Virgin Gorda Airport in the British Virgin Islands could reopen in November, pending completion of major construction work to extend the runway and build a new terminal.

The airport, which overlooks Taylor's Bay on the island’s southeast coast, was closed in late January by Air Safety Support International, the BVI's aviation regulatory agency.

The agency said the airport had to be brought in line with international safety standards. It requested a survey to ensure that the soil is suitable for the runway extension, according to the BVI Beacon.

Once the survey is done, nearby boulders have to be blasted out of the way.

The current granite sand runway runs parallel to a reef with rocky outcroppings along the shore.

BVI Premier Ralph O'Neal said the aviation agency's decision to close the airport during the winter season "put the BVI Tourist Board in a tight spot."

Since the closure, the tourist board has operated a boat transfer to bring Virgin Gorda guests from the main airport on Beef Island.

The airport, previously owned and operated by Little Dix Bay Resort, was purchased by the government in 2005 for $2.9 million.

Carriers serving Virgin Gorda Airport include Air Sunshine from San Juan and Air St. Thomas from St. Thomas.

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