My most common and favorite airports to land at

I often get asked the question if I fly a certain route, or what my most flown destinations are. I am Based on the Mediterranean’s biggest island, Sicily, I fly mostly domestic flights within Italy. I know all of Rome Fiumicino’s arrivals by heart and the clearances even before they are given ´After Roma VOR fly heading 315 degrees reduce speed 230 kts´ ´speed already 230 turning left 315 degrees’! Ha-ha and if you have ever flown from Milan to Palermo it’s pretty likely that I was your pilot.
In total, I have flown to about 150 airports off the top of my head. I have 85 destinations in the Boeing 737 mostly in Europe, from Stockholm in the North to Tenerife in the South. During my training, I had around 50 pins that I flew in Cessna 152, 172, Piper 28, Diamond 20, 40 and the Gulfstream, GA7.
My favorite airport so far is Port Elizabeth in South Africa, Annie and I from flight training spent a couple of weeks flying in South Africa to build up our hours. Port Elizabeth has an amazing approach over the coastline at the same time it is rather challenging, having the nickname “The Windy City” definitely put our PPL (Private Pilot License) to the test. We had just passed our check ride and had little idea what we were doing when we decided to get on an Airbus 340 and fly to SA. It is not just the airport itself that put it on top of my list but the great memories I have of visiting this place twice during my Cessna “road trip” around the county back in 2010, I would love to go back sometime.
In Europe, not wanting to sound cheesy… BUT, it’s actually Palermo. For me, the VOR approach to runway 07 is just amazing! You fly a so-called DME ARC and as you turn left to intercept inbound radial 065 you have the island on your right-hand side and the runway in front of you the sunset in your back reflecting its red colors on the mountain adjacent to the airport, it is just magic! Not even after being based here for two and a half years and probably an after a couple of hundred landings on this runway, I still don’t tire of this view.
An airport that is still on my bucket list to land on is Gibraltar, often categorized as one of the world’s most risky runways because of the road that goes straight through the runway, before arrival they close the road, but after landing, people and cars can freely cross the runway again.
What is your favorite or your dream airport to land at?
Here are some pictures, a blast from the past – South Africa! (first picture Palermo though and it´s red sunsets reflections)
xx Maria
Written by me
Edited by Kirsty Williams

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