🇹🇨Pine Cay

Cowles Field (Pine Cay Airport), Turks and Caicos

Even in the most uncommon of destinations, it’s sometimes a challenge to find truly uncommon attractions. Not so in Pine Cay, the sleepy slice of sand-swept heaven in the Turks and Caicos. You actually won’t find any real attractions here. (Well, not the “tour guide required” kind, anyway.) This, of course, makes Cowles Field that much more perfect in my eyes.

Cowles Field
Airport Terminal at Cowles Field, Pine Cay, Turks and Caicos | Photo by Steve Bennett

Real, Uncommon Airport

Now, you may find this somewhat hard to believe based on the image above, but Cowles Field (IATA: PIC) really is a real airport. The airport, which is also known as Pine Cay Airport, is one of only eight in the 300+ islands, cays, and atolls that make up the Turks and Caicos.

(See, it’s even listed on World-Airport-Codes.com!)

The rustic shelter in the photo is the actual airport terminal… All of it!

Small, hand-carved signs on the bench indicate that departing passengers must sit on the right. Arrivals are invited to relax on the left.

Another hand-carved sign just outside the airport provides a humorous indication that you’re near the terminal…

Stop! Look!
Sign at the entrance to Cowles Field on Pine Cay, Turks and Caicos | Photo by Steve Bennett

Little Used, At Least for Flights

I did not arrive in Pine Cay via Cowles Field. Hardly anyone does these days. Formerly frequent air transfers from Providenciales International Airport (PLS) have been replaced by a quick and scenic private boat charter courtesy of The Meridian Club, Pine Cay’s sole resort property. You’re more apt to see Club guests and owners of the 36 private homes on the island taking in a movie on the runway from the comfort of their golf carts. (The Meridian Club puts on a “Drive-In Theater”  here during the winter season.)

A handful of guests and homeowners with private planes continue to make good use of Cowles’ 2,500-foot runway from time to time. Mostly, though, it just sits empty…

2,500 ft runway at Cowles Field
2,500-ft runway at Cowles Field on Pine Cay, Turks and Caicos | Photo by Steve Bennett

Sitting here gazing at this long expanse of empty runway, I really wished that one of my brothers were traveling with me. Sure, it would be fun to take pictures and share the quirkiness of the place with a buddy. What I really had in mind, though, was something more exciting…

Cowles Field Drag Racing!

Pine Cay is one of those special places without cars where everyone gets around by golf cart or bicycle. Racing in either would’ve made for a great afternoon of fun, on the tarmac. Since I was flying solo, though, I had to settle for the simple and unique thrill of riding up and down a real, live airport runway alone…

Flying solo down Cowles Field
Solo riding down the Cowles Field Runway, Pine Cay, Turks and Caicos | Photo by Steve Bennett

Now, as I’ve mentioned before, Cowles Field is a real, live airport. That said, you’re technically not supposed to be on the runway at any time. The folks at The Meridian Club discourage it. So of course, you didn’t hear about any of this from me…

Last updated by Steve Bennett on .

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