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Extremely Short Runway 737

Tue Mar 13, 2001 2:50 am

On this site I found a picture of a Lauda air Boeing 737-300 landing at skiathos airport in greece. I've landed at zakynthos, kos and corfu but they all have runways of over 2000 metres. Skiathos airport has a runwaylenghth of 1570 metres (around 4700 feet). Are there strict load restrictions? And isn't it dangerous?
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RE: Extremely Short Runway 737

Tue Mar 13, 2001 2:58 am

Maybe thay have wheight restrictions but I don't think that it's dangerous, pilots know what they're doing.

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RE: Extremely Short Runway 737

Tue Mar 13, 2001 3:34 am

At a former airline I worked for, we ran 737-200s on short-hauls into a couple of 4,800-foot runways, and we had certain operational restrictions so as to maintain a safe operation. For instance, flaps-15 landings were prohibited (keeping us flaps-30 or -40), as were not being able to land if the runways were wet. Operative anti-skid and thrust reversers were required.

Having (and complying with) these restrictions made things interesting sometimes (like diverting due to a simple rainshower, nowhere near landing minimums, just because the runway was now wet), but we never had any major problems. Departing these places, we sure were not going on any long non-stop flights, and we had just enough takeoff weight (courtesy of the -17 engines) to get to our destinations about an hour away.

With the proper restrictions in place and complied with, operations into marginal airports can be just as safe as operating anywhere else..

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RE: Extremely Short Runway 737

Tue Mar 13, 2001 4:34 am

I have been to Skiathos many times, and I’ve never been afraid during landing and take-off. The runway is very short and most aircrafts have to take-off with as little fuel as possible because of the weight. Most airlines choose to land at Thessaloniki for refueling. The 737-700 however can fly all the way to Norway without making any refueling stops. Skiathos also sees 757s and A321s during the busy summer season.
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RE: Extremely Short Runway 737

Tue Mar 13, 2001 4:37 am

UK Airlines use aircraft up to the size of the A321 on flights from the UK to Skiathos, but most carriers don't use anything larger than the A320/B737 into JSI.

Yes, there are of course load restrictions, which if you want to carry a full load of passengers - you can't normally carry enough fuel to reach the UK (around 4 hours flight away) For this reason, all return flights to the UK are scheduled to make an inbound tech stop for refuelling, most airlines use Thessalonika, but some flights stop in Athens or Limnos.

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Skiathos is an unforgiving airport, and individual airlines have their own restrictions and training requirements of the type OPNLguy mentioned

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RE: Extremely Short Runway 737

Tue Mar 13, 2001 4:46 am

Last summer, I went to Kos, Greece. The Boeing 737-400 from Virgin Express was fully loaded with passengers (charter flight), and the flights to and from Brussels took some 3,5 hours.

So, apparently, even a small airport such as Kos is able to handle heavy loaded jetliners. For instance, I even saw larger planes taking off, bound to the UK. Actually, as I'm writing, I remember a MD-11 from Martinair taking off, destination Holland. I wonder if they had a lot of unused runway left...  Wink/being sarcastic
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RE: Extremely Short Runway 737

Tue Mar 13, 2001 6:36 am

Alaska Airlines operates 737-200 Combination freighters to Dutch Harbor, AK (PADU) which is 3900 feet long. I know they have restrictions but am not sure of the specifics. As of October 2000 they had 8 of these airplanes and they are a common site at many locations in Alaska. According to a .pdf file from their web page, they can vary the seating capacity of these aircraft between 26 and 111 seats depending on the amount of freight and useful load. If you've ever seen one of these jets land or take off from PADU, you'd agree that it is quite a sight!

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RE: Extremely Short Runway 737

Tue Mar 13, 2001 6:54 am

Mikonos JMK in greece has also a very small runway. While reaching the runway's end you think that you will fall in the sea, even with a 737-200. That's why Olympic operates with ATRs there.
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RE: Extremely Short Runway 737

Tue Mar 13, 2001 7:49 am

Every day year around the Faeroy Islands in the Atlantic Ocean is served by a Maersk Air 737-500 on its 1250m (4100 feet) runway. With severe weight restrictions, yes, sure. But it makes it with a hundred pax and fuel for a just over one and a half hour flight to Copenhagen.
Before the 737-500 came off the Seattle assembly line it was served by a 737-200.
The same route is also served by the local Atlantic Airways using a BAe 146, which is probably more fit for the job.
Best regards, Preben Norholm
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs

RE: Extremely Short Runway 737

Tue Mar 13, 2001 9:18 am

My last airline we flew 737-400's into a 5000x100 foot airport. No approach lights or center line lights and ref speeds in the 140's if loaded and a wind additive. While a handful, it's certainly safe to do. You just have to find your touchdown spot, nail your airspeed, and stick it there, soft or hard. If you float or get high, don't be afraid to go around and do it again. Not too proud to say we did that a few times. Nightime in the rain and a crosswind, was certainly a challenge, but safe and within the performance limits of the plane.
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RE: Extremely Short Runway 737

Tue Mar 13, 2001 10:22 am

Go Around, was that Alaska Airlines? I don't think USAirways operates into airstrips that short, and they are the only other US main line carrier that operates the 400.

RE: Extremely Short Runway 737

Tue Mar 13, 2001 10:35 am

How would you rate a 6000' runway with an ILS?, would there be any weight/weather restrictions(737)?
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RE: Extremely Short Runway 737

Tue Mar 13, 2001 10:43 am

According to the Boeing BBJ site, the BBJ (a 73G with roughly 738 max weight) can land in 3,200 feet and take off in 6,100 feet at max weight. So 6,000 feet should suffice for almost any operations unless hot or high.

RE: Extremely Short Runway 737

Tue Mar 13, 2001 12:17 pm

Pro Air flew -400's our of Detroit City Airport, 5000x100.

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