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Spotting Tips for Zurich Airport
Spotting locations

On this map you will see an overview. Click on the different spotting points on the picture to see examples.

Online Timetable

 

Frequencies
118.1 TWR Landing- and take off clearance, VFR traffic
120.22 TWR RWY 14/32; only temporarely
118.0 APP Approach from west, south and north via EKRIT
120.75 APP Approach from north and east via RILAX and SAFFA
125.32 FINAL  ILS instructions
125.95 DEP Departure and approach RWY 28
135.67* WEST Approach and departure greater area west of Zurich
Approach Basel over Switzerland
Approach and departure Bern (w/o traffic to GVA)
133.9* OST FLights in the greater area east of Zurich; mainly ZRH departure to east and northeast and ZRH approaches from east
136.15* NORD Approach ZRH from north; departure Basel to north east, east and south
128.05* SÜD Approach and departure from/to south
128.05 ? Overflights up to FL280
134.6 ? Overflights
133.05 ? Overflights high(I guess over FL300)

* plus transit flights over Switzerland up to FL240

 
Observation Deck E

At Pier E you are much closer to the action. There you can take pictures even of narrowbodies at take of from RWY 16 and RWY 28. A little disadvantage are the light conditions. They should be better in winter times, though.

NOTE: The Observation Deck E is only oipen during summer months, on wednesday, Weekends and public holidays.

Examples:

Zoom 125mm Zoom 300mm

 

Parking areas Oberglatt

From the heliport, go back to the main road and continue all down the road. You will get to Oberglatt. Just follow the road until you arrive at a crossing, where you only have the possibility to turn left or right. There you have to turn right. Follow the road until you will see a parking area. After some 200 m there is a second parking area. You'll also find a snack bar on both areas.

From these two parking areas you have a wonderful view to the aircraft landing on runway 14 and 16. Choose the one better suited to the light conditions.

Examples:

Zoom 400mm Zoom 100mm

 

Parking 3

For early morning arrivals on RWY 34, there's nothing like Parking 3 in my opinion. Go to the top deck at 6.00AM and get tons of heavies coming in until 8.00AM or so. Light is perfect there.

Examples:

Zoom 400mm Zoom 135mm
Visitors terrace Pier B

The visitors terrace on Terminal B offers very good photo opportunities from early morning up to noon, more or less. After noon, you will shoot against the sun.

Opening hours are:
- Summer: Daily from 08:00 - 20:00
- Winter: Daily from 09:00 - 18:00

Examples


Zoom 400mm (Full Frame)

Zoom 285mm (Full Frame)

Heliport

Outside the airport area there are different spotting locations. One of them is the heliport. There you have a very good view to the whole traffic, be it widebody aircraft departing from runway 16 or 28, or taxiing aircraft.

To get to the heliport, simply take at ZRH the road to Rümlang. After some 2 km, or a few hundred meters after the McDonnalds and the Park Inn Hotel (watch out for 2 speeding cameras!) you will find a little bridge for bikes and pedestrians. Just before this bridge turn right, and follow this road until the end, which is the heliport.

In summer the light is very good after 14.00/15.00, in the winter already at noon. You will need a zoom lens of about 85-200mm, depending, where you stay exactly and what aircraft you like to take pictures of. The new fence is very high. You will need a 5-step ladder at least. Fortunately, the Airport Authorities have agreed to make some holes for the photographers.

Examples:

Zoom 180mm Zoom 200mm

 

Parking 6

From the top floor of parking 6 you will have a good overview of aircraft rolling to runway 28 (above all narrowbodies) or landings on RWY 28. Light conditions are good until about 14.00-15.00.

Examples:

Zoom 105mm Zoom 105mm