The National Airport of Rhodes «Diagoras» is located in Rhodes, 16 kilometers southwest of Rhodes, in the village Paradisi.
It is the fourth largest airport in Greece, as far as the volume of passengers is concerned, with traffic reaching 415.166 passengers in 2007 for internal flights and 1.395.021 passengers for external flights. It started working on the 28th June 1977, replacing the outdated for civil use airport which was located a few kilometers further to the east, in the region of Maritses, and now it serves as a military airport with code ICAO: LGRD. The aircraft parking floor covers a total area of 110,600 m2, with a capacity of 13 aircraft, while the airport building covers an area of 20,753 m2, with a capacity of 1,700 passengers, while some expansion and improvement works are still in progress. Since 2000, air traffic control has been supported by an approach radar, while there is an automated flight plan management system. The airport is open every day and time of the year, while some extra services, such as car rental, car parking and duty free shop are also provided.
Wind Shear is a common phenomenon in the airport area, which can pose a serious risk to flights. For this reason some flights are often cancelled, to and from the Rhodes airport, when winds are above 5 Beaufort. Indicatively, Olympic Airlines advises its pilots not to land or take off when there are south or southeast winds (from 110 ° to 180 °), with speeds over 15 knots, while similar recommendations exist in the Aeronautical Information Manual of Greece (AIP Greece)
Rhodes Airport Accidents
On the 21st of March 2007, at 10:15 a.m., an Olympic Airlines aircraft, type ATR 42-320 with registration data, SX-BIC, coming from Thessaloniki, left the runway during the landing and moved parallel to it for 150 meters, and as a result the tire and the rim of the left outer wheel broke.
The plane returned to the runway and was taxied to the parking lot, without any of the 29 passengers or the three crew members being injured. The experts concluded that the slightly elevated cable ducts caused the damage to the aircraft and they were not subject to the international regulations on airport specifications and they recommended compliance with these specifications. The pilot was also to blame, as he did not follow the Olympic Airlines operation manual which dictated that the landing be canceled due to strong winds in the airport area.