Sydney Airport kindly hosted an airside tour on Saturday 30th April. Tickets started at $100 per person with all sales going directly to NSW Kids in Need Foundation, a charity that supports over 100 different organisations which help make a difference to children in need across NSW. The tour began at 11:30am where all participants were given a mock boarding pass and voucher kindly gifted from Sydney Airport. Participants boarded 3 airside buses from Gate 47. The buses drove along side taxiway Bravo as it headed north towards the Qantas Jetbase. Here participants were able to see the huge Qantas maintenance hangers up close as well as having a great view of arriving aircraft on 16R. The buses then crossed the main Runway onto the International side which saw a variety of different carriers from a vast amount of locations world wide. The buses then proceeded South along Taxiway Alpha all the way to the end of Runway 34L. After crossing 34L The buses stopped at the Aviation fire station located between the two north south runways. This gave people the opportunity to wander around and take some photos of the nearby taxiing aircraft. As the tour drew to a close Sydney Airport Fire department put on one final treat as they extinguished a burning aircraft during a drill. The tour concluded where it began back at Gate 47. It was an enjoyable experience for all participants and gifted a fantastic airside opportunity whilst being able to support such a fantastic cause.
US Vice President Mike Pence touched down on Australian soil last Sunday 21st April. He arrived aboard USAF C-32A 98-0002 call sign SAM014 wheels down on Runway 34L shortly after 9:30pm. Followed closely was the arrival of C-32A 99-0004 SAM078 which served as Pence's backup aircraft. Pence was welcomed to Sydney by Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce who met him upon arrival. Vice President Pence was in Sydney finishing off a 10 day Asia Pacific tour that included such countries as South Korea, Japan and Indonesia. Pence's first day primarily consisted of talks and meetings with Australian leaders and strengthening the ties between the two countries following the Inauguration of US President Donald Trump. Pence however spent his final day in Australia touring Sydney Harbour with his family and visiting the famous Taronga Zoo. Pence departed Monday 24th April on Runway 25 at 8am under the same call sign headed for Hawaii.
The first ever commercial A350 touched down in Sydney on the 8th of April as SQ207 which had diverted from Melbourne due to ongoing heavy thunderstorms. 9V-SMF which is also Airbus' 10,000th aircraft, arrived into Sydney at 1810, later departing back to Melbourne at 1930 continuing the operation of SQ207. A memorable moment, even with the added insult of daylight having come to an end, spotters braved the darkness of the night to capture this rare beauty. One of the best looking airliners in the skies. With no airlines having announced any regular A350 services into Sydney as of yet, we are hopeful that either CX or SQ will announce following on from their respective starts in MEL and BNE.
The final ever scheduled Air New Zealand 767 flight arrived Sydney on Friday afternoon operating as NZ105 and left back to Auckland later that night as NZ108. ZK-NCI had the honour of operating the flight, which is a 22 Year old airframe. They will certainly be missed from the skies of Sydney. Air New Zealand first purchased the 767 in 1985 and the aircraft has since proved its worth serving as the work horse on flights primarily across the Tasman. But after 30 years of service all good things must come to an end. The 767 is sadly being phased out for newer and more efficient airframes which improve payload like the 787 and A330-200 which also provide better passenger amenities and comfort. The 767 was Boeing's first widebody twinjet and is one of their best selling aircraft of all time with over 1000 airframes delivered. Goodbye 767 you will be missed.