In June I was invited to the annual spotter tour at Athens airport.
In September 2016 it was the first ATH-ramp-tour for spotters from foreign countries. Overall it was the 6th ramp-tour operated by the Air-born Hellenic Aviation Enthusiasts Society.
So the journey started on the 9th of September with a car ride from Salzburg to Munich.
From there Martin and I flew with one of the Star Alliance coloured LH A320’s to ATH. After we picked up our rental car we drove to the spotter position at the short final of runway 03L. Soon, though, the active landing runway was changed to 03R we hat to get
there for the arrival of the RNZAF B752 from Dubai World Central Airport. Directly after the B757 from “Down Under” we had to go back to 03L because the private B735 of “GoGo” should depart. In perfect light conditions we got her during line up via A1 for RWY 03L bound for Shannon.
In the evening once again RWY 03L was used for landings and so we got several rare aircraft in perfect evening light.
After sunset we decided to drive to the old airport of Athens, where the Olympic Centre of 2004 was located. Some old Hellenic registrated aircraft are stored there in the never opened museum of civil aviation. After we’d gotten some nice pictures there we drove back to our hotel near the Athens – Eleftherios Venizelos Airport.
After some hours of sleep we had to get up very early to be on time at the meeting point for the upcoming ramp tour. After the identification and security check the ramp tour started. The first position was located near the touchdown point of runway 03R. During our stay there this runway was mainly used for departures, but also some aircraft used it for landing, and so we got some great touchdown shots, as well as many pictures of departing aircraft.
At noon we changed the position and visited the south general aviation ramp. On our way there we stopped at an AN-26 which belongs to the Bulgarian carrier Rose Air. After some minutes we continued our way to the GA ramp. After some pictures of some small and mid-size bizjets we visited the stored B742 of Hellenic Imperial.
After we pictured the nice coloured Etihad A346 with F1 cls we made a stop for lunch.
Sadly thick clouds covered the sun and so we got the two stored Olympic A343 in the north-eastern corner of the airport only in bad light conditions. Also some bizjets are parked in this corner.
Our last stop at the ramp tour was the B732 fire trainer which is located at taxiway “HOTEL” near holding point “A7”. There we got some nice wide angle views especially of the two Emirates B773s.
All in all a well-organized ramp tour with great views at great locations – special thanks to Air-born Hellenic Aviation Enthusiasts Society and its chairman George.
Because of the bad weather we decided to drive to the city to take some nightshots of the landmark of the city – the Acropolis. We got some great views as well as some pictures of the lightning activity over the city of Athens.
Our last hours in Athens we spent at both, ATH Airport in the morning, as well as at the old airport near the city until noon. Our focus was on the “heavy” arrivals in the early morning, like the TK B773 and an Air Canada Rouge B763. Due to the fact, that we only had some nightshots from the old airport thus far, we decided to get some pictures with sunny conditions. When we had those captured as imagined we drove back to Eleftherios Venizelos Airport to return our rental car and catch our flight home to Munich.
At this point it’s time to say “THANK YOU” to my travel partner Martin for the safe and funny trip!