Friday, September 4, 2009

Athens airport facilities utilization change due to long term parking requirements

In the last couple of weeks many changes at the utilization of Athens International Airport facilities are taking place, mainly because of the upcoming start of Olympic Air operations and the fact that companies require long term parking of their planes (e.g. Hellenic Imperial Airways Boeing 747s, Elite Airlines Boeing 747, Sky Wings Boeing 757, Hellas Aviation Fokker 50s etc).
Both landside and airside changes have occured and more are to follow. Most landside changes have to do with the removal of old Olympic Airlines equipment that was stored inside their buildings, which are now stowed on various car parking areas outside the Olympic Air techinal hangar. More interesting though are the airside changes which are outlined below.

Changes already happened:
1) Stored helicopters registered SX-HIB and SX-HIG, owned by Interjet, were moved from their position outside the small Olympic Airlines technical hangar to the helipad. SX-HIG has no main rotor blades and the rotor is covered, while SX-HIB has the main rotor blades but the rotor is also covered.
2) Hellas Aviation Fokker 50 registered PH-KVE (to become SX-BRM) was towed from taxiway "Z" to Olympic Airlines technical hangar.
3) ex Freedom Airways Fokker 50 registered 5B-DCB was towed from the northern apron to taxiway "Z", along with the other 2 Fokker 50s (SX-BRS & PH-KVF)
4) Olympic Airlines Boeing 737 registered SX-BKN was parked in all white color on the northern apron. SX-BKI was also seen all white and doing ground tests (see post)
5) Aegean Airlines Boeing 737s registered SX-BGH & SX-BGR were parked on the northern side of the satellite building on stands A36 & A38 (see post)

The main upcoming change is that taxiway "B" will be closed between taxi links A1 and A7 from September 5th to September 30th in order to provide space for temporary parking of planes.
The NOTAM issued reads as follows:
"TWY B BTN TAXILINK A1 AND TAXILINK A7 CLOSED. 05 SEP 04:00 2009 UNTIL 30 SEP 23:59 2009. CREATED: 04 SEP 09:07 2009"
The situation will be similar to what happened during the 2007 UEFA Champions League Final that was held in Athens.
The planes that will be parked there may include the following:
1) Airbus A340s, Boeing 737s and ATRs of Olympic Airlines that will not be used by Olympic Air
2) The planes that are currently parked on taxiway "Z" (Elite Airlines Boeing 747 and Hellas Aviation Fokker 50s)
3) Sky Wings Boeing 757 (currently on the southern apron)
4) Hellenic Imperial Airways Boeing 747s that are not scheduled to fly soon

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