August 12, 2013
Gibraltar is a small place, though amazingly nearly half of it is a nature preserve.
Gibraltar International Airport has only one air strip, for the simple reason that there isn't room for more than one. In fact, there wasn't really room for even that one; they had to put half of it out into the harbor.
And about halfway along it, there's a major city street that crosses it. Not with a tunnel, either; it's at the same level. When a plane is due to land, they have to stop traffic on that street. It's considered the most dangerous airport in Europe.
I dunno, though. The last time there was a fatal crash there was 1943. Still, I'd feel a lot better if that street went under the airstrip instead of across it. (Even though they average about 10 flights per day.)
Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Weird World at
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Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at August 12, 2013 02:11 PM (RqRa5)
But, considering the amazing lack of accidents, there's really not much reason to invest the tens of millions of dollars to extend the runway out into the eastern oceanside.
Posted by: sqa at August 12, 2013 03:30 PM (a/IgQ)
Posted by: David at August 12, 2013 06:03 PM (da+4f)
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at August 12, 2013 06:58 PM (+rSRq)
Though it's a great reminder that the single most dangerous part of flight is the take off and landing.
Posted by: sqa at August 12, 2013 08:22 PM (a/IgQ)
Posted by: Mauser at August 12, 2013 11:46 PM (TJ7ih)
Finally, when I lived in New England, I remember that Pease AFB (which closed by BRAC, and made into a GA airport called Pease International Tradeport) had an overpass over I-95 that was perpendicular to the runway and *very* close to it. Being elevated, it was a regular occurrence to drive along and have a decent-sized plane zoom right overhead, at what felt like maybe 50-100 feet up.
Given the layout of Gibralter, I wonder how much effort it would take to build a tunnel and keep it dry. It's not as if we don't know how to build underwater tunnels and keep them dry; the question, I guess, is whether it's cost-effective.
Posted by: RickC at August 13, 2013 04:22 AM (WQ6Vb)
Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at August 13, 2013 05:12 AM (RqRa5)
I think the problem is that if they wanted to put in a tunnel, the air strip would have to be shut down for about a month.
The existing system seems to work, and losing all air traffic for a month would be a huge problem, so there's little incentive to make the change.
If a jet hits a car, and 300 people are killed, then maybe they'd start thinking about it.
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at August 13, 2013 07:15 AM (+rSRq)
Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at August 13, 2013 08:52 AM (RqRa5)
Posted by: Mark A. Flacy at August 13, 2013 06:16 PM (66bg3)
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Spoilers which are not properly tagged will be ruthlessly deleted on sight.
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