Swedish regional operator Skyways has carried out a demonstration landing on the surface ice of frozen Lake Aresjon as it strives to secure approval for the procedure from the country’s authorities.

Skyways – which is hoping to offer the on-ice touchdown as part of a domestic service to the resort of Are – conducted the approach and landing with a Saab 340.

The carrier says that it managed to bring the unmodified aircraft down safely and stop it well within the limits of the 2,700m (8,860ft) designated landing field.

Ice thickness was checked every 100m along the length of the landing zone and found to be in excess of the 65cm (25in) minimum requirement.

“We are trying to obtain permission to open a scheduled service. To show the authorities that we could do it, we landed the aircraft on the lake,” says a spokesman for Skyways. “We’ve been trying for almost a year to convince the authorities but we don’t have permission yet – and don’t expect it until autumn.”

The regional operator had been hoping to launch the service during the winter 2003 season but ran out of time.

Skyways says that while the feasibility of the landing has been demonstrated, the issue of environmental protection remains – the carrier will need to show that it can de-ice the aircraft without draining excess de-icing fluid into the lake.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news