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This Small Greek Island Is A Spotter’s Paradise on The Aegean Sea

They Don’t Call Skiathos Island “The European St. Martin” For Nothing

Photo Credit: Maximilian Gruber

Skiathos Island National Airport (‘Alexandros Papadiamantis’- IATA code JSI and ICAO code LGSK) is located on the Greek island of Skiathos in the Aegean Sea. The island is a popular tourist destination and sees roughly 3,300 aircraft movements per year on the airport’s single 5,341 foot (1,628 meter) runway 02/20. What makes JSI so popular with planespotters is that there is a publically accessible road that passes in very close proximity to the end of runway 02. A similar situation exists at Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM / TNCM) on the island of Saint Martin in the Windward Islands of the South Caribbean. JSI compares favorably for planespotters, but it is no less dangerous to stand in the jet blast of an airliner taking off from JSI that it is to do the same at SXM.

JSI hosts primarily seasonal charter flights from originating airports all over Europe- perhaps part of the reason why the island and its airport are referred to as “the European St. Martin.”  The airport is capable of handling jetliners up to Boeing 757-200s in size, weight, and capacity, but Boeing 737s, Airbus A320 series, and turbine powered commuter aircraft make up most of the traffic.

Airlines such as Aviolet, Blue Air, British Airways, Condor, Finnair, Germanair, Meridiana, Olympic Air, Scandinavian, Small Planet, TAROM, Thomas Cook, Thomson, and TUI Fly Netherlands operate flights into and out of JSI. Even Greek Air Force Alenia G.222 airlifters come and go. When landing on runway 02 these jetliners often clear the roadway and adjacent parking and viewing area by 75 feet or less. It makes for a really close up look at some impressive aircraft. Thanks to YouTuber Cargospotter for uploading this highly entertaining video.

Photo Credit: Flo Weiss

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Written by Bill Walton

Bill Walton

Bill Walton is a life-long aviation enthusiast and expert in aircraft recognition. As a teenager Bill helped his engineer father build an award-winning T-18 homebuilt airplane in their Wisconsin basement. Bill is a freelance writer, an avid sailor, engineer, announcer, husband, father, uncle, mentor, coach, and Navy veteran. Bill lives north of Houston TX with his wife and son under the approach path to KDWH runway 17R, which means they get to look up at a lot of airplanes. A very good thing.