The St Barths airport is famous for having the shortest runway of any airport in the Caribbean. At only 2,100 feet long, and running up against a mountain at its southern end, the runway can only accommodate propeller planes like the Pilatus PC12 , Cessna 208 Caravans, Twin Otters, and Britten-Norman Islanders that seat 16 people or less. The runway is too short to accommodate even the smallest private jet.
St Barths from Laura Habecker.
The St Barths Airport is formally named the Gustaf III Airport (IATA: SBH), but is also known as Saint Barthélemy Airport and, sometimes as St. Jean Airport (French: Aérodrome de St Jean). Vacationers most commonly fly to St Barths from the Princess Juliana Airport (IATA: SXM) in nearby Dutch St Maarten or the Luis Muñoz Marín Airport (IATA: SJU) in San Juan, Puerto Rico. There are also daily flights to St Barths airport from the V. C. Bird International Airport (IATA: ANU) in Antigua, and the Cyril E. King International Airport (IATA: CEKA) on St Thomas in the United States Virgin Islands.
When approached from the northeast, the approach is called Runway 10. It is fronted by a small mountain, and St Jean beach lies at the end. When approaching over the beach it is referred to as Runway 28. The airport does not have runway lights, and is only open during daylight hours. There are no flights in or out after sunset.
The principal airlines serving St Barths are Tradewind Aviation – with flights from San Juan, St Thomas and Antigua - as well as Win-Air and St Barth Commuter which offer daily flights from St Martin. Airlines flying into San Juan include Jet Blue, American, Delta, United and Southwest. Airlines flying into St Martin include USAIR, Delta, Continental, American Airlines, United Airlines, Air France, Corsair, Alitalia, and KLM. WIMCO's air department can make reservations on all international and local carriers serving St Barths airport, read more about local flight options including private charter flights to St Barths.
From Guadeloupe, Air Caraïbes offers a few direct flights to St Barts (45 minutes) and others via St Marteen departing at times meant to accommodate the arrival of the bigger planes from Europe.
The History Channel TV show "Most Extreme Airports" ranks the Gustaf III airport in St Barths as the third most dangerous airport in the world. While landing at the airport can be a challenge for even the most experienced pilots when winds kick-up, there have been few incidents or accidents.