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Future Of Merida, Venezuela Airport?  
User currently offlineMozart From Luxembourg, joined Aug 2003, 2236 posts, RR: 13
Posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 6715 times:

If I understand correctly Merida airport is no longer used for scheduled commercial flights since the accident of an ATR there.

What will the future of that airport be? Will services resume? If so, will there be any changes to the infrastructure before that can happen?

How about the past? It seems that in recent years only commuter planes flew there. Was there anytime anything larger, like one of those many Venezuelan DC9s or 727s?

Finally, I hear the airport has a very challenging approach. Can anybody direct me to an approach plate, I'd like to take a look.

Thanks

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineRFields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 1, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 6697 times:

I had not heard the airport was no longer on schedules.

The crash happend after departure from Rwy 24 during the 180 turn pilots take to head to northern Venezuela - rather than the longer route out of the mountains.

Found this link on a forum discussing the crash. Apparently there are no published approach plates http://img217.imageshack.us/img217/7127/diapositiva2co1.jpg

Edit - this is apparently the only visual approach chart

http://guzzoa.tripod.com/cartas/svmd1.jpg

http://guzzoa.tripod.com/cartas/svmd2.jpg

[Edited 2009-09-28 09:57:14]

User currently offlineViasa From Switzerland, joined Jun 2005, 1898 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 6556 times:



Quoting Mozart (Thread starter):
Was there anytime anything larger, like one of those many Venezuelan DC9s or 727s?

Myself was on a flight with the old Aeropostal from Merida to Caracas. The plane was a McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30. The same day (back in 1992) was also a flight with Avensa's Boeing 727-200.


User currently offlineCivilav From Mexico, joined Oct 2004, 391 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 6498 times:



Quoting Mozart (Thread starter):
Was there anytime anything larger, like one of those many Venezuelan DC9s or 727s?

Oh yes.
In 1977, after the State-owned LAV procured brand-new McDonnell Douglas equipment in 1975 (3 DC-9-51 and 3 DC-9-32), a team from the manufacturer cleared Merida Alberto Carnevalli airport for DC-9-32 operations with 14,000 lbs-thrust engines minimum and several weight penalties. But the airport was given the ok.

Linea Aeropostal Venezolana began services there in July 1977 with a DC-9-32 (YV-125C) appropriately christened "El Andino" (Merida is the highest State capital in Venezuela perched in a valley up in the Andes range of mountains). Avensa followed suit a couple of months later with another DC-9-31.

In May 1981, Avensa boldly began 727-200 Advanced services from the airport (they had bought 2 brand new planes, YV-74C and YV-75C in 1979) and the plane was an instant success as it afforded greater payload.

At the height of deregulation in air transport in Venezuela (1993), Merida boasted a daily DC-9-32 service with LAV, a daily 727-200Advanced service with Servivensa, and 3 times daily 727-200Advanced service with Avensa, linking the city not only with the capital, Caracas, but with San Antonio del Tachira, Maracaibo, Barquisimeto and Valencia.

In 1995, for a few months, Avensa operated boeing 737-300 services very succesfully performance-wise. I am at a loss to explain why Conviasa has not taken up the route. The demand is there and the damage to the tourist industry in that State (which basically lives off agriculture and tourism) has been enormous.

I lived in Merida itself from 1994 till 2003 and my kids are still there. It is an incredible "pain" to be polite, to have to drive all the way to the nearest airport in El Vigia to catch a connecting flight in Caracas.

Greetings from Cancun.


User currently offlineRFields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 4, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 6473 times:

I have to apologize. The two charts I linked to above appear to be off-line/ removed from the free image hosting site now.

I did not save them to a local hard drive so I cannot relink to them.


User currently offlineAirKas1 From Netherlands, joined Dec 2003, 4028 posts, RR: 55
Reply 5, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 6464 times:

I have lovely memories about this airport when I was young. I went there with my family once, for a vacation. IIRC we flew a Avensa 727. This was around '94-97'.

User currently offlineViasa From Switzerland, joined Jun 2005, 1898 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 6435 times:



Quoting Civilav (Reply 3):
Linea Aeropostal Venezolana began services there in July 1977 with a DC-9-32 (YV-125C) appropriately christened "El Andino"

Just a small correction: it was YV-25C.

I was onbord this plane 14-Oct-1992 on the leg MRD-CCS, and than 20-May-2007 on the leg CCS-PMV (plane was reregistrated to YV1124),


User currently offlineCayman From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 905 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 6379 times:

I've had the pleasure of flying in and our of MRD maybe 40 times, but only 1 landing and 1 takeoff on an Avensa 727-200 in 1999 I think. That was a fascinating a/c to see in that airport, the runway being so tightly surrounded by dense urban dwellings, and the moutnains on either side of the valley.

The 727 would land and have to turnaround in very tight apron at end of runway, very tioght turn and then taxi back along the only active (no taxiway).

It's a coll runway, quite a hill actually.

But the 727 once airborne had some impresive climbout performance to watch on departure.

As other posters have said, it realy seems like a big ove-reaction to shut down the airport for 1 ioslated incident that sems to have been a glaring pilto error issue, may they RIP. El Vigia is massively inconveneient to arrive in Merida City.


User currently offlineCivilav From Mexico, joined Oct 2004, 391 posts, RR: 12
Reply 8, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 6262 times:



Quoting Viasa (Reply 6):
Just a small correction: it was YV-25C.

Thank you for the correction.. A small typo....
Indeed, YV-125C was a VIASA DC-8-63 ex- YV-C-VIA.

Saludos from Cancun.


User currently offlineViasa From Switzerland, joined Jun 2005, 1898 posts, RR: 6
Reply 9, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 6190 times:



Quoting Civilav (Reply 8):
Indeed, YV-125C was a VIASA DC-8-63 ex- YV-C-VIA.

... and later the registration was used by Viasa for a Boeing 727.

So back to topic!


User currently offlineAlianza From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 230 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 6095 times:



Quoting Civilav (Reply 3):
In 1995, for a few months, Avensa operated boeing 737-300 services very succesfully performance-wise

MRD is a great town, seems it has a high percentage of residents with Italian descent there.

I used Avensa in 1996, CCS - MRD but the fog had closed MRD so we were diverted to Bahia, then drove a couple of hours by car to MRD, on a dusty, stone road.

Leaving MRD-CCS was fine, after clearing the mountain at the end of the runway! It's almost like STT but with the mountains tight against a narrow runway.


In MRD there is plenty of space to relocate the airport outside the town, away from the mountain.


Saludos,


User currently offlineMozart From Luxembourg, joined Aug 2003, 2236 posts, RR: 13
Reply 11, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 6065 times:



Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 4):
I have to apologize. The two charts I linked to above appear to be off-line/ removed from the free image hosting site now.

I did not save them to a local hard drive so I cannot relink to them.

Actually my mistake. I tried opening them up in a browser other than Explorer (I think Firefox or Chrome). When I used Explorer, the link actually worked.

Very interesting charts, this reminds me of that one airport in Tibet where you have to make the approach down a curved mountain valley. Except that in Tibet they have set it up for RNAV, whereas this one is 100% visual.

Thanks again for the info.


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