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Spotting Guide Frankfurt Airport - FRA/EDDF

Information on world-wide spotting locations, links and contacts.

Yokes 31 May 15, 18:17Post
Spotting Guide Frankfurt Airport - FRA/EDDF - Germany


General Information

FRA is the biggest airport in Germany and the third largest in Europe. In 2014 more than 59,6 millon passengers flew to or from FRA and 2,1 million tons of cargo have been cleard in 2014, which means it´s the biggest cargo airport in Europe.

FRA airport has 4 runways:

07R/25L: used for landings mostly
07C/25C: used for departures mostly - landings when there is not much traffic
18: used for departures only
07L/25R: used for landings only. A380, B747 and MD11 are not allowed to land here, due to wide of the taxi ways and noise restrictions

Spot 1: Visitor Terrace

The visitor terrace is located in Terminal 2 at the Food Plaza. There is an entrance fee of 3€ and a security contol has to be passed. The Terrace is open from 10am to 6pm and facing south so that you have backlit the whole day. That means it´s not a very good spot for high quality pictures. The advantage is that it´s easily reachable by foot when you´re in the terminal buildings and dont have a car or other transportation available. As it´s located in the food plaza, restaurants and restrooms are nearby.

Good pictures are possible of taxing or being pushed aircrafts, preferably when the sun is not shining. Landings on 25L are too far away. For starting aircrafts on 25C a lot of light poles bother the view.

Spott 2: Spotter platform at Autobahn A5

One of the best spotting places at FRA airport. All arrivels on 25L can be seen here, as well taxing aircrafts and those which are towed to the parking positons in the area of the former airbase. Widebody arrivels on 25C are also possible, but you need a longer lens (200mm-400mm). If runways 07C/07R are active, you can take pictures of departing aircrafts on 07C with a long lens. Light conditions are good from sunrise until 4:30pm. Later you should move over to spot.3.

Car parking is possible in the forest on a small road called "Hurenschneise". If you come by train, there is an S-Bahn Station "Zeppelinheim". From the parking just follow a foot path thrugh the forest for about 400 meters. You can´t miss it, if you only listen to the sound of the aircrafts. After that you´ll pass a brigde over A5 and then you´re arrived hat the spotting postion.

A Restaurant called "Terminal 4" is in walking distance, near the S-Bahn station, reachable in about 15 minutes. Inter City Hotel Franfurt Airport is reachable as well by foot in about 15 minutes. The 2nd world war airbrigde memorial is reachable in about 5 minutes walking.

Arrivals on 25L:

Arrivals on 25C:

departures on 07C:

taxing aircrafts:

towed aircrafts:

Spot 3: Afternoon/Evening position at Autobahn A5

From spot 2, follow the footpath next to the A5 for about 800 meters. You´ll pass the approach and get to the other side, when the sun comes around in the late afternoon. Light conditons are good from about 4:30pm to sunset. Perfect for arrivals on 25L. Arrivals on 25C can not be pictured because it´s still behind you.

Spot 4: Platform at Runway 18

There is a small parking on the Airportring near the tunnel crossing runway 18. From the parking, climb up some stairs and follow a foodpath for about 100m until you reach a platform from which you have a great view on departures on runway 18 and arrivals on runway 07R. Light conditions for departures on Rwy 18 are good from about 2pm to sunset, for arrivals on 07R from sunrise to about 4:30pm. As this platform is not too big, especially on weekends it can get very crowded. There are no restaurants or restrooms nearby, so bring your own food and drinks and please use the garbage cans.

arrivals on 07R:

departures on rwy 18:

Spot 5: Line up Runway 18

If you like to take pictures of arrivals on 07R after 4:30pm or pictures from aircrafts lining up on rwy 18 you should use spot 5. It is located direct at the tunnel where the airportring is crossing a taxiway. It is about 1.2 km away from spot 4, so reachable by foot in about 30min. There is a car park in half of the way, where you can leave your car. For departures on rwy 18, light is good from about 2pm until sunset, but in the summer there will be a lot of heat haze, so it´s better to use this spot in the evening hours. Great sunset shots can be taken here, night shots as well, if you have a tripot. But you have to be quick, when the aircrafts are stopping before lining up. Widebody departures on 25C are also possible, but the view is not very nice as most of the aircrafts are already to high.

Line up:

arrivals on 07R:

departures on 25C:

Spot 6: The dune

Park you car after the brigde crossing Autobahn A3, near the firestation. Than follow the footpath for about 10min. and you will a reach a small hill called "the dune". From up there, great shots from landings on runway 25R/07L are possible. If runway 25R is in use, you can take perfect touchdown pictures and pictures from aircraft taxing back. As you are very close to the action, for taxing aircraft a lens of 18-70mm is needed. There are no restaurants or restrooms nearby, so bring you own food and drinks. Light conditons are good from sunrise until about 4:30pm. Remember when using this spot, that no A380, B747 and MD11 will land here!

Arrivals on 25R:

Arrivals on 07L:

taxi shots:

Spot 7: Leaving runway 25R

This is an nice spot in the evening to get pictures from the aircrafts when they are leaving the runway. Thats also the only possiblity to get a good picture because the sun is already in front of you. The only problem is, most of the aircrafts take an earlier exit, so that you only get a few movements here. The scound problem is that you need a high latter to get over the fence. So this is more a postion for a spotter who has already everything and is looking for something different.

Spot 8: Evening position for approach rwy 07L

This spot is good for evening arrivals on runway 07L. Light is good from 5pm until sunset. The name of this street is "Stockstrasse", it´s possible to park your car there and then walk a bit down the street and find the best place for you. There are no restaurants or restrooms nearby. It is also possible to get some of the departures off runway 25C, but only widebodies which are very heavy. Otherwise aircrafts are already too high.

Arrivals on 07L / Departures on 25C:

Spot 9: Evening position for approach rwy 25R

This spot is good for evening arrivals in runway 25R. Light condtions are good from 5pm until sunset. It is located in an industrial area, the street is called "Grenzweg / Im Taubengrund". The spot is located on a field next to the car rental agencys. Parking is possible there, but a little bit difficult, because there are a lot of no parking zones.

Spot 10: Departure shots Rwy 18

If you walk the foot path from spot 4 for about 10 to 15min. you´ll reach spot 10. Depatures from rwy 18 can be taken here, where the aircrafts are already in the air. As there is a security area between the footpath and the runway in which are growing a lot of trees, it is a little bit difficult here. It is nessesary to bring a latter to get over the fence and to find a gab between the trees. Light conditons are good from about 2pm until sunset. There are no restaurants or restrooms nearby.

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mhodgson (ATC & Photo Quality Screener & Founding Member) 31 May 15, 18:38Post
Great guide; a shame I can't make the FRA meet this year to revisit some of these spots! {thumbsup}
There's the right way, the wrong way and the railway.
airtrainer 04 Jun 15, 23:24Post
Nice work Jochen {thumbsup} {thumbsup}
Sir, would you like chicken or pasta ?
JLAmber (netAirspace ATC & Founding Member) 05 Jun 15, 15:32Post
Great guide, nice work Jochen.

mhodgson wrote:Great guide; a shame I can't make the FRA meet this year to revisit some of these spots! {thumbsup}

I haven't made it to FRA for years, I'll have to remedy that (probably next year at some point).
A million great ideas...
Zak (netAirspace FAA) 05 Jun 15, 17:53Post
FRA is a great airport for spotting. Not just because of the many good spotting locations (great guide, Jochen! {thumbsup} ), but also because of the awesome variety of widebody traffic.
Yes, the new EU copyright directive is that stupid.

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