Monday, 2 April 2007

Okecie airport, our near neighbour

"Warsaw Tower, this is Brussels Airlines Delta Juliet Oscar, inbound to land"... (BAE Systems Avro 146 RJ85)

We're less than three miles from the threshold of Warsaw Okecie Airport's Runway 33. With prevailing winds from the north west, planes coming into land at Okecie frequently fly over Jeziorki, coming in over ul. Sarabandy, crossing ul. Baletowa, then over ul. Jeziorki, before finally crossing ul. Karnawal and going 'over the fence' to touch down on the runway.

As the planes' engines are on low thrust for landing, they're not too noisy. They're noisier when taking off to the south and flying over Jeziorki. But this happens less often than the landings.

Above: Tupolev Tu-154M of the Polish Air Force, VIP transport for Poland's president and premier. One of the many interesting aircraft we often see above Jeziorki

The presence of the airport is a factor slowing down urban development in this part of Warsaw. The local authorities and the airport have drawn up zoning plans preventing the construction of high-rise buildings, although these plans are nebulous and legally disputed.

Talk of building a second runway parallel to the current main runway (15-33) to replace the shorter north west-south east runway (11-29) adds to the uncertainty. If built, the flightpath for new runway 33L will run directly over ul. Trombity. Still, it's a trade-off. Personally, I'd rather have more aircraft overhead than a rapid urbanisation of our street. I don't know if the farmers owning land round here would agree; their land prices would tumble if a blanket ban on new building were to be imposed.

Of course we'd rather have more planes flying overhead - we are EPWA spottaz! Incidentally, no one calls it 'Frederic Chopin Airport' - always 'Okęcie' (pron. ohKENCHyeah).

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