The town of Akureyri is located in the north of Iceland and its airport (AEY/BIAR) is the 3rd largest airport in Iceland behind Keflavik Intl. Airport and Reykjavik Airport (domestic only). The airport itself has only one small terminal with two check-in counters and only one restaurant, which makes it a very compact but traveller friendly airport as everything is easy to find.
The airport sees about 5 to 9 scheduled passenger flights from Air Iceland Connect, which links Akureyri with Reykjavik (domestic airport) and are operated with Dash Q8-400 and Q8-200. Norlandair operates scheduled flights to multiple smaller destination in the northern part of Iceland, such as Vapnafjordur and Grimsey, using their DHC-6 Twin Otters. They also have one Beechcraft King Air, that often operates a flight to Nerlerit Inaat Airport (aka Constable Point) in Greenland.
The majority of the tourists come in from/via KEF or RKV, however, the growing interest in the country has started to attract foreign carriers, such as Transavia, which will operate B737 twice per week (Mondays and Fridays) as per 29th of May 2019. From the end of October until March, Titan Airways operates charter flights , which are mostly operated by B757 coming in from multiple destinations in the UK.
Iceland has arranged an exemption with the IATA/ICAO that the carry-on luggage of passengers on domestic flights isn’t required to be checked. There is no police at or around the airport, so photographers are kind of free to roam around and enjoy a hassle-free experience.
Written by Rutger Patterson (visited march 2019)
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|01/19||2.400 m (7.874 ft) Asphalt|
|Terminals||One for all operations|
|Ladder||Not required, except for spot at the terminal but a small 2 step ladder would do.|
|Car/Public Transport||Recommended to have as spots can be quite a hike from eachother. No public transport to these locations.|
|Restrooms||Available only in the terminal or in the aviation museum.|
|Drinks/Food||Only in the terminal you have 1 small bar with drinks and snacks.
Best to bring them your own from a supermarket (bonus) nearby.
|Hotels||Hotels are not near the airport but closest by is in the city centre (approx. 2km)|
|Season||Best season Spring / summer (also due to the midnight sun season)|
|01/19||Assignment of runway depends on weight and load and destination of the aircraft.
Fully loaded aircraft will depart RW01 due to climbing out over city centre. If flights are not full they tend to use RW19 as they are able to clear the mountains (Air Iceland Flights to RKV)
|Spot #1 – Picknick Area|
|WHERE||This spot has a very easy parking as it’s right besides the mainroad (Eyjafjardarbraut vestri). To reach this spot follow the mainroad out of Akureyri towards the airport but keep on driving after you have passed the Airport Sign you will soon see the Aviation museum located on your left hand side but keep on driving after approx 400M you will see a big open terrain with some information signs and a picknick bench you can park your car wherever you want.
You are free to walk along the fence and also underneath the approach lights and to the other side to get into your own favorite angle to capture the Aircraft coming in. An Alternative spot you can use (which has my personal preference is walk back towards the road after parking the car and turn left on the walking path along side the main road follow the path until it crosses the mainroad, You are a bitter higher up here clearing some bushes and trees but you do have some lampposts to take care of if you cross the road there is a road that goes up in towards the mountains you can also walk up here where you are higher and permitting you a view Up on the runway which also gives you a very nice viewNOTE: Please do take note that this is the beginning of a nature preserve so it might be possible that in spring you are not allowed to walk along side the runway but parking and staying there should be absolutely fine (And respecting the Nature / wildlife offcourse)
|WHAT||All runway movements on 01.|
|TIME||Whole day (best to walk to the east side on the path to get good lighting conditions from sunrise, and progress back towards the parking area around 13:30 – 14:00 as the light is then turned and can be used from the parking spot|
|MISC.||Picknick bench available and some signs about the area with information, for this a small additional step could come in handy but if nobody is sitting at the picknick area you could climb up there to shoot over the fence
NOTE: Airport fence is not as high as it seems, and there is a big Sand hill just on the left side of the parking you can also use
|FOCAL LENGTH||Depending on the position where you at for A Dash Q8-400 -> 100-200mm / DHC 6 Twin Otter would require a bit more approx 250-400mm
Walking around the runway requires less or more depending on the shot you are looking for as you do have a nice background
|Spot #2 – Airport Parking area / Myflug air Ambulance hangar|
|WHERE||From the town drive towards the airport and follow the sign to the airport then take the first exit to the right hand side which leads up to a hangar on the side park your car on the any given parking spots (Free parking) and position yourself along side the fence.|
|WHAT||As Akureyri is also home to the Air Ambulance service in Iceland which are based here you can also get very close to the hangar, Also the local flight school and some other Piper cubs can be regularly photographed from this spot if they are parked outside. With a bit of luck if they have parked up a Dash Q8-400 or a DHC 6 / Kingair on a good position these can be photographed to a big fence on the right side of the terminal.|
|TIME||Good from approx 13:30-14:00 until sunset|
|MISC.||Airport Parking is Free and you are close to the terminal (since its a small airport they only have 1 restaurant in the terminal which is accesable for public as well no boardingpass is needed)|
|FOCAL LENGTH||Since you are about 3 to 5 Meters from the aircraft parked outside you would need small lens would suggest 50-100mm depending on the aircraft type|
|Spot #3 – Walking Promenade|
|WHERE||On your way from Town towards the airport you will pass by the Motorcycle Museum on your right This is also A great spot to be at, Turn right and park in front of the museum and then just cross the road and you will be walking along the waterline and have a unobstructed Runway View. This promenade is about 1KM long so you can just move up and down and pick your favorite spot.|
|WHAT||Best for all movements on runway 19. Arrivals on 01 may turn around earlier.|
|TIME||Good from approx 13:30-14:00 until sunset|
|MISC.||Motorcycle museum is close by if your intrested in bikes you can also visit the museum|
|FOCAL LENGTH||Dash Q8-400 Would need about 300-400mm, Smaller Aircraft will require more mm|
|Spot #4 – Mountain view on the Runway / Busstop|
|WHERE||This spot is located on a Hill side where you will be above the Runway and have a good view on it from above. Driving towards the Airport You will pas an N1 fuel station on the left handside shortly after this you have a intersection go right here and you will soon be driving up a hill when the Road Will make S turn towards the Right You could park your car on the left and walk to the spot
I would reccomend this spot only to be used when you know there is an aircraft arriving or departing as it’s an odd place to leave a Car and in general people will not have a problem with it leaving it here for just say 10-15 minutes.
|WHAT||Best for all runway 19 movements as well as 01 departures.|
|TIME||Good from approx 13:30-14:00 until sunset|
|MISC.||On the spot itself you will have a bench and trashbin|
|FOCAL LENGTH||Dash Q8-400 -> would use approx 500mm (and still need some crop), smaller aircraft you need more MM|
|Spot #5 – N1 Gasstation|
|WHERE||This spot is easy to reach, when leaving out of the town You will see the Gasstation already in the distance on your left just drive towards it and park your car on the side of the station.|
|WHAT||Perfect for arrivals on runway 19 and departures they turn around on the runway.|
|TIME||Good from approx 12:30- until sunset|
|MISC.||On this spot you have the fuel station shop very close by for drinks and sandwich also restrooms are available here and a fast food corner shop is located on the other side of the fuel station.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||Dash Q8-400 -> would use approx 50-100mm, smaller aircraft you need more MM|
We can´t provide sample pictures from this location at the moment. Please don´t hesitate to contact us if you have pictures from this location.
|Icelandic Aviation Museum|
|GENERAL INFOS||Just as Spot 1 the museum is very easy to find, driving from town pass by the exit towards the airport and keep driving after approx 300M you will find a exit to your left, take the exit and you will see the museum on your right handside easy to find it as a DC-6 Nose is mounted on the exterior of the building. Icelandair DC-3 can be found as it is it’s home base and some more nice and well preserved aircraft such as an F-27 and a beech 18 for example
The entrance fee for this museum is 1500 Icelandic Kronna (approx 8.50 EUR / 10 US dollars) but do not forget that it is not open in general, you have to call or send the owner an message / call him to ask if he can open it up but he’s willing to do so and he is very friendly and happy to show your around the website of the museum can be found here: www.flugsafn.is/
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