Mozart From Luxembourg, joined Aug 2003, 2263 posts, RR: 12 Posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 4200 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?
Trintocan From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2000, 3272 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 4186 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.
LimaFoxTango From Antigua and Barbuda, joined Jun 2004, 836 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 4030 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 . 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.