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 Tonga
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Ha'apai (HPA)

The Ha'apai group is Tonga's central group of islands, and the least developed of the three main groups that comprise the country. The airport is on the island of Lifuka, the only one with any kind of infrastructure whatsoever, and sees about one or two Royal Tongan flights daily - not exactly busy!

Although nobody in their right mind would come here just to see aircraft, if you are here for any other reason Ha'apai is probably the most photographer-friendly of all the Tongan airports, with a nice variety of places to try (including action shots) and no problems getting the photos when you're there.

a) The terminal has apparently been upgraded recently from what was basically little more than a hut to a 'real' terminal. Whether this has affected the photographic possibilities from here is not known, but there certainly didn't use to be any major problems here, with just a low fence between you and the aircraft. The only real negative aspect to this spot is that you're facing into the sun for most of the day, although with luck permission will be granted to go out to the other side (and if you're flying, as you almost certainly will be anyway, then you can get your pictures at the time of boarding).

A3-FQL V78203
A3-FQL
Royal Tongan Airlines  DHC-6
V78203
Air Marshall Islands  HS-748

b) Most of the airport perimeter on either side of the runway is surrounded by palm trees, making photography a little difficult, but there are a couple of useful places for some action shots. Obviously the ends of the runway are clear of obstructions and should allow you to get some decent landing shots (certainly the end of Runway 10 is no problem, and I'd imagine the other end is similar if this was the runway in use).
The 'main' (only) road on the island crosses the runway just to the west of the terminal, and there's obviously a clearing in the trees here. Depending on the runway in use, you should be able to get some nice take-off shots from here.

A3-FQL V78203
A3-FQL
Royal Tongan Airlines  DHC-6
V78203
Air Marshall Islands  HS-748
 
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Last visited on 2 November 1995 Top of page
 
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Maps

Click on the icons below to see maps relating to Ha'apai airport. Note that these are all external links to other sites, and will open in a new window.

Area Map
General map of the Ha'apai area

Courtesy of:
Maps by Expedia.com Travel
maps.expedia.com

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