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That is a short runway!

Fortunately, my flight into Chicago's Midway airport was uneventful last night. I wasn't worried. But I did pay attention, for the first time, to the length of our landing strip. The recent Southwest jet overshooting the runway "incident" was on my mind, so I stared out the window while we turned off the runway to try and catch a glimpse of its end. To my surprise, the barriers and fence were only a couple hundred feet away; and that was with a smooth and normal-speed landing.

Commercial pilots claim that this is one of the most difficult airports to land a plane; referring to the place as the "U.S.S. Midway" because the runways seem as short as an aircraft carrier's. And it is a fact that Midway's strips are some of the shortest in the country.

While extending the runways is likely not possible due to the nearby residential communities, adding foam or some other end-of-runway emergency materials should be installed to hopefully avoid another tragedy. However, don't let this one Midway incident scare you into arriving exclusively at O'Hare. That airport has a host of problems that will more likely affect your travels (e.g., flight delays, longer securty lines, , etc.).

Safe holiday travels!

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