Spotting Locations Frankfurt Airport
After releasing this information page nearly nine months ago, it proved some valuable services to spotters visting Frankfurt this summer season. But it lacked some informations and most of all was the missing of a map to navigate to and between the positions. Thats over, in the new version is an aerial photo (copyright FRAPORT AG), showing the airport and the new runway, where I marked the photo positions, bus stops and car parking areas on it. With two exceptions (Position Nos 9 and 10) all the official spotting points will be illuminated, with photos and explanations. Unavoidable errors or mistakes are possible - so please contact us, if you find an error, the explanation not correct or something missing.
Well, let's start at RWY 25L and 25C, positions 1 and 2. Most of you know the spotting position at RWY 25L / 25C, which is a very good spot to see the approaching airliners. Due to the fact, that no A380, B747 and MD-11 are allowed to land on the new RWY 25R, most of the heavies will land on RWY25L. In some cases of low traffic (early morning / afternoon) RWY25C will used for landings also, reducing the traffic (and the noise) at 25R. The position is also valuable for taking photos of departing aircraft at RWY 07C and passing ground movements to the stands at the former airbase or to RWY18. Only disadvantage is the building in the foreground, spoiling the view partially. In summer, after 16:00 loc the sun turns into a more western direction. Then its better walking down the way to position 2, located near the A3 / A5 Autobahn intersection (ca. 2km). Eays to find, because the way is only seperated by a fence from the Autobahn and photos of landing aircraft with proper sunlight.
Above pictures illustrate the photographic possibilities at RWY 25L and 25C. Picture 1 shows a B748F on arrival RWY25L taken from the bridge and the B735 of CSA (picture 2) was taken from the spotting point while moving to RWY 18. The climbing A380 of Singapore was taken from the same position while RWY 07 was in use. This pictures were made at position 1, while pictures 4, 5 and 6 were taken at position No 2. In detail: the 744 of Lufthansa was made early morning (June 23) on arrival at 25L. FedEx Md-11 aned B777 of Singapore late evening on 28 June 2008 - the MD-11F on RWY25C and the B773 on RWY 25L, taken at position No 2 (close to the intersection of A3 and A5 Autobahn). This position can be reached while walking to / from Terminal 2 to the RWY25L spot. Car parking is possible at the forest (usually crowded quickly) and at Zeppelinheim, near S-Bahn railway station. For GPS / car navigation systems please use "Admiral-Rosendahl-Strasse / Neu-Isenburg / Zeppelinheim" as coordinates. Walking from Zeppelinheim is only 2 minutes more, follow the way through the S-Bahn tunnnel to forest and the parked cars up to the spotting position.
Visitors Deck at Terminal 2 (Position 3):
Visitors Deck Airport Terminal 2 is the he classic viewing position and gives good overview over the ground movements and the parked aircraft. Disadvanage are: the deck has a southbound direction, on sunny days it has frontlighting when taking photos of landing aircraft at RWY 25 and take off at RWY 07 also. Runway 25R is situated behind the terminal at the north side, which is not to see from the visitors deck. There is a checkpoint before entry, liquid refreshements are allowed now to take on the deck, restaurants and toilets are inside the terminal so re-entry (after passing the checkpoint again) is permitted. The Airport can be reached by railway, with the S-Bahn via Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof or with the Inter City Express (ICE) connecting Frankfurt with various cities in Germany and Europe. Car parking is expensive, so parking on some S-Bahn stations with "Park & Ride" (P&R) is highly recommended. Stations at Kelsterbach and Raunheim offering P&R, the travel from these stations is cheaper than one hour of parking at the airport.
Pictures 7 and 8 taken 11 May 2012 from the observation deck. Kuwait A340 was taken with summer sun, the Air Mauritius A340 while sun was covered by clouds few hours later.
Visitors deck is opened between April and November from 10:00 to 18:00, admission is 5,00 € (adults), children 3,00€ and family ticket 14,00 €. Also offered by FRAPORT are sightseeing tours by bus, duration 45 min and prices of 8,00 € (adults).
Position 4 is the approach area of RWY25R - also known as the "Nordwest-Bahn". This runway is used for landings only and most of the traffic arriving there are the members of the large Lufthansa fleet - except Boeing 747, A380 and MD-11F and other carriers from the U.S, Canada, Eastern and Southern Europe, Russia or Asia. Landing traffic there is not foreseeable, because in early morning hours, low traffic times and / or in the afternoon hours, it is possible of increasing use of RWY 25C / 25L. When this happens, you're fare away from the business at RWY25L or 25C. To reach this spot, put "Im Taubengrund, Kelsterbach" in your GPS / car navigation. Car parking is possible at the street.
Pictures above shown the positions and the results: the incoming ANA B773 was taken afternoon 01 May 2012 from the position near the truck, while the Scandinavian A319 was photographed on afternoon 16 March 2012 from the position above the truck. Photo below left shows parts of the parking area and the way up to the photo position at "Taubengrund".
Walking from Position 4 to Position 5, called "The Dune" takes ca.10 minutes. The Dune is a small hill, ca. 4 Meters in high allowing photos from above the fence. I recommend this way, because it is better to leave the car at "Taubengrund" and not getting tickets by the local police while parking at the new firebrigade building. Once you are there, you can make pictures of landing aircraft - some of them in the moment of touch-down. Disadvantage are the lamps, which will appear regularly in your viewfinder. Landing aircraft will turn at the end of the runway and pass by again at the taxiway. Exceptions are the freighters of DHL, Fedex oer AeroLogic. These are moving to their positions via the western exit. Most of landing aircraft at RWY 07 will roll down the runway, some of them leave for the taxiway.
The four pictures above illustrating the Position 5 "Dune" with landing aircraft on RWY 07L (A340 Lufthansa) and 25R (B737 LH). Air Moldova A320 uses the taxiway after landing on RWY25R, while DHL 757 is moving back after landing on RWY 07L to its parking position near LH Cargo area. TAP 320 and Air baltic DHC-8 were taken while walking way from Position 4 to the Dune, just after leaving the tunnel.
Position 6 - Runway 07L approach is far away from the airport and the observation deck on RWY 18. As described above for RWY25R, the same goes for RWY 07L apprach: it is used for landings only and most of the traffic arriving there are the members of the large Lufthansa fleet - except Boeing 747, A380 and MD-11F and other carriers from the U.S, Canada, Eastern and Southern Europe, Russia or Asia. Landing traffic there is not foreseeable, because in early morning hours, low traffic times and / or in the afternoon hours, it is possible of increasing use of RWY 25C / 25L. When this happens, you're fare away from the business at RWY25L or 25C. To reach this spot by car, pleas put "Kelsterbach Stockstrasse" or "Professor-Staudinger-Strasse" in your GPS / car navigation. Walking from the Dune to this place takes very long, better you have a car or a bike with you. Parking is possible at the very end of the "Stockstrasse / Professor-Staudinger-Strasse".
Above: photos from RWY 07L approach. The area is relatively wide and offers good photo positions. Pictures are taken around the Position 6 with RWY 07L in use.
Position 7 is the new RWY18 line-up photo point, situated opposite to the Cargo apron. All aircraft lining up for RWY18, including the freighters from the Southern Cargo Ramp, have to hold on this point awaiting the take-off clearance. It is also a good position for take-off photos from RWY25C and landing on 07R. Best time to use this position is afternoon until sunset.
Photos from the line-up position, taken on late summer afternoon in July and August. Position can be reached by car, follow "Airportring" to "Mörfelden - Walldorf" / RWY 18 visitors deck (Position 8). Parking: two car-parking areas beside the street (left and right) or at roundabout at the tunnel entry near RWY 18. Below: pictures of Position 8, the visitors platform on Runway 18.
For the more adventorous spotters is Position 9 recommended: ca. 2km away from the platform, walking will take 15 minutes and a ladder would be a valuable help. But after hauling all your equipment to this point, you'll get pictures like the ones below.
The same goes for Position 10. The only difference is, this position can only used in the morning for take-off shots from RWY18. Accessable only by walking through the tunnel of RWY18 (dangerous!!!!), via Holiday Parking and along the fence. Ladder required.
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Copyright © 2012 Frankfurt Aviation Friends / Photos by Ralf Drews. Design & Layout by Sally's Tomato & Ralf Drews.