Sochi is an unusual place for Russia. Located in the South-Western corner of the country this subtropical resort city is stretched between the shore of the Black Sea and slopes of Caucasus Mountains. You cannot expect palm sunny sea promenades in cold Russia, isn’t it? In recent years after Winter Olympics 2014 Sochi is also famous as a venue of numerous political, sporting and cultural events, meetings and forums. Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix, Football World Cup, Russia – Africa Summit are the examples. The city use its newly created infrastructure not only to host major events, but also to develop High-Tec environment for business, science and education. The whole southern area of the city between Adler Airport and border with Abkhazia, built for the Olympics, is now re-vitalized as new age Sirius Hi-Tec town. Sochi is one of the favorite palaces for Mr. Putin who is a patron of city development and put a lot of efforts (and money) to Sochi projects. He had the Governmental residence here, and Russian Government aircrafts are not unusual for Sochi International Airport, located in the southern district called Adler. The airport was also renewed for 2014 Olympic Games. Along with the regular passenger traffic, lot of international private or government aircrafts can be seen here in days of political meetings or sporting events. But not this time. When I visited Sochi Airport, only commercial passenger flights were in the schedule.
Sochi International Airport has several good points for planespotting. This time I visited spots along the Runway 02/20 to make pictures of landing aircrafts. The wild area along the Mzymta river that flows parallel to Runway 02/20 is easily accessible by foot (see Sochi brief spotting guide). If you will visit this spots in mid-season, like me, be prepared to weather surprises. During my spotting session, despite good weather forecast, it was sudden heavy rain with hail, and I got very quickly wet and froze, but luckily was able to protect the equipment.
Regular passenger traffic in Sochi includes all major Russian commercial airlines – Aeroflot, S7 Airlines, Ural Airlines, UTair, Rossiya, Pobeda, as well as some airlines of the second tier – Red Star, Nordwind, Yakutia Airlines, Azimuth and others. Several international airlines mostly from ex-USSR countries also have scheduled flights to Sochi – Belavia, Air Baltic, Uzbekistan Airways, Somon Air, SCAT Airlines etc.