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Sochi International Airport (AER) Brief Spotting Guide

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Air Traffic
Airlines Variety
Spotting Locations

Spotting Locations Map

Airport Information

Full Name
Vitaly Sevastianov Sochi International Airport

IATA: DXB
ICAO: URSS

Runways:
02/20 2200 m Asphalt
06/24 3000 m Asphalt

Statistics (2018)
Passengers: 8.635 mln

Airlines
airBaltic
Azimuth
Belavia
flydubai
IrAero
Izhavia
Mahan Air
NordStar
Nordwind Airlines
Pegas Fly
Pobeda
Red Wings Airlines
Rossiya Airlines
RusLine
S7 Airlines
SCAT Airlines
Severstal Air Company
Smartavia
Somon Air
Sun d’Or
Tibet Airlines
Turkish Airlines
Ural Airlines
Utair
UVT Aero
Uzbekistan Airways
Yakutia Airlines
Yamal Airlines

Summary
Airport is located in the Adler district 30 km to the south from center of Sochi, Russian resort city on the Black Sea coast. Airport was renovated as the main gateway during the 22nd Olympic Winter Games in 2014, and now is 5th biggest Russian airport by passenger traffic. All major and some minor Russian airlines have flights to and from AER. In addition it hosts flights of the Russian Government serving official Russian President’s Residence at Bocharov Ruchey in Sochi. Sometimes lot of other business or governmental international traffic may be seen in AER due to frequent sporting, cultural or political events held in Sochi.
AER has rather good spotting locations, some of them providing spectacular mountain background.

History
1941: Military airfield was constructed to protect Black Sea coast during World War II.
1945: Civil aviation airport was established.
1956: First terminal (now old building) and runway 1 were built.
1957: Regular passenger traffic started.
1981: Regularly scheduled international departures and arrivals began; the original destinations were Bratislava, Budapest, and Prague.
2009-2010: Airport was significantly renovated. New terminal building was constructed. Airbus A380.
2012-2013: Airport was further upgraded to meet the requirements as the gateway of the 22nd Olympic Winter Games.
2019: Airport renamed after Russian cosmonaut Vitaly Sevastianov.

Terminal
Sochi International Airport has one passenger terminal. It has 3 floors with total area of 62,000 square meters and is one of the largest in Russia, and has 10 boarding bridges. Separate building is used to handle governmental flights.

Runways usage
Longer runway 02/20 along Mzymta river is usually used for landings, while runway 06/24 preferentially serve take-offs. Both take-offs and landings are always carried out in the direction from the sea.

Spotting locations

1. Mzymta River
43.437015, 39.951748
Area along Mzymta River has several positions to watch activities on RWY 02/20. To make photos of landing planes, locations closer to threshold 02 are good. To get there take a walk from the joint of Adler – Krasnaya Polyana highway with the Nasypnaya street highway on the left bank of Mzymta. Walk under the railway bridge and then use unpaved road along Mzymta. Alternatively one may start from the underpass under Adler – Krasnaya Polyana highway (43.438203, 39.956858). Orthodox Church nearby is the reference point to find the underpass.

2. Podkova Shopping Mall
43.436118, 39.932640
High porch of Podkova Shopping Mall is the best location to watch the planes on parking positions between runways which are used by business of governmental aircrafts. Take-offs from RWY 06/24 also can be seen from there.

3. Nasypnaya Overpass 1
43.435301, 39.927268
From the elevated point on the Nasypnaya str. highway overpass there is a good view on parking lots and activities on RWY 06/24. To get there walk from Aviatsionnaya street. Please note that crossing of highway is not possible.

4. Nasypnaya Overpass 2
43.438751, 39.921307
Get further west by highway from point 3 to the other side of RWY 06/24. Angle from this location is not optimal.

5. Cube Hotel
43.450869, 39.943176
Hotel is located close to the Terminal. Some rooms at Cube have a restricted view to apron and the crossing or runways.

Safety
Spotting in AER is safe in all locations listed. Perhaps at position 3, the spotter can attract the attention of the security service, since it is located near the presidential terminal.

Example Photo Galleries

Location 1. Mzymta River

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