...What are the experience requirements....if any..... for pilots to fly charters into airports that the carrier doesn't normally fly into?...
There are in fact some airfields, around the world, where special restrictions, imposed by the civil aviation authority of the state in which that airfield is situated, apply.
These airfields may be relatively few in number but they do exist and the restrictions imposed by the state apply to anyone operating in and out of that airfield. In my (very limited) experience, such conditions are generally imposed for two reasons:
Firstly because of the existence of some particularly difficult or dangerous local factors which may affect the approach, landing, or go-around. These factors could include a curved final approach path, prohibited airspace very close to the runway, very short, very steep, very slippery runways, very high altitude airfields, lack of any over-run or undershoot area, high terrain very close to the airfield or approach path or dangerous local wind conditions.
Secondly because the state involved became fed up with having a few pilots who, despite being provided with briefing documents for that airfield, still remained rather complacent or unaware about the gravity of the particular problems at that airfield and who then caused problems by messing up badly - sometimes fatally - on arrival.
One such restricted airfield is Madeira (LPMA) where the Portuguese civil aviation authority impose conditions - and monitor compliance - on anyone operating in there in an aircraft capable of carrying more than 10 passengers.
Very broadly, amongst the Portuguese requirements for a Captain to operate into LPMA are:
- * Completion of a Portuguese CAA approved initial training course.
- * 200 hrs P1 on the aircraft type concerned.
- * One T/O and LDG there in the last six months.
Interestingly, for Madeira, the Captain's approval to operate there is aircraft type specific, so an approved Captain who later changes to another aircraft type loses approval and must regain approval on the new aircraft type by satisfying the initial training requirements again.
Finally, don't forget that there are many airfields that will not allow a particular aircraft type to operate there (as I repeatedly found out some years ago
) so whenever operating to a new destination it is always prudent to look at the National or State documentation for the airfield concerned, as well as that airfield's own local regulations, before setting off.
Something that charter pilots, particularly those who fly internationally - and who fly to new destinations much more frequently than I ever did as pilot with a scheduled airline - are actually well aware off.