Plainspotting at Cape Town International

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Plainspotting at Cape Town International

There are countless hobbies and interests and every individual has their own taste. For me its astronomy and aviation specifically plainspotting.

We all meet special people for a reason and I am fortunate enough to know a group of plainspotting / aviation enthusiasts just as crazy as me. I love that we find a common interest talking and chirping about anything aircraft. Through our mutual interest in plainspotting and aviation, we share our pics and thoughts.

Mohamed @zs_mk [ Instagram handle ] one of the group founders has been instrumental in achieving a mode of communication with ACSA and us keen plainspotters. Mohamed had organized a special tour of ATNS (Airport Control Tower). Being my first time, I was very nervous and excited.

My neighbour and I arrived early at the security check-point along with other keen enthusiasts. We had our names checked and allowed entry.

We were briefed on the do’s and don’ts and I was just keen to get up there and see the fleet of traffic landing and taking off and of course taking lots of pictures. We were taking to the control room where they showed us how the traffic controller communicates with the pilot.

I know i love computers and its my profession but I could never see myself as an ATNS starring at those screens would be too boring for me. I know that an ATC has the most important job of directing and assisting in air traffic safety.

We were then escorted up a few floors by elevator to the control tower where we could see the entire cape town and airport in complete 360 degree view. Given more instructions for no photography or selfies inside. We listened in as the ATC would communicate with the pilot either taxing or ready for landing/take-off.

One of my best shots of the day, dual emirates aircraft as one is taxing for later departure while the other has taken off.

We eventually made our way onto the balcony outside the tower where we as happy group of aviation enthusiasts would start snapping away. Conditions was tricky as a very strong south easterly wind was blowing. This did not stop us from taking as many pictures of the fleet. Spent 4 hours watching aircraft come and go and chatting to the group, I can honestly say I had the best time/experience. Thank you Mohamed.