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Skiathos airport upgrade

- by Dabs Banner

Runway being extended to Xanemos beach.

Visitors flying in and out of the holiday island of Skiathos may find the experience a little less taxing now that work is well under way on extending the island runway.

Thousands of tonnes of soil are being shipped to the beach near Xanemos to extend the island airport runway by 110 metres to create more runway for Skiathos flights.

Trucks are shifting earth seven days a week in a bid to get the new island runway ready in time for the 2014 holiday season on Skiathos.

When complete it will being a sigh of relief to regular Skiathos holiday visitors who have braved the notorious landing and take-off on the island's very short runway.

Incoming plans fly in low over the Skiathos Town harbour to touch down, slamming on brakes and throwing engines into reverse thrust to avoid toppling off the end of the runway and onto the island's Xanemos beach.

It is an even bigger problem for tourists leaving Skiathos as the runway is too short to allow holiday plans to take off with a full load of fuel, necessitating an extra stop at Thessaloniki to take on enough fuel to fly holiday Britons back home.

The land must be built up be several metres to extend the Skiathos runway with must of the earth being transported from land to the west of the runway.

The area of hillside being dug out will create hard standing for up to 10 aircraft to park up near the Skiathos terminal as well as a new taxiway.

The work has not gone without its problems. A popular taverna on the road from Skiathos Town to Xanemos has become almost stranded by operations.

But the latest work should mean not only safer landing and takeoff but a faster turnaround time for aircraft and shorter journey times home for Brits on holiday on Skiathos.