A guide to Tobago's A.N.R.Robinson International Airport
Tobago's only airport, A.N.R.Robinson International Airport (TAB), previously known as Crown Point International Airport, is located on the south-western tip of the island, 8 miles from capital,Scarborough.
The belt of land between the airport and the capital is home to more than 80% of Tobago's 50,000 population. All main hotels, guesthouses, apartments and villas are within a 15-minute drive of the airport.
Crown Point handles very few international flights so is quieter than most small provincial airports in Europe or North America. The airport website arrivals information pages indicate that they handle around 60 flights a week with no traffic before 6:20am or after 9:45pm. Only a few of the flights are large long-haul aircraft (Virgin Atlantic's Thursday flight is the only jumbo jet); the majority being smaller aircraft. This volume equates to one landing or take-off every hour. No wonder that visitors never complain about noise even when staying at hotels immediately adjacent to the airport.
Arrivals in Tobago
Don't expect remote aircraft bays or coach transfer across the tarmac at Crown Point. The airport has just four stands, immediately in front of the terminal, so it's simply a matter of a short walk across the tarmac while enjoying the heat. Make sure that each member of your party has completed and signed the Immigration form handed out by the flight attendants.
As everywhere around the world, be prepared for a long wait at Immigration. If you have any disability or are travelling with young children, inform one of the staff because they normally give such passengers priority.
The Baggage Hall will bring a smile to your face. There is just one tiny baggage carousel, althoug in fairness, that was extended in 2007. Heavens knows how it handles over 400 people on Virgin's Boeing 747. Ground handlers offload luggage from the carousel, but even with smaller aircraft it can be a total nightmare stepping across stacked luggage plus a few hundred passengers and trolleys to get your luggage. To make it worse, Tobago must be the only airport in the world that scans baggage as you leave the Arrivals Hall - one slow machine plus one bored Customs & Immigration officer. Be prepared for a LONG and frustrating wait.
The Customs officers seldom ask more than a cursory question and then you're out into the open, surrounded by a mass of tour reps and taxi drivers, all vying for your business. At least the taxi drivers are - most Tobago tour reps could be mistaken for private individuals meeting family and friends. By the standards of other destinations, they seem hell-bent on making it hard for you to make contact.
The main taxi area will be on your immediate left as you leave the terminal building. On the same side, just across the road, is the main car park and the offices of several car rental firms. Prices for standard taxi journeys are published inside the airport arrival lounge and are shown on our Taxis page. An hourly bus service costing TT$2 one way will take you into Scarborough.
Immediately opposite the terminal building is a cafe/snack bar, a small arcade of boutiques and a Republic Bank Blue Machine ATM/ABM cash dispenser (in a small kiosk to the left of the snack bar). If you have come without local funds, this is a good place to draw cash on your credit card.
The Check-In desks are located on the left, as you drive under the terminal portico. Most desks are handled by Piarco Air Services (623-1073). Virgin are one of the few airlines to have their own ground-handling team. The check-in desks for most evening European flights open at 3pm, but please click here for further details.
The departure tax is now paid by the airlines and therefore included in the flight cost. Visitors no longer need to queue and pay this tax before entering the departure lounge.
There is very little to do at the airport and even less in the Departure lounge, which has nothing but a small bar, a couple of souvenir boutiques selling t-shirts and local crafts, and a small duty-free shop with a limited choice (local rum TT$40-50 plus cheap cigarettes) but no electrical goods, watches or quality jewellery, etc. The departure lounge gets pretty hot and crowded, so you probably won't want to spend much time there. Allow at least 10-minutes to clear security at the entrance and whatever you do, make sure that you've got your boarding cards and departure tax certificates.
Please be aware that all major civil aviation authorities ban the transport of alcohol where the percentage of alcohol by volume is greater than 70% (140 proof) in either checked or cabin luggage. You won't be able to buy it at the airport, but you may care to think twice before treating yourself to the 75% Puncheon rum to take home.
The snack bar/cafe at the airport is adequate, but there is a better choice if you pass through the building via a small tunnel to the left of the cafe (past the ATM machine). On the far side of the building, facing you, is Vie de France, a useful little cafe and coffee bar that serves reasonable coffee, nice French-style gateaux and cakes and other snacks and light meals. You will experience some of the slowest service in Tobago, but it is a useful place to while away time while waiting for a flight.
Tobago Airport Contacts
Telephone: (868) 639-0509 / 639-8547 / 639-8389