What makes a good Airport Spy report?

Well, what would you find useful if heading someplace for the first time? What would you tell a colleague in the airbridge?

Consider some topics like ATC quality, terrain, unusual procedures, local peculiarities, handling quality, contacts.



Here’s an example of a great one for Queenstown, New Zealand …


Airport + Spy = Airport Spy
This man is a fully trained Airport Spy. Do not attempt at home.
Flight Details
  • Type: Private operator
  • Aircraft: G550
  • Date: Nov 2018
Back at the hotel, filing an Airport Spy report!
FBO is here

Queenstown: do your homework!

We also operated into NZQN in a G550 earlier this month via NZAA. As others have said, this is definitely one of those airports where you need to sharpen your pencil. We arrived via the UBDAM 3B, transitioned to the RNAV G and landed straight-in RWY 23. Luckily, the ceilings were fairly high the day of our arrival and we were able to get a visual over IKABA. Robin Leach is the go-to guru for any questions related to Queenstown and I’d highly recommend going over the arrival with him. You can get the current METAR via Robin or by calling the FBO in NZQN; Queenstown Corporate Jet Service (+64 3 441 4091).

Part 91 operators do not need any sim-specific training or online testing to operate into this airport, however, the document that is enclosed is something one should definitely be intimately familiar with.

A few notes:
-Be aware on arrival to 23, there is a decent sized berm shortly prior to the threshold that will give you some sporty airspeed fluctuations just before to touchdown.
-PAPI is 3.2 degrees.
-We parked at stand A1A. Handling with CJS was very efficient.
-Be mindful where you select terrain inhibit. We did so only once we had the runway in sight along with synthetic vision for backup.
-Try to get fuel before departure day since airlines get priority.
-Disinsection (2-spray method) is required for all international arrivals into New Zealand.
-Brisbane and Auckland Oceanic both utilize CPDLC and routinely approve block altitudes, so do take advantage of that.
-Departed runway 23 via ANPOV3T and tech-stopped in Christchurch (NZCH) with GCH for a 45-minute quick-turn. Try to provide an estimate of your uplift in advance.

Get your camera ready on arrival. The scenery inbound was probably the best I’ve seen. FYI, if considering a tech stop in Australia, all PAX/crew must have visas. There’s a Hertz rental car facility right next to the FBO. We stayed at the Novotel in town. Location is better than the Hilton, but nowhere near as nice. Studying the visual landmarks, memorizing the target altitudes, and mentally planning the arrival procedures (especially the circuit procedure) will help to ensure a smooth arrival. The briefing document can be obtained via Queenstown CJS FBO. Definitely hit up Fergburger and Botswana Butchery. There are so many outdoor activities to do you could honestly stay busy for weeks. A cheap, but really fun one was to do luge from the top of the chairlift.

Got the idea? Cool! Go file yours ...