• For better or worse, the holidays often mean going to the airport. (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Plane spotters and airport lovers unite. This season of docos takes us into the fascinating world of airports and jumbo jets.
Desanka Vukelich

14 Dec 2018 - 2:11 PM  UPDATED 14 Dec 2018 - 2:11 PM

Ah, the airport. Few places generate more anxiety, or more excitement, depending on your personality. Over the holidays, many of us will be heading to the airport, to either drop off or pick up loved ones or jump on a plane ourselves.

Whether you’re jetting off or staying put to relax to the max, get your airport fix as SBS takes to the skies with a series of documentaries that go behind the scenes of the ever-intriguing airport as well as taking a look at some of the world’s most marvellous aircraft.


High Tech Airport

As late as the 2000s, when you disembarked at Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport, you were met with plumes of smoke from tobacco-starved passengers lighting up the second they got off the plane. Now, in addition to smoke-free halls, Europe’s second busiest airport boasts extremely high-tech measures for everything from baggage scanners that can detect explosives to ensuring smooth navigation even in the poorest visibility. This one’s for the airport and tech heads among us.

High Tech Airport airs on Sunday, 16 December at 6:30 pm on SBS VICELAND.


Ultimate Airport Dubai

This 10-part documentary series takes us right into the steaming hot heart of Dubai’s international airport, which sees between 6.5 and 8 million people passing through every month. While emotions run high as passengers miss flights and have major meltdowns, the pressure is on the 60,000-strong staff to keep it all together.

Ultimate Airport Dubai starts on Sunday, 16 December at 7:35 pm on SBS VICELAND.


The Great Boeing 787

We go behind the scenes of a French airline as its pilots, mechanics and engineers learn to operate the aircraft we know as the Dreamliner. With more advanced technology than ever before, the team has a few weeks from taking delivery of the plane to its first commercial flights to get a handle on things.

The Great Boeing 787 airs on Sunday, 23 December at 6:30 pm on SBS VICELAND.


Boeing 777: The Heavy Check

With a lifespan of around 30 years, Boeing 777 aircraft clock up tens of thousands of hours in the air. After working so hard, the planes need some regular TLC. This documentary takes us into the hangar as a thorough check-up is performed on this impressive flying machine.

Boeing 777: The Heavy Check airs on Sunday, 30 December at 6:30 pm on SBS VICELAND.


A350: The Star of the Skies

Plane spotters, get excited. After 10 years of tests and 12 billion euros of investment, the Airbus A350 is set to enter full worldwide operation by 2020. Promised to be cleaner and quieter than any plane before it, this French documentary takes us from the conception to the building to the first flight testing of the aircraft dubbed the Star of the Skies.

A350: The Star of the Skies airs on Sunday, 13 January at 6:30 pm on SBS VICELAND.


How to Start an Airline

Follow the adventures of Kazi Shafiqur Rahman as he embarks his seemingly insurmountable mission of starting a new airline in the UK. If that doesn’t sound challenging enough, Rahman, who calls himself “the Halal Richard Branson”, has set himself the task of ensuring that the airline remains in keeping with his Islamic faith. Will he overcome the many obstacles and pull it off?

How to Start an Airline airs on Sunday, 20 January at 6:30 pm on SBS VICELAND.


The Secret Life of the Airport

Two million passengers every week. 2700 flights every day. 192 gates. If those stats get your engine revved up, then buckle in for more. With exclusive behind-the-scenes access and a peek into some of the stranger airport jobs out there, this documentary about the world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson International in Atlanta, Georgia, is a treat for airport obsessives and plane spotters alike.  

The Secret Life of the Airport is streaming now at SBS On Demand:

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