It is told that the Sarajevo '84 Winter Olympics were the best organized games in history. We younger generations only know it was the best Sarajevo rush in history!
And from now, the rush will each year be RE-WINDED!Completely reconstructed and well-equipped, Sarajevo Airport was functioning well during the Sarajevo’84 Winter Olympics, even though there were some weather problems. In the period of February 5 – 20, 630 planes landed or took off, 49 of which were regular flights and 581 charter flights. In this period only two flights were cancelled. 46.710 passengers came by air. On February 20 only, 70 airplanes took off with 120 tons of luggage. 74% of all Yugoslav air traffic in 1984 was the Sarajevo-related traffic, an increase by 15%. The alternative airports at Dubrovnik, Split & Mostar were not used.
All pilots are therefore invited to feel the rush, by re-winding the time to the sweet past, finding the old aircraft and flying your native spectators and participants from origin of choice to the 1984 Winter Olympic Capital Sarajevo - we will be online during the entire opening hours of the airport 05-22z!
And if you have hard time deciding which origin or destination it should be, there is help to get!
Whole 8 partner airports will be providing ATC around Sarajevo as inspiration to you, being:
- 05-08z: Sochi (URSS), Russia, 940 NM
- 07-10z: Odessa (UKOO), Ukraine, 550 NM
- 09-12z: Athens (LGAV), Greece, 440 NM
- 11-14z: Istanbul (LTBA), Turkey, 500 NM
- 13-16z: Budapest (LHBP), Hungary, 220 NM
- 15-18z: Naples (LIRN), Italy, 250 NM
- 17-20z: Geneva (LSGG), Switzerland, 540 NM
- 19-22z: Salzburg (LOWS), Austria, 330 NM
Of course, you may also fly modern aircraft, GAs etc., it is all up to you, we only want you to feel the spirit of the 1984 Winter Olympic Capital Sarajevo covered in snow, fog and aircraft!
And covered in aircraft, it will be! But the airport is bigger and better equipped then it was before the Sarajevo'84 Winter Olympics:By announcing nomination of Sarajevo for the Winter Olympic Games (WOG '84) it became necessary to extend basic capacities of the airport (prolongation of the existing runway, construction of a new, parallel taxiway, new terminal and the air traffic control centre with a new control tower. At the same time there were efforts to inquire about possibilities to install new R/NAV equipment which would decrease aircraft operating minimums and thus increase the frequency of aircraft on landing and take-off. This demanding idea was realized just before the opening of the '84 WOG. The runway was extended for additional 150 m, a new taxiway constructed and the ramp enlarged. Reconstruction also included installation of completely new lighting system of the runway, approach zone and taxiways and all planned radio-navigational equipment (3 VORs and a new ILS), as well as a very functional terminal building. The terminal was designed to have all facilities being typical for international airports, what ranked Sarajevo airport among the best in this part of Europe. The airport was ready, both regarding technology and human resources. The Games could begin.
And that was confirmed already the first days of the Sarajevo '84 Winter Olympics, 5th of February, when a JAT DC-10 carrying the Yugoslav president Mika Špiljak on a regular flight from New York to Belgrade, was unable to land in Belgrade and neither alternates Zagreb and Ljubljana due to heavy fog. They got a, earlier never used, fog and snow covered but newly equipped alternate Sarajevo as the 3rd option:Sarajevo airport is modernly equipped and with its R/NAV equipment, it can be compared to all the international airports in the world. It might even have better equipment then most of the others, even the one in Hong Kong. The landing was easy and even easier then my last visit few days ago with the smaller DC-9. The weather that day was much better, but due to the current equipment and never the less the worse weather, it was much easier then ever before. (Živko Maljković, senior JAT-pilot)
Mika Špiljak was stunned and stayed in Sarajevo to open the Winter Olympics, and he was not the only famous to show up:Next to the regular and charter flights with spectators, a lot of GAs were visiting Sarajevo. Most noted was an Italian Cessna Citation, which every day landed in Sarajevo in the morning, parked in a corner of the apron, and departed in the late evening back to Milan, bringing various delegations to Sarajevo. Saudi King Fahd and relatives came in a Saudi L-1011 Tristar, Kirk Douglas in a B727, Hugh Hefner in the Playboy DC-9, Elton John in B720 as well as many presidents, monarchs, stars and other delegates.
You don’t have to be famous to show up, but you may fly as they did! Join and let's re-wind the Sarajevo '84 Winter Olympics rush together!