Brunswick Golden Isles Airport (BQK/KBQK) is a small airport in the southeast of Georgia between Savannah and Jacksonville at the coastline. The civil traffic is quite boring: 40.000 passenger a year roughly thanks to one scheduled Delta/Endeavor flight from/to Atlanta a day using CRJ-200/900 (plus sometimes a charter flight here and there). Otherwise mostly business jets and other GA are the movements in the field. Therefore it is easy to get around and there are good opportunities to shoot on the south side of the field – except the Gulfstream facilities in the southwest corner.
The main reason for visiting BQK is the ramp from Stambaugh in the northern part of the field. On the ramp you will find jewels like Beoign 707 ,727 and many more. To visit the ramp have a look at spot #5.
Written by Severin Hackenberger and Thomas Okaty in cooperation with local spotters Carlos Barcelo and Johan S. Gomez. Last Update: April 2022
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|07/25||2.439m (8.001 ft) Aspahlt/Concrete|
|Terminals||There is only one terminal like facility handling all operations and operators.|
|Ladder||Maybe useful at spot 2/3, but we recommend to foresee from using one. Rather quickly shoot thru the mesh or otherwise climb your car’s top.|
|Car/Public Transport||A car is definitely needed here as public transport does not exist. Therefore streets are quite calm and switching spots is easy. Parking is also no problem at all – except the some private slots.|
|Drinks/Food/Restrooms||Nothing close. Inside the terminal is a cafe and restrooms.|
|Hotels||There are no hotels here at all and thus no special spotting places neither.|
|Season||Summer is hot, humid and thus hazy leading to heat haze. Winter is better, but the weather is not always perfect. Traffic is not seasonal here at all with huge peaks or downs – maybe some few charters though.|
|07/25||The airport is very quiet, thus aircraft may even choose the direction of their favour if it is not too windy. So be prepared for changes or surprising usages!|
|Spot #1 – Glynco Pkwy – 07 Arrivals|
|WHERE||This spot is located by the roadside of Glynco Pkwy just north of the street you will find a small road leading to an access gate where you can pullover/stop your car. Then just shoot from here directly…|
|WHAT||07 Arrivals are visible from here.|
|TIME||From later morning till early afternoon, around noon is best.|
|MISC.||Photography is very easy and the elevation in that point is higher and you shoot over the fence right before Gulfstream Hangar K. Myself or my colleges have never been harassed here.|
Photos taken here look like THIS.
|Spot #2 – Hangar street – 07 movements + Gulfstream Ramp|
|WHERE||This spot can be found at the end (a crash gate to the apron) of an unnamed street between the Gulfstream hangars and the Gulfstream “terminal”. While the hangars next to the spots are more likely used by small aircraft like Cessna, the area here still belongs to Gulfstream. So only come down here onto the small parking lot directly at the fence, take one quick picture and leave again!|
|WHAT||Traffic arriving on 07 or taxiing down to departure there. You can also see the ramp in front.|
|TIME||From morning till early afternoon in general (roughly).|
|MISC.||As mentioned, this area belongs to Gulfstream and they are really jealous/picky. They will call the police immediately so this spot really is a quick stop and shot spot. Ladder not really recommended as it will attract even more attention. If needed, you can quickly get on your car’s top, this should be enough as the fence is 6 1/2 inches tall.
Heat haze is an issue on runway shots on hot days. Best on weekends!!
B707 on taxiway = 75mm / Gulfstream on apron = 190mm
|Spot #3 – Manning Avation Parking – GA Ramp|
|WHERE||East of BQK’s “passenger terminal” directly east of Manning Aviation’s facilities at the fence. Literally a big car park with a crash gate at the northeastern end from where you can see the aircraft, nothing special.|
|WHAT||Aircraft parked on the GA ramp here in the east in front of the fence. In the distance/background you can also see Stambaugh’s ramp.|
|TIME||Mostly noon/afternoon is best here.|
|MISC.||Try to shoot thru the mesh to avoid attention. Haze should not be an issue here on the GA ramp, but may affect your view onto Stambaugh’s ramp.
Stay away from Manning Aviation FBO as long as possible: it is privately owned and the owner is not the best person to deal with. We were once there and this was the only time using his parking lot, but we were waiting for a 707 test flight to go out so it was worth the risk. However, he basically kicked us out without hesitation. So do not wait here for movements at all, that FBO is thereby only good for stuff parked on their ramp. Make your shots quickly and move elsewhere. Best on weekends!!
Gulfstream closeup = 150mm
|Spot #4 – Connole St – Stambaugh Ramp|
|WHERE||This spot is located along Connole St a dead end road running north of Glyco Pkwy. Just make your way in here, but STOP at the crash gate as Connole St may not be entered from here onwards by car! So park your car by the roadside here without blocking the crash gate and then walk in Connole St eastwards, just search your favourite position along the road from where you can see the Stambaugh ramp best you think.|
|WHAT||This is the best spot to see Stambaugh’s ramp if you cannot get airside. Unluckily the gears are chopped off by grass.|
|TIME||Around noon is best here.|
|MISC.||Haze is an huge issue, even in winter. You cannot shoot here in summer at all, therefore the street is quiet and you do not have any issues with being send away. In addition there are some trees/treelines/bushes airside making shooting a bit tricky as your view is blocked sometimes.|
|Spot #5 – Stambaugh Ramp|
|WHERE||On the north side the only opportunity to get to the fence is at Stambaugh Aviation. While spotting from landslide is not possible here as the fence is too far away from the action, they are open to ramp tours for anyone (spotter and non-spotter). You might be able to walk in but it is better if you give them a heads up for a visit in advance. They will accommodate you for a quick tour and photography is not a problem with them depending on what they have. Spotters never had an issue with them – they are always happy to assist the spotting community, try to keep that treasure! This is not common, a real jewel! And you do not wanna loose it if you can thereby|
|WHAT||Shoot Omega 707s, John Travolta’s Qantas 707, Peter Nygard’s 727s and more old jewels… Of course the situation can change daily!|
|TIME||They are working on weekdays only so plan your visit in advance and avoid weekends or holidays.|
|MISC.||Please contact them in advance of your visit. Contact details are on their Official Website.
Stambaugh is a wonderful place and it is close to not understandable why they are so friendly towards spotters. So be careful there too, be respectful with the staff and their rules so the privilege doesn’t get revoked. Respect once stambaugh may not let you on the ramp when a high security visitor (for example Israeli Air Force B707 Re’em) is there for maintenance so do be patient with that. It is a great privilege, be careful so the community doesn’t get that revoked like similar airports as a result of spotters being negligent and careless on airport facilities.
Few notes: Echoing the safety warning, BQK isn’t a nice airport to photograph at. Regarding the nature of Gulfstream’s business, they are extremely tough on security and will kick you out near instantly. The spot should be avoided if possible. Stambaugh is usually nice about spotters but be careful there too, be respectful of the staff and their rules so the privilege doesn’t get revoked. Additionally, stambaugh may not let you on the ramp when a high security visitor (for example Israeli Air Force B707 Re’em) is there for maintenance so do be patient with that. BQK is a great airport and a great privilege, but be careful so the community doesn’t get that revoked like similar airports as a result of spotters being negligent and careless on airport facilities.
Thanks Rohan, comments added.