Tuesday, December 2, 2014

G20 2014 – The Day the World Came to Brisbane and Brought Their VIP Airliners

US Secretary of State John Kerry arrives at the G20 in Brisbane aboard a C-32

US Secretary of State John Kerry arrives at the G20 in Brisbane aboard a C-32

The annual G20 (group of twenty) Summit is the gathering of the world’s 20 most powerful and influential nations to discuss various political and economic issues facing the world. As with any gathering of major international powers, there was a vast array of interesting and unique aircraft on show.

This year’s summit was held in Brisbane, Australia, during the weekend from November 14th – 16th. As I was in Brisbane during this time, I was very fortunate to partake in some good old plane-spotting.

Over 40 aircraft part took in the G20 Summit; this ranged not only from the various head of state VIP aircraft but also the countless support aircraft. These aircraft carried everything from advance teams to motorcade vehicles, right through to food for the various world leaders and dignitaries attending the summit.

Additionally, the US delegation also brought with them a number of helicopters including “Marine One” and V-22 Ospreys to assist in the transfer of POTUS from the military base where he landed into the city.

The dedicated media/spotters area for the event allowed for some great views of the 3 IL-96 aircraft from the Russian delegation

The dedicated media/spotters area for the event allowed for some great views of the three IL-96 aircraft from the Russian delegation

As with any major event of this nature security was very tight. There were over 6,000 additional police on duty for the weekend. Now, most would expect that the airport would be completely off-limits to spotters. But thanks to some outstanding work by the local plane-spotting community, in particular the work of YBBN Spotters Group together with Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC), there was a dedicated area set up on airport property for registered spotters and media.

Unfortunately, due to the prevailing winds and runway configuration, the area was only really suitable for afternoon and evening movements. Even so, there was plenty of other locations off-airport to get some spectacular images.

Below is a selection of images that I have taken during the event showcasing the vast array of different and unique aircraft used for the event by the various visiting nations. Unfortunately, due to the timings of some arrivals, it was not possible for me to capture all of the visiting aircraft, but I feel I was able to capture quite a few special aircraft.

The Spanish Prime Minister arrives on-board a Spanish Air Force A310

The Spanish Prime Minister arrives on-board a Spanish Air Force Airbus A310

Mexican Air Force Boeing 757-200

Mexican Air Force Boeing 757-200

Amongst all of the head of state aircraft, a number of private aircraft were also part of the delegations

Amongst all of the head of state aircraft, a number of private aircraft were also part of the delegations

The french delegation arrived with two aircraft the A340-200 (pictured) and an A330-200 with the French president on-board

The french delegation arrived with two aircraft; the A340-200 (pictured) and an A330-200 with the French president on board

The Korean Delegation arrive at the G20 in Brisbane

The Korean Delegation arrives at the G20 in Brisbane

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) BBJ arrives with UK Prime Minister David Cameron on-board together with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) BBJ arrives with UK Prime Minister David Cameron on board together with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott

A very smart looking Indonesian Government BBJ arrives with the Indonesian president Joko Widodo on-board

A very smart-looking Indonesian Government BBJ arrives with the Indonesian president Joko Widodo on board

Following the conclusion of the summit, a number of countries elected to conduct official state visits in Australia’s capital, Canberra. Once again I was fortunate enough to capture a number of these movements at Canberra Airport.

Following his visit to Canberra post G20, the Chinese president continues his visit downunder with a flight to Hobart, prior to returning to Sydney

Following his visit to Canberra post G20, the Chinese president continues his visit downunder with a flight to Hobart, prior to returning to Sydney

The Chinese Boeing 747-400 VIP transport departs on the short flight to Sydney

The Chinese Boeing 747-400 VIP transport departs on the short flight to Sydney

The Indian Prime Minister departs Canberra to continue his state visit in Melbourne

The Indian Prime Minister departs Canberra to continue his state visit in Melbourne

I would like to once again take this opportunity to thank the local spotter community in Brisbane for their outstanding organization of the event but also their warmth and generosity in welcoming a fellow AvGeek into their community.

All photos were taken by the author, Jacob Pfleger. 

 Jacob Pfleger – Contributor 

 A native of Australia, Jacob's interest in aviation first came about as a child going on a long-haul flight between Australia and Europe to visit relatives. In addition to being a pilot himself, he has worked in operations for a charter airline, been on-the-ramp handling aircraft, worked as a slot coordinator for major airports, and currently provides flight support services to corporate and VIP clients throughout Eastern Europe. 

 @avi8or1990 |  Flickr 

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