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The "Mecca" For Airline/Cargo Enthusiasts?  
User currently offlineMudboy From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1167 posts, RR: 5
Posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 4104 times:

Hello, this is first post, so I will start with a question I have wanted to ask after months of reading this great site. What airport in the world, is the "MECCA" for every airline/cargo plane enthusiast to visit, at least once before they die? I have been to: ORD,JFK,LAX,DEN,SAN,ATL,MEM,JAN,MDW,LGA,BOS,MCO,MSP,CVG,LHR,AMS, and FCO. The specifics of this question would be: Large planes, Busy, Multiple Airlines/Cargo,and Multiple Terminals.

22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineYOWza From Canada, joined Jul 2005, 4865 posts, RR: 15
Reply 1, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 4076 times:

Well if you want cargo carrier variety and lots of big birds FRA and AMS are good for sure. But if you want to see cuthroat world cargo ops I think Sharjah in the UAE has to be up there. Lot's of carriers (or should that be couriers) huge variety of metal, Western and Soviet. Well worth a visit.








YOWza



12A whenever possible.
User currently offlineLono From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 1335 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 4029 times:

Fly to ANC....
They all stop here (Well many anyway!).... get a "AS Board Room" pass and watch many 747'a turn... very cool... plus they have a good bar..!!!



Wally Bird Ruled the Skys!
User currently offlineLN-MOW From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 1908 posts, RR: 14
Reply 3, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 3984 times:

Anchorage .......

http://home.no.net/~mow/flypics/ANC050629/050.jpg

http://home.no.net/~mow/flypics/ANC050629/041.jpg

http://www.spotterdude.com

[Edited 2006-01-04 01:14:35]


- I am LN-MOW, and I approve this message.
User currently offlineLPLAspotter From Portugal, joined Jan 2005, 682 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 3974 times:

MIA gets alot of cargo carriers from South/Central America. Used to be the best place to see old converted propliners. Don't know if that is true anymore.
LPLAspotter



Nuke the Gay Wales for Christ
User currently offlineWestIndian425 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1024 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 3974 times:

Yep. PANC definitely takes the cake.

Neil



God did not create aircraft pilots to be on the ground
User currently offlineMudboy From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1167 posts, RR: 5
Reply 6, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 3968 times:

What I meant by this question was a large commercial airport, exp.(JFK, ORD, LHR, etc.) that has a diverse amount of Commercial and Cargo ops, that is a must see for every aviation enthusiast.

User currently offlineClickhappy From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 9603 posts, RR: 69
Reply 7, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 3957 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
PHOTO SCREENER

If you want to see the same boring types (MD11, 747) then Anchorage would be fun, but I dont know how any true enthusiast would pick ANC over Sharjah.

What would you rather see, a 707 or a 767?
A MD-11 or an IL-62?
L1011 or 747?


User currently offlineKaitak744 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 2364 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 3947 times:

Largest diversity in commercial trafffic: London Heathrow
Largest diversity in cargo traffic: Anchorage


User currently offlineKJFK31L From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 148 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 3936 times:

Don't forget EWR. Great for the occasional DHL DC-8 and 727 spot! Not to mention the many UPS 767s and the FedEx MD-11s and DC-10s.

Matt



If it's not Boeing, I'm not going.
User currently offlineSabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 3936 times:

Definitely Sharjah if you want to see something different (lots of African/Asian airlines and Russian aircraft types). There were even ramp tours (for 100 USD IIRC) available in the past but I don't know if it is still possible nowadays.

Sharjah is by car only approximately 30 minutes away from Dubai, so it is perfect to combine a vacation on nice beaches with a shopping and spotting trip! Big grin

Patrick


User currently offlineLitz From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1754 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 3914 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

If you don't mind

1) pretty much 100% Fedex
2) everything happening inside of 3-4 hours across mdnight

Memphis would be a good place to go ...

 Smile

- litz


User currently offlineA388 From Netherlands Antilles, joined May 2001, 9720 posts, RR: 11
Reply 12, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3849 times:

I think there is no 'one' airport in the world that can be considered the best or Mecca airport for aviation/cargo enthusiasts. Besides the fact that it depends on which aircraft you prefer seeing, there is no airport that can truly be compared to each other. To give an example, MIA is the best airport for people who love to see Latin American airlines, in that case MIA is the Mecca of all airports. If people want to see almost (if not all) major airlines from the rest of the world (excl. Latin America) than LHR and FRA would be the better locations. If you like to see most (if not all) African airlines, than CDG would be the best place. If Asian airlines are your thing, SIN, BKK, KUL, HKG, SYD, NRT and LAX are the best places. If you want to see all the A380 airlines, LHR would be the place to be. If you want to see most 777 operators, LHR would probably be the best place as well. If you want to see Russian 'rare' aircraft, SHJ (Sharjah) appears to be a good place.

So it depends on what your priorities or favorites are. As for me, I would love to go to LHR again one day. This airport has a lot of variety in my opinion, but I also wouldn't mind going to MIA as this airport is the Latin American 'hub' as some people call it Big grin

A388


User currently offlineAerorobnz From Rwanda, joined Feb 2001, 7165 posts, RR: 13
Reply 13, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 3697 times:

For Cargo Sharjah for Variety, Memphis for Fleets

For pax airlines I will always love LHR - the airport of my childhood plane fantasies.....lol


User currently offlineTS-IOR From Tunisia, joined Oct 2001, 3450 posts, RR: 6
Reply 14, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 3654 times:

Also LUX and MST in Europe...probably CGN too !!!

User currently offlineAirKas1 From Netherlands, joined Dec 2003, 3968 posts, RR: 55
Reply 15, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 3629 times:

Quoting TS-IOR (Reply 14):
Also LUX and MST in Europe

You consider those as "Mecca" airports??

I mean, your opinion. But those are rather "small" airports in every kind of view.
For me it has to be Sharjah.


User currently offlineBA757 From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2003, 2832 posts, RR: 14
Reply 16, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 3604 times:

I am surprised nobody has said SXM yet...
Having said that, I would def choose AMS or ANC.

Adam


User currently offlineAirevents From Germany, joined Jan 2002, 873 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 3586 times:

Which airport is JAN as posted in the opening thread? Can´t be a Mecca then...


www.airevents.com
User currently offlineCO7e7 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 2848 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 3523 times:

In my opinion, I would say HKG for the variety of Asian airlines. And LAX... There are some real exotic airlines there.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Edward Lai



User currently offlineBigOrange From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 2364 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 3387 times:

Quoting Airevents (Reply 17):
Which airport is JAN as posted in the opening thread? Can´t be a Mecca then...

Jackson, Mississippi. Definitely no mecca!

I think each continent (except Antartica) has it's own 1 or more meccas.

In North America I would say MIA and LAX

In Europe FRA and LHR

Africa probably JNB and SHJ

Asia probably SIN and HKG

Australasia SYD and possibly AKL

South America probably GRU and EZE


User currently offlineB742 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 3766 posts, RR: 19
Reply 20, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3356 times:

N. America - JFK and LAX/SFO
S. America - GRU and EZE
Asia - BKK and HKG
Europe - LHR and FRA/CDG
Australasia - SYD and AKL
Africa - JNB and SSH (Sharm el Sheikh)
Middle East - DXB and maybe SHJ/BAH

SSH is awesome, you get aircraft such as IL-86's, 747's, 767's, 757's, A320's, A310's, A330's, IL-96's, TU-154's, TU-204's....

Rob!  wave 


User currently offlineZKNEA From New Zealand, joined Dec 2005, 151 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3159 times:

Glad to see I'm not the only one that instantly thought SHJ when I saw the title of this thread.

Though not on a grand scale or anything, has anyone here been to Fujeirah I think it was where just outside the airport there is (or was) a HUGE russian/soviet looking aircraft just sat in the sand as scrap. It was a few years ago so maybe its been moved, don't know the type either - have photos somewhere but not sure where. It wasn't far from the rifle club, so maybe not at the airport itself. It was just amazing the size of it and you could walk up to it and look around - not fenced off or anything. It's those sorts of a/c that I would love to go watch in action at Sharjah.


User currently offlineYukonTrader From Switzerland, joined May 2005, 207 posts, RR: 6
Reply 22, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3097 times:

Quoting ZKNEA (Reply 21):
It's those sorts of a/c that I would love to go watch in action at Sharjah.

That can be the problem with SHJ: True, there's a lot of rare iron sitting there on the ground, but very often that's all it does: sit there...

I've already spent some days in SHJ with less than 10-12 movements during daylight hours, and the max. I've ever had must have been something like 25-30 movements during daytime, with Lufthansa Cargo usually being the busiest daytime visitor. Some of the exotic airlines tend to fly at night (obvious reason: cooler temparatures that allow the crews zo squeeze a bit more thrust out of their Solovievs and Kuznetsovs!), others can sit there for days or weeks waiting for their next assignment.

ANC is definitely an excellent choice for US and Asian freight aircraft, offering a good mix of freigth ops and other movements to keep your camera busy. In addition to that, it offers scenic surroundings, and long daylight hours during the Northern summer rewarding you with excellent chances to finally shoot all those Asian MD-11F and B747F. On the other hand, it is a large airfield, and you'll inevitably end-up with just seeing that rare bird heading for the "wrong" runway.

Same applies for LHR and FRA, you'll just have a fair share of birds taking the other runway. On the other hand, these airports are busy & diverse enough to still offer you a full bucket of surprises any day, and if you can stay for a couple of days in a row, you'll get what you want, sooner or later.

LUX in Europe is definitely worth it, despite it small size. Like with other smaller airports, it all can depend whether you pick a good or slow day. Still, its well developed Cargo handling facilities make it a viable alternative to the large European airports (AMS, FRA, LHR) which are already crammed with PAX flights and are not really enthusiastic about alloting yet a slot to another freighter. The LUX-mix is made up from African, Asian, American and European (East & West) freight operators, including a good mixture of aircraft types: I've seen photographers taking in 20+ different B747F on one day, along with the odd DC-10F, An-12, B737F, Tu-204 and DC-8F. Two more benefits to take into account:
- Other than ANC, FRA or LHR, it is a one-runway-airport, i.e. you cannot miss a thing.
- Along the perimeter fence, you find several spots that allow for good photography...

A final word: It all depends on what you call a mecca. A while ago, Oostende in Belgium used to be the place if you wanted to see all these odd DC-8s and B707s from Africa uniting in one place. Those glory days are over now, and today I regret I've been there only twice while it lasted, stupidly thinking the handful of movements a day was not worth it...

Cheers, Lukas


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