Atatürk International Airport

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Continent: Europe Country: Turkey
Atatürk International Airport
Location Istanbul, Turkey
Airport type Commercial
Overview map Google Maps
Tower 118.1 121.8
Ground 121.8 121.9
Clearance 121.7
Approach 126.4 120.5 121.1 NORTH 120.5, SOUTH 121.1
ATIS 128.2
Plane Spotting Hotels guide

Taking photos of aircrafts are not forbidden, but most of people think it is a kind of crime. We have the same thinking in Turkey. In Turkey, civilian use airports are also under act of special security areas, these are all airports, ports, power plants, nav aids, etc. In these areas unauthorized entry is forbidden, at these areas the taking pictures of buildings are not allowed, but aircrafts are free to take pictures.

So how we are spotting? Just stay away from the fences, or do not make yourself so clear to the security watch boxes around the airports. Better way is stay on the buildings, parks, forest, etc. surrounding airports.

If you face a security staff, most possibly they do not aware of ‘photographing aircrafts are not forbidden’ listen them calmly, mostly they ask do not take photos, take a coffee break, if possible change location and continue in convenience.

Istanbul has three runways in open V style. If the wind is from north 80 percent of traffic uses runway 05 for landing and 35L/R for departures. In this configuration, private jets mostly land on runway 35L and vacate the runway at the end for the general aviation area.

35L/R Take-Off, 05 Landing configuration 
For this configuration there are two popular spotting areas. Sun is on the east side at morning hours so IBB Florya municipality park is the most convenient place. It’s located at the sea side of runway 05 approach. For afternoon, ‘Flyinn shopping centre‘ is most convenient and comfortable place for spotting. On the second floor, the open terrace for smokers is very close and good for spotting departing aircrafts and general airport traffic.
17L/R Take-off, 23 Landing configuration 
When the wind is from south, take-offs on runway 17L/R landings are on runway 23. Flyinn shopping centre is useful for take-offs, but for landings there is no good place. The APlus shopping centre and roads around at Atakoy might be useful for 23 landings.

Official Spotting Locations

Atatürk Airport has no official viewing areas.

Other Spotting Locations

IBB Florya

You can take 05 and 35 landing photos from here.

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  • sample photo: large

Aerodrome Road

Near Aerodrome Road seaside, you can see aircraft on approach to runways 05 and 35.

Flyinn Shopping Mall

The apron is visible from Flyinn Shopping Mall. You can see runways 35L-35R and the apron.

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  • sample photo: large
  • sample photo: large
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Tarkim Flight Academy

You can get takeoff photos of runway 35R-35L and 17R from the Tarkim Flight Academy terrace.

Tarkim Flight Academy
All weekdays
08:00 - 18:00
Google Earth coordinates 40°58'26.72"N, 28°48'17.03"

  • sample photo: large - Tarkim Spotting Location
  • sample photo: large - Tarkim Spotting Location
  • sample photo: large - 05 Approach
  • sample photo: large - 05 Approach
  • sample photo: large - 05 Approach seaside

Locations to Avoid

Regular Traffic

  • Adria Airways
  • Aegean Airlines
  • Aeroflot
  • Aerosvit Airlines
  • Afriqiyah Airways
  • Air Algérie
  • Air Astana
  • Air France
  • Air Malta
  • Air Moldova
  • Air Transat
  • airBaltic
  • Alitalia
  • Ariana Afghan Airlines
  • Armavia
  • Asiana Airlines
  • Atlasjet
  • Austrian Airlines
  • Azerbaijan Airlines
  • Belavia
  • B&H Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Buraq Air
  • Caspian Airlines
  • China Southern Airlines
  • Condor Flugdienst Seasonal
  • Corendon Airlines
  • Croatia Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Donavia
  • Donbassaero
  • Dniproavia
  • EgyptAir
  • Emirates
  • Etihad Airways
  • Freebird Airlines Seasonal
  • Gulf Air
  • Iberia
  • Iran Air
  • Iraqi Airways
  • JAT Airways
  • Manchester [begins 16 March 2012]
  • KLM
  • Korean Air
  • Kuban Airlines
  • Kuwait Airways
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Libyan Airlines
  • LOT Polish Airlines
  • Lufthansa
  • Mahan Air
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Malév Hungarian Airlines
  • Middle East Airlines
  • Nouvelair
  • Olympic Air
  • Onur Air
  • Pakistan International Airlines
  • Pegasus Airlines operated by IZair
  • Qatar Airways
  • Red Wings Airlines
  • Rossiya
  • Royal Air Maroc
  • Royal Jordanian
  • Saudi Arabian Airlines
  • SCAT
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Sky Airlines
  • Somon Air
  • Swiss International Airlines
  • Tajik Air
  • Tatarstan Airlines
  • Tunis Air
  • Turkish Airlines
  • Turkmenistan Airlines
  • Uzbekistan Airlines

Facilities and Transportation

To get IBB Florya park, from Ataturk airport, best and fastest way is take a taxi. Alternate way is from the some parts of city take train called Banliyö (French originated word for suburb) leave the train Florya, again taxi to the IBB park.

To get Flyinn shopping centre, take a taxi to Flyinn shopping centre at Florya. Be careful about airport taxis, mostly they are not happy for short distance passengers. Alternately, from the some part of city, take train to the Florya and taxi to the Flyinn shopping centre.

More Info

SpotTR Turkish Spotting Group