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Old June 22nd, 2010, 02:50 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Durban
Posts: 10
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King Shaka International Airport in Durban, South Africa

Greetings Airport Enthusiasts,
Unless I missed something in this 'Airports' forum, then it would seem that the opening of a scratch built and state of the art new airport went unnoticed.

I had the good fortune to photograph the first landings, having photographed the monthly progress of the building over a 3 year period. My images are too many to include here, but please do follow this link to my own Site, where numerous KSIA images can be seen:

To save on doing a re-write of this occasion, the following is a cut/paste of an email exchange made with an airline pilot, but you'll figure as you read and I hope you enjoy this account of 1 May 2010:
Greetings David,
Thanks for your calls - one of those being made by hi-jacking the FALE tower ATC's frequency and the other on the cell phone. As fellow aviators, I guess its always good to exchange notes and to share in such noteworthy occasions.

I have copied my flying and photographic colleague (Ant) and also Kevin O'Brien, manager Dbn ATNS, as they were both directly instrumental in our acquisition of these pics. Despite the pressure of everything being new for everyone on Saturday at KSIA, Kevin was most gracious and extremely accommodating in facilitating our aerial photographic activities during this occasion. Anthony found the occasion sufficiently newsworthy that he'd come up from Cape Town, to be part of that photo flight and though we swapped and shared the flying and photographic tasks, it was Ant who was shooting at the time of your SAA departure - and a bloody marvellous job he did.

It was a first for me, where an airline crew member asks to make comms with another plane and then places his 'order' for some pics directly over the air. Such activities can't always be accommodated, but when they are, as was allowed by the FALE Tower ATC yesterday, it really is great. Strangers being able to communicate so openly on matters of mutual interest and this is the way the world is supposed to work, right.

You will not have been on air at the time of our very early arrival at KSIA, when the same controller (I will get his name) informed us that the first arrival was not even on the radar as yet and we were therefore welcome to land and he'll call us with enough time to re-launch and do our work. Need I say any more......................... this was both, the most hospitable, but also the most professional 'handling' of the traffic and it's people. Grateful thanks goes to Kevin and his good fellows, for "traffic control" measures which are not in the manual.

Enough natter: The pics are attached and you can mail back to me the file number/name of those which you want printed. Regarding any costs, its as we discussed; in the 'brotherhood of aviators' there is no cost for the photography, which is with my and Ant's compliments. Amongst the total of 7 pics; 3 are of your aircraft (which you will easily distinguish), another 3 are of that first arrival and lastly there is one of the second arrival, an MD80 from 1-Time.

Cheers for now, keep up the good spirit and I look forward to staying in touch.
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 08:04 PM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Cape Town
Posts: 1,048
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You did miss something, mate.

Here's the already-existing thread, although you are right about the unnoticed bit.
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durban, south africa

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