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Sharjah International Airport

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Continent: Middle East Country: United Arab Emirates
Sharjah International Airport
Location Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Airport type Commercial
Overview map [ ]

Official Spotting Locations

Airside Access

Sharjah Airport has over the years offered airside access at the cost of 350,-AED (95,-USD) and this is the only way to get to see all there is to see. Access includes photo permit on all ramps excluding the Police (Helicopter) Ramp and the Sheikhs Ramp (for the A320) The airport have however been closed to visitors due to construction activities. Latest indications, as of winter 2007, is that the airport will open again for visitors during 2007.

If you are going airside its a good idea to do the maintenance ramps first thing as the light is best then (around 8-11ish). This can be done in a couple of hours. By this time the sun will also be much better for runway and taxiway shots (the fire station is a good spot roughly at the middle of the runway). In late afternoon the sun will have moved round and will be good for another go on the ramps. The transport offered by the airport is useless most of the time, as they are lazy and only drive when they feel like it. Don't wait for them just walk around (its good exercise too ;o). Just stay within the proscribed areas and they will let you wonder about as you please.

To find out if SHJ has opened for airside passes in time for your visit you can contact their pass office on this address:

[email protected]

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Other Spotting Locations

Sharjah Park

If you can´t get airside, Sharjah Park is the best option for a safe place to observe and take photos from. It is located near the threshold of RWY30. The main road from Sharjah town to the airport takes you there, roughly two miles after passing the terminal (on your left) you will see it on the right-hand side of the road.

Its a nice quiet park with a big mound from where you can see and photograph all arrivals on RWY30 or departures on RWY12. Best time is in the afternoon when the sun is behind you and most arrivals (if not all) arrive on RWY30. Unfortunately the park is not always open. Friday it is open all day though and is quite busy as it is a day off for most Muslims just like our Sunday! Traffic is a bit slow but there are always some goodies worth waiting for and afternoons always give almost all the Air Arabia fleet returning to SHJ. Some afternoons I have seen 4 IL76´s within 2-3 hours and some of them doing some very interesting VFR approaches coming downwind and literally throwing the aircraft around on 3miles final, followed by a landing halfway down the runway.

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Locations to Avoid

If the park is not open the brave can take pictures from the park car park outside. I have done this for three years without getting caught, but always stayed in the safety of my car and being VERY discrete. I have heard of others having to spend an afternoon at SHJ Police station. The SHJ Police knows of aviation spotters (due to the airside passes) and hence deal with plane spotters in a friendly manner.

Regular Traffic

  • Air Arabia (based)
  • Lufthansa Cargo
  • Singapore Airlines Cargo
  • Kish Air (FK50)
  • Indian Airlines
  • MyTravel Airways
  • Cargolux
  • Finnair
  • British Gulf Intl. Airlines (AN-12)
  • Martinair
  • Click Airways (IL76, AN12)
  • (based)
  • African Express (DC9)
  • Uzbekistan Airways (767)
  • Tajikstan Airlines (TU154)

Facilities and Transportation