Our departure was to be on NZ53, basically the counterpart to the service we'd flown in on. That was scheduled to depart in the early afternoon so we arrived at Nadi around 11:30ish after the two hour trip from the hotel at Korulevu to the airport. Below is a reminder of the airfield layout:
Nadi itself has only recent gone through a major modernisation, which was completed in June 2018. Judging by the Airports Fiji Newsletter's first edition the terminal was supposed to open in 2016 but regardless the finished terminal is an excellent and spacious facility.
Pretty much the entire airport terminal space was rebuilt and updated. The old domestic terminal was relocated temporarily to where the star is in the above plan. The temporary domestic facility was so good however that it has been upgraded and turned into the new permanent facility. It's primary customer is Fiji Airways Link.
It is easy to walk right up to the security fence and get a nice view of the domestic apron, which when I visited had a Fiji Link DHC-6 Twin Otter and ATR-42 present.
Above & Below: Fiji Link operates 4 nearly new Viking DHC-6s of which this aircraft, DQ-FLA, was delivered only in August 2018.
Above & Below: DQ-FJY is a 2014 build ATR-42-600
It is also possible to cross the central car park to the more remote international gates and stand next to the fence. As long as you are a reasonable height you can easily take photos over the fence and view the remote stands and Fiji Airways maintenance base. Whilst I was there a Fiji Airways 737-800 was parked.
Above & Below: The security fence is fairly standard but it is easy to get close to it and take unobstructed views like these of DQ-FJM
I was very surprised to hear the heavy drone of prop engines and witness the arrival of an Antonov 12 registered UR-CNT. This is seemingly owned by the Ukraine Air Alliance. I have absolutely no idea what this 49 year old Antonov was doing in Fiji.
The international facility has been massively expanded in size and has a huge spacious and airy check-in area. Once you go through security you are in the older part of the terminal, which has also been upgraded. It is surprisingly pleasant and has good facilities.
Depending on aircraft at the gates it also has good views of the rest of the airfield also albeit through the glass and covered walkway beyond it.
Above: Typical shots from the terminal through glass without using the zoom lens
Below: Unobstructed shots are not always possible like Fiji Link ATR-72-600 DQ-FJX
Across the shorter runway (27/09) there are various hangars with interesting occupants. However photos are not easy due to heat haze and distance. This pair of quite new Viking Twin Otters are operated by Walker Associates / Kokomo Resort presumably for transporting tourists to the facility:
Below: Note the Embraer 110 Bandeirante in a state of disrepair beyond DQ-OMO:
With care some passable shots can be taken of the Fiji Airways maintenance hangar. Its occupants this day where an A330 and the sole 737-700 DQ-FJF. The airline's two 737 MAX-8s remain parked outside.
Other airline traffic was unsurprisingly limited but Nauru Airlines made an appearance with their Australian registered ex-Air New Zealand 737-300:
The Fiji Airways A330 present departed prior to our own boarding. Her destination was Tokyo Narita:
Our aircraft back to Auckland was once again the all black 777-300ER ZK-OKQ. I can believe that she had been plying the same AKL-NAN route all week:
As with most airports in the region there's no particular reason to visit for the spotting alone but Fiji is certainly worth a visit and NAN is a pleasant place to spend a few hours in between flights.
I'm Richard Stretton, an aviation enthusiast and major collector of 400 scale model aircraft. This blog discusses ongoing events in the world of 400 scale.
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