LGW340 From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 315 posts, RR: 0 Posted (1 year 11 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 3078 times:
I am going to Dubai in June (Non aviation, going with my flat mate to do camel riding, 4x4 sand dune driving etc)! From our hotel, there is a shuttle service to Sharjah Airport and having the aviation obsession, Sharjah is one of my most wanted airports to visit! (HUGE IL-76 fan)
I understand that you can have ramp tours there but are these a few times a year on set days or can you just turn up with some money in your hand?
Photos from the outside seems Extremely risky however, someone from a spotting info website says you will be ok taking pictures from 'Sharjah National Park' but I wonder if anybody has any experience?
One last thing, how many cargo movements does it get on an average day?
scbriml From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 11794 posts, RR: 48 Reply 2, posted (1 year 11 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 2998 times:
I've been to Sharjah many times, most recently in November.
Photography pass - grants you full ramp access to the whole airport (except for the royal hangar and a small military compound with helicopters). But, it's now quite expensive - AED1,000 (about £175). No, you can't just turn up - you have to complete all the forms applying for a specific day and send in passport photos.
Sharjah park is OK but is, I believe, only open at the weekend (Fri/Sat in Dubai). You can sit on top of the hill in the park and shoot reasonable approach shots on runway 30 (the dominant direction). I've never had any problems with shooting from the park, but I would caution discretion. I used to sit there all day and just take my camera out when I needed it. Examples from the hill:
You can also shoot from the park's car-park which is at the eastern end of the park.
In terms of traffic and planes on the ground - I was very disappointed with what was there in November. The old days of a big ramp full of Russian/Soviet planes under maintenance have long gone (no more Il-18s or An-12s). Yes, there's still quite a few Il-76s, but even those are not as numerous as a couple of years ago (when Afghan and Iraq flights were at their peak).
As Air Arabia has grown, their flights dominate numerically. Sharjah will always throw up a nice surprise or two, but you have to be very patient.
LGW340 From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 315 posts, RR: 0 Reply 3, posted (1 year 11 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2957 times:
Thank you ever so much for your help.
I will see what I can do! Looks like the park would be the best option.
Quoting scbriml (Reply 2): You can also shoot from the park's car-park which is at the eastern end of the park.
Would I be able to get here if the park isn't open?
ps Steve, you asked about Bykovo before I went to Russia. Well, there were 2 IL-76's in pieces and 2 Yak-40's and thats pretty much it. They have knocked down the terminal and there is lots of new concrete walls which made photography impossible.
scbriml From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 11794 posts, RR: 48 Reply 4, posted (1 year 11 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 2934 times:
Quoting LGW340 (Reply 3): Would I be able to get here if the park isn't open?
Yes. Unless they've installed car-park barriers (unlikely), the car-park is open. It can be accessed from the main road, or by puling off at the junction just past the airport. There is a single row of parking along the north edge of the park (between park and road), but IMHO, the car-park to the east is more discreet and from the south-west corner you get a better angle on the planes.
Sharjah National Park
Shame about Bykovo. I'll be back to Moscow next year for the show, but will probably give Bykovo a miss.