting on the Cyril E. King airport runway, as well as to improve the runway at Henry E. Rohlsen Airport.
On November 22, 2019, the Transportation Department awarded a $2 million grant for the Cyril E. King Airport's modernization. VIPA said that phase one of construction would begin in April. Each of the four phases may take from 18 to 24 months to complete,  for a total of 6-8 years and a cost of $250 million.
On February 8, 2020, Dolphin Water Taxi opened new facilities at the Cyril E. King International Airport baggage claim east of Tropic Tours window as well as Red Hook Urman Victor Fredericks Marine Terminal.
Busiest domestic routes from STT (August 2019 - July 2020)
On December 28, 1970, Trans Caribbean Airways Flight 505 operated with a Boeing 727-200 jetliner made a hard landing and ran off the side of the runway. Two of the 48 passengers died in the subsequent fire, and the aircraft was then destroyed by the ensuing conflagration.
On April 27, 1976, American Airlines Flight 625 operated with a Boeing 727-100 jetliner ran off the end of the runway, killing 37 of the 88 on board. The old St. Thomas runway was 4,658 feet long at the time. Following the crash, American Airlines (AA) suspended jet service to the airport and began operating Convair 440propliners instead for service to nearby St. Croix (STX) for connections to American mainline jet flights until a new, longer 7,000 foot runway was constructed. These CV-440 flights were operated by a division of AA, American Inter-Island, as an interim service until American elected to resume mainline jet aircraft operations into St. Thomas with the advent of the longer runway. The American Inter-Island Convair 440 aircraft were owned by American Airlines and flown and maintained by Antilles Air Boats, a seaplane operator in the Virgin Islands.
On July 19, 2006, Douglas DC-3C N782T of Tol-Air Services ditched into the sea off Charlotte Amalie after an engine failure shortly after take-off from Cyril E. King Airport. All four people on board escaped as the aircraft floated for about ten minutes before sinking. The aircraft now lies in 100 feet (30 m) of water and is a dive site.
A Kestrel Convair C-131F, registration N8277Q performing a freight flight from St. Thomas (US Virgin Islands) to unknown destination with 2 crew, departed St. Thomas' runway 28 and was in the initial climb around 07:47L (11:47Z) when the tower observed smoke from the left-hand engine (P&W R-2800). The crew declared emergency reporting an engine fire and loss of hydraulics and initiated a return to St. Thomas' runway 10, where the aircraft touched down but could not slow. The airplane veered right off the runway, broke through the airport fence and came to a stop on a public road parallel to the runway (actually the airport access road). No injuries occurred, the airplane received substantial damage. The airport was closed for several hours. The FAA reported the aircraft went off the runway and received substantial damage.
On October 13, 2012, a Piper Aztec, N5553Y, departing nearby St. Croix carrying three passengers, crashed approximately eight miles south of Cyril E. King Airport. There was one survivor. After a year-long investigation, it was determined that the pilot suffered spatial disorientation, descended before he needed to and then crashed into the water.
On June 17, 2015, an American AirlinesBoeing 757 preparing to fly to John F. Kennedy International Airport was grounded due to a mechanical failure. After returning to the gate, an airport service vehicle collided with the aircraft, severely damaging one of the aircraft's jet engines. No injuries occurred.
On September 6, 2017, Hurricane Irma hit the U.S. Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands. There was severe damage to the terminal especially around gate 6. Hurricane Irma was a Category 5 hurricane when it hit the U.S. Virgin Islands. No injuries were reported.