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Caribbean Airports - More Challenging/dangerous?  
User currently offlineMozart From Luxembourg, joined Aug 2003, 2238 posts, RR: 13
Posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 3984 times:

The title is very misleading I guess but I couldn't find another way to express in the given space what I'd like to discuss.

There are some very challenging airports in the Caribbean. Leaving weather aside, simply terrain and/or runway infrastructure. St. Maarten isn't easy, but compared to St. Barth or Saba it looks like a walk.

Which other airports in the Caribbean/Bahamas region are a similar challenge for their terrain or runway infrastructure?

Is the growth of the airline industry in that part of the world restrained by the challenges of geography?

6 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineTrintocan From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2000, 3257 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 3970 times:

Quite a few Caribbean airports have been constrained by terrain. Perhaps the best example is Dominica. Dominica (not the same as Dominican Republic mind) has long been reliant on its Melville Hall airfield to the north-east of the island - it has a relatively short runway and can only handle turboprop passenger flights (though 727s land there on cargo services). It can only handle flights during the day as well. This airport is over 2 hours' drive from the capital Roseau and so in 1983 a new airport called Canefield opened closer to the capital. Canefield's runway is much shorter though and laid out north-south, which in the Caribbean means that poor weather can adversely affect operations (prevailing winds come from the NE). Canefield suffered a fatal crash a few years ago too. St. Vincent, Saba, Statia and St Barts have also been challenges to build airports on as was Grenada until Point Salines was constructed in the 1980s - to build it, the SW tip of the island was levelled (7 hills had to be cut down) plus a bay, Hardy Bay, partially filled in. A bit of the bay remains as a lake.

TrinToCan.



Hop to it, fly for life!
User currently offlineLimaFoxTango From Antigua and Barbuda, joined Jun 2004, 807 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 3814 times:



Quoting Mozart (Thread starter):
There are some very challenging airports in the Caribbean. Leaving weather aside, simply terrain and/or runway infrastructure. St. Maarten isn't easy, but compared to St. Barth or Saba it looks like a walk.

SXM is far from challenging and dangerous. It only appears that way when Air France lands  duck  . Anyway, DOM (Meliville Hall, Dominca) is pretty challenging if one is not familiar with the nearby terrain, as is EIS (Beef Island, Tortola). DCF (Canefield, Dominca), Saba, St. Barts and MNI (Montserrat) can all be placed in the same bracket. NEV (Nevis) can be tough at times due terrain, short runway and high winds at times. SVD ( ET Joshua, St. Vincent) can be quite a handfull due to tailwind takeoff and short runway. Bequia, Union Island, Mustique in the Grenadine chain of islands can be quite challenging and dangerous due short runway, terrain and when high winds exist.

That's all what comes to mind in the Eastern Caribbean. I'm sure someone else will expand that list.



You are said to be a good pilot when your take-off's equal your landings.
User currently offlineMozart From Luxembourg, joined Aug 2003, 2238 posts, RR: 13
Reply 3, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 3699 times:

Very interesting responses, thanks a lot.

Quoting LimaFoxTango (Reply 2):
equia, Union Island, Mustique in the Grenadine chain of islands can be quite challenging and dangerous due short runway, terrain and when high winds exist

Just a question: are there any commercial flights, charter or scheduled, to Mustique? It never seems to come up in any timetable.


User currently offlineSCL767 From Chile, joined Feb 2006, 8862 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 3673 times:



Quoting Mozart (Reply 3):
Just a question: are there any commercial flights, charter or scheduled, to Mustique? It never seems to come up in any timetable.

Yes, via BGI, this link might help:
http://www.mustique-island.com/mustique_island/travel_plans.php


User currently offlineYellowtail From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 6347 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 3574 times:

There are some in Central America that are far worse than anything in the Caribbean....TGU is hair raising ..even on a sunny day!


When in doubt, hold on to your altitude. No-one has ever collided with the sky.
User currently offlineBeeweel15 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 1795 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 3397 times:



Quoting Yellowtail (Reply 5):
There are some in Central America that are far worse than anything in the Caribbean....TGU is hair raising ..even on a sunny day!

Here are some videos

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-B4QCb2NhI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAxAso8xSo0


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