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The Caribbean territory of Anguilla has announced that it has renamed its airport, Wallblake Airport, to Clayton J. Lloyd International Aiport having met the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization to be designated as an international airport. The name was officially changed to honour Anguilla’s foremost aviation pioneer.
Captain Lloyd was the first Anguillan pilot and he created the first Anguilla air service, Air Anguilla, later known as Valley Air Service, which operated from the 1960s to 1977. His first airplane, the Piper Aztec, transported Anguillans between islands and Lloyd eventually operated a fleet of seven aircraft including a Cessna, Islander, Navaho and Queen Air Beechcraft. Besides providing revenue for the island and employment and training for Anguillans, his services also included coast guard search and rescue missions for lost fishermen and medical emergency transportation for Anguillans and visitors.
Originally, the airport served as a military airstrip in the 1940s but today the 5,400ft airstrip accommodates regular inter-island aircraft, travelers and executive jets.
Haydn Hughes, Anguilla's Parliamentary Secretary responsible for Tourism stated of the renaming: "The lifeline for a tourism destination is having easy and convenient access so we are particularly pleased that Anguilla is now able to provide the prospective visitor with the widest range ever of options to travel here. This bodes well for the resorts that have recently opened and the new product that will be ready for the upcoming winter season."
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