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Copenhagen Kastrup Airport

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Continent: Europe Country: Denmark
København Kastrup Airport
Location Copenhagen, Denmark
IATA code CPH
ICAO code EKCH
Airport type Commercial
Website http://www.cph.dk
Overview map Google Maps
Communications
Tower 118.1 (arrivals), 119.350 (departures)
Ground 118.575 (taxiing southwest of runway 12/30), 121.625 (arrivals on apron), 121.9 (departures on apron)
Clearance 119.9
Approach 119.8 (northwest, primary), 118.450 (southeast), 120.2 (director/final)
Departure120.250 (northwest), 124.975 (southeast)
ATIS 122.750 (arrival), 122.850 (departure)
Plane Spotting Hotels guide

Runway Usage

About 3 days out of 5 - whenever the winds are from the south or west, runway 22L are used for landings and 22R for takeoffs. A few landings on runway 30 may also occur. When the winds are from the north or east, landings are on runway 04L and runway 04R is used for departures. Except for a few landings on runway 30, runway 12-30 is only used in case of extreme weather, emergencies etc.

The active runways will always be broadcasted on the ATIS (see the frequencies in the box to the right). You can also easily get an overview by visiting Flightradar24.

Official Spotting Locations

Flyvergrillen

Location F on below overview map

"The Flying Grillbar" - a small grillbar located near the threshold of runway 22R (just west of the perimeter fence). There is a small (unpaved) platform from which you can see some of runway 22R and the adjacent taxiway A. When runway 22R is used for departures, you will see departures accelerating past. When 04L is used for landings, arriving planes will taxi by on taxiway A. Terrain to one side and tall trees and bushes to the other makes it a far from than ideal place for photography - combined with the fact that the sun will be directly against you most of the day, this is not the place to go if you want great photos. Many parents bring their children to Flyvergrillen to grab a burger and look at the planes. It is a fine - although pricey - place for lunch, but the serious photographer will want to go somewhere else.

It is possible to take a bus (line 35) from the airport to Flyvergrillen. See rejseplanen.dk for more information (search From: Copenhagen Airport, and To: Amager Landevej 290).

For photographers, a 55-200mm lens will do for take-offs on 22R / landings on 04L and a 300-400mm to catch aircraft taxying from landings on 12 and 22L / 04R.

There are free parking spaces right across from Flyvergrillen.

Other Spotting Locations

EKCHoverview.jpg

Airside

The end of Pier B (walk toward gate B16) or Pier A (walk toward gate A12) provides a view of taxiing aircraft, however it faces south so the sun is a problem. Note that this area is beyond security, so only accessible for passengers.

Runway 22L Approach

Location A

Kystvejen - "Coastal Road" - passes below the final approach to runway 22L. You can position yourself either east or west of the final approach, depending on the time of day (the position of the sun). A fair few light posts and a tall fence makes for a challenge, but with a bit of timing, pretty decent photos can be achieved.

Getting to Kystvejen is easy - simply take the free shuttle bus from the airport to parking P17. Get off at the parking location and walk a few hundred metres back toward the airport and you will find yourself right below the final approach area to 22L.

Parking your car at Kystvejen is not allowed. You might consider parking at one of the airport parkings and taking the shuttle bus as described above. Alternatively, during the weekend, you might park your car at one of the companies a bit further down Kystvejen and walk back toward the runway.

Runway 22R Rotation point

Location E1/E2

A road tunnel passes under runway 22R about half way down the runway. You have a decent view of traffic on the runway from either side of the tunnel, but a fence running along the runway makes photography almost impossible.

The road passing under the runway is called Englandsvej. To get there, you can take bus line 35 from the airport and get off at Tømmerup (west of the runway) or Store Magleby (east of the runway). See rejseplanen.dk for more information (search From: Copenhagen Airport, and To: Tømmerupvej or Store Magleby). From either bus stop, there is a 5-10 minute walk to the runway.

Parking your car near Englandsvej is not possible. You might considered parking at Flyvergrillen and taking bus line 35 as described above.

Runway 30 approach

Location B

When runway 30 is used as the primary runway for arrivals, you might consider going to Kystvejen, which passes right under the final approach. The location is very similar to Runway 22L approach (see above), and located on the same road. Getting to this location is tricky. You can take the free shuttle bus to the runway 22L spot as described earlier, and then walk for about 2 km to get there. It is impossible to park anywhere near, and there are no bus stops in the immediate vicinity, although line 35 stops further down Kystvejen.

Runway 12 Approach

Location C

Located on Amager Landevej just next to the Gate Gourmet facility west of the airport terminals. See directions for Flyvergrillen as well as this spot is on the way there. Runway 12 is only used during extreme weather conditions or emergencies etc. This location is in urban area and as such there are shelter from the wind several places (bus-stops, petrol station etc.).

Runway 04L Approach (and 22R departures)

Location G

When runway 04L is used for arrivals, you can go to Tømmerupvej, which passes right under the final approach area. You have a good view of arrivals, and can position yourself on either side of the approach path, depending on the lighting conditions. Departures from 22R are usually too high when crossing Tømmerupvej, but if you have a large lens, you might be able to get decent photos. You can take bus line 30 to to Ullerupstræde, which is right next to this spot. If coming from the airport, take the train to Tårnby and change to bus line 30. See rejseplanen.dk for more information (search From: Copenhagen Airport, and To: Ullerupstræde). Parking your car at Tømmerupvej is not allowed, however, you can park on one of the side paths, if you stay near your car and stay ready to move it if anyone complains.


Runway 04R line up

Location D

When runway 04R is used for departures, it is possible to get quite close to the threshold in order to photograph planes as they line up for departure. Note that you have to take photos through the perimeter fence. Airport security is usually fine with this, but you should avoid bringing ladders etc. You can take busline 35 to Store Magleby (see "Runway 22R Rotation point" section above) and walk through the village to the north to get to Nordre Kinkelgade. Continue as far north as you can get, and you will reach a small paved path going west along the perimeter fence. If going by car, you can park at a small parking lot near Nordre Kinkelvej and walk a few hundred metres to the perimeter fence. You have to cross a small ditch to get to the perimeter fence, but this should not pose any major challenge.

Locations to Avoid

Use common sense and you will not get in trouble. Airport authorities generally have no problem with plane spotters, as long as you behave decently. However, you should avoid stepladders etc. near the perimeter fence. If going by car, you will find it difficult to park near most of the good spots. Consider parking at the airport (for a fee) or at Flyvergrillen (for free) and taking a bus to get around, as described above.

Regular Traffic

You will see a lot of Scandinavian (SAS) Airbuses (everything from A319 to A340-300), CRJ900s and Boeing 737s. Norwegian Air Shuttle Boeing 737s are also very common. Most major European airlines visit Copenhagen daily, so there is a good mix of narrow body aircraft from all over Europe. As for wide bodies, you have a couple of 777s, a few 787s and an A380 besides the regular SAS A330/A340s. A few North American airlines fly in with wide bodies as well. See the airport website for arrival and departure information.

Facilities and Transportation

How to get to and from the spots above is described in each section.

There are several connections to the airport from Central Copenhagen, including bus line 5A, train and metro.

It is recommended to use rejseplanen.dk (select English in the upper right corner) when planning a journey with public transport in Denmark. The site is run by the traffic companies, so it is updated with the latest timetables.