Caution: Based on data and experiences of Summer 2006, not updated since!

 

Introduction

Skiathos might be a small island, but its airport, LGSK/JSI, named after local writer Alexandros Papadiamandis is well wort a visit, mainly because of the low approaches and the thrilling spot directly behind the treshold. JSI is a small airport, capable only of handling 3 aircraft at the same time. Another limiting factor is the extremely short runway.

JSI is located just east of the pretty Skiathos town and can well be reached on foot. It’s about a 15min walk along the cost from town to the main spotting area, 10mins more to the terminal. The town’s bus stop is also on the eastern end, close to the airport. From here, buses run regularily to the holiday areas and beaches in the south of the island. I recommend renting a bicycle (4-8 Euro per day if I recall correctly) which allows you to head to the terminal or into town to buy some refreshments. 

Caution: I was chased by a group of rather aggressive stray dogs on the way from Spot 1 to the Terminal. This was only the case early in the morning, when there was no traffic on the road and I was about the only person around. However, they were too slow for me on my bicycle, so renting one sounds like a safe idea :) Good luck!


Procedures

Most of the time, Rwy02 is in use. However, during calm winds, it may occur that some landings take place on Rwy20, which is shorter for all the charters arriving from the north.
However, even in this case the spots at the southern end (spot 1-3) work fine, as the aircraft will taxi all the way down after landing to turn around.


Traffic

Well, Skiathos isn’t Heathrow, and you should definitely take a good book with you.
Friday is the best day with by far the most movements, virtually all of them english charters. In July 2006 I had: 9x Excel, 6x First Choice, 2x Monarch 2x Astreus, 2x Air One. Most are A320/B737, but also some 757.
Monday has mainly scandinavian traffic, but far less movements than Friday. Some Novair and SAS can be seen.
Wednesday has some UK charters, but not really a lot.
Tuesday as well as Saturday see a nice mix of european traffic, but by far not as busy as Friday.

Flightstats.com might be a good option to check for flights before you go.

Here's all traffic from Friday, July 28, 2006 (departure times, all other types were A320/B737)

AirlineCallsignDestinationTimeType
Lithuanian 4526 MXP via Araxos 09:55  
Air Italy 229 MXP via Kos 10:30  
Air One 8220 FCO via Kos 10:50  
Astreus 476 MAN 11:15  
Air Malta 4509 BHX via Kavala 12:10  
Astreus 322 LGW 12:30 B757
Excel 5079 LGW via Lemnos 13:05  
First Choice 4525 LGW via Thessaloniki 13:30 B757
Excel 2007 MAN via Volos 14:00  
Excel 963 EMA via Kavala 14:25  
First Choice 2515 MAN via Thessaloniki 15:00  
Excel 6047 BRS via Kavala 15:30  
Excel 4151 NCL via Kavala 15:55  
Excel 2409 MAN 16:20 B757
First Choice 4525 LGW 16:30  
Excel 5273 LGW 17:30  
Excel 5285 LGW via Volos 17:40  
Excel 5273 LGW 17:45  
First Choice 2515 MAN 18:00  
First Choice 4553 LGW 18:35  
Monarch 1579 LGW 19:00 B757
Monarch 1275 MAN 20:40 B757
Air One 8525 FCO 21:00  
First Choice 4553 LGW 21:35  




ATC-Frequencies

Macedonia Radar 135.25
DEL/GND/TWR/APP 126.05



Spotting Points





Location 1: Threshold Rwy02

For sure the most impressive spot. A small road runs close behind the treshold of Rwy02. The fence is only chest-high, so you don’t need a ladder. Impressive for backtracks and takeoffs, but also for the low landings.
Caution: The jet blast is VERY strong, be sure to have your bags out of reach! If you don’t like your current haircut, go ahead, but be warned, it’s hot, sandy and windy, but quite a thrill to stand behind an MD-80 applying Takeoff-thrust. There’s also a small, pebbly beach just behind the runway.

Getting there A 15min walk from downtown along the (empty) main road hugging the coast
Facilities Taverna/Café nearby, beach and a small harbour
Focal Length 18-55 is enough for backtracking and landing aircraft
Views Low approaches Rwy 02, backtracks Rwy 02
Best Time All day

Approach Rwy02

Backtracking

This is it!

Feeling the power!
 

 

 

Location 2: The trailer

On the eastern side of the beginning of Rwy02, an abandoned truck trailer is parked beside the road. Nobody cared when I climbed up there, you get nice shots of arriving aircraft with the town in the background. Touchdowns on Rwy02 can be shot as well, as can be backtracks (but here spot 1's probably more impressive)

Getting there A 2min walk from spot 1. Follow the road on the eastern side of the runway
Facilities See spot 1
Focal Length 75mm for approach shots, 100-200mm for touchdowns
Views Approach and touchdown Rwy 02
Best Time First half of the day

Approach Rwy 02

Touchdown Rwy 02
 

 

 

Location 3: Long term car park

Just south of the terminal is a big, paved parking area. It is slightly elevated, allowing you to see over the fence onto the runway, or to have a look at the tarmac through the fence.

Getting there From Spot 1: A 10min walk along the western perimeter road; from the Terminal: A 5min walk to the south
Facilities At the Terminal
Focal Length 50-100mm for runway movements, 100+ for apron shots
Views Touchdowns, runway movements, apron views
Best Time Second half of the day

Landing Rwy02, morning

On the runway

On the tarmac
 

 

 

Location 4: Terminal Caféteria

There is a Caféteria on the second floor of the terminal. It offers good apron views, altough through (quite dirty and slightly tinted) windows.

Getting there Head to the second floor of the terminal
Facilities At the terminal
Focal Length 50-100mm
Views Apron and possibly runway shots
Best Time Second half of the day
 

Caféteria can be seen in the top right corner
 

 

 

Location 5: Xanemos Beach

On the northern side of the airport, this sandy beach is a nice place to stay. You can try to shoot aircraft from down there, or climb up one of the hills it is framed by for fantastic views. Please note: I've never visited that beach myself.

Getting there Use the road that runs all along the eastern side of the runway. There seems to be a bus service to the beach, too
Facilities Small café at the beach
Focal Length  
Views Aircraft approaching Rwy20, low departures out of Rwy 02
Best Time Should be okay all day
Check: Photo: Approaching over the beach
Photo: View from the top of the hill
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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