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Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport

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Continent: North America Country: Canada Region: Quebec
Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport
Location Dorval, Quebec
Airport type Commercial
Overview map Google Map
Tower 119.900
Ground 121.900
Clearance 125.600
Approach 118.900,124.650
ATIS 133.700)
Plane Spotting Hotels guide

Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, formerly known as Montréal-Dorval International Airport, is located in the city of Dorval, on the Island of Montreal. It is the third busiest airport in Canada.

Official Spotting Locations

Jacques-De-Lesseps Park

The only official aircraft observation park in Canada, Jacques-De-Lesseps Park is located at the intersection oh Halpern and Jenkins on the southeast side of the airport. It provides views of aircraft arriving an departing on runway 06R-24L and of the passenger terminal ramp areas. Stadium-style bleachers provide the opportunity for unobstructed photos. This blog post has a good review of the location.

Other Spotting Locations

55th Ave & Ave Chartier Parking Lot

Air Canada A321 departing Montréal-Trudeau from Runway 24R

This spot is a gravel parking lot near runways 24L/6R. For photos, you will need a step ladder, but is very good for rotation shots of aircraft taking off. Some aircraft land on this runway, but most tend to land on 24R/6L. Best in the mornings. 70-200 mm lens works well, with a 300 mm OK for late rotations. Note that this is private property. Google Map

Ch St-François

This spot is a dead end street that runs parallel runways 24R/6L. For photos, you will need a step ladder, but is very good for touch-down shots. Great in the afternoon for European arrivals as they generally land on this runway. Best with a 200-300 mm. Google Map

Blvd Pitfield

This spot is a dead end street near the end of 24R. Good if you want head on shots, or just want to watch planes land. Very popular with families on the weekend. Google Map

Ave Thorncrest

This spot is a hill behind an arena near the threshold of 6R. Good in the mornings when they are landing on 6R. Park near the community gardens and walk up the hill. There are wires to worry about so watch your shots! Google Map

Locations to Avoid

Regular Traffic

  • Air Canada dominates YUL, and often you may get the same plane a few times a day as it cycles to Toronto or Halifax. Air Canada is mostly A319s, A320s, A321s, and E190s, with heavies arriving and departing in the afternoon to Europe. Air Canada Jazz operates the normal mix of CRJs and Dash-8s.
  • Air Transat has a major operation at YUL, along with Canjet. WestJet has a minor presence, as does Porter.
  • The interesting Canadian operations are flights to the north. Air Creebec, Air Inuit, and First Air all operate to/from YUL with everything from 737-200 Combis to Dash 8s

YUL has an interesting mix of European and North African airlines flying in.

  • Air France operates 3-4 times a day, with everything from A340-300s through to 777-300ERs to 747s to (starting in 2011) the A380. KLM brings in an MD-11. Air St-Peirre flies in to meet Air France a number of times a week.
  • YUL is the only destination for Swiss in Canada, and Lufthansa flies from Münich. British also flies in from London.
  • Of interest to many are the flights by Royal Air Moroc and Royal Jordanian.

USA traffic is the normal mix of RJs and narrow bodies from US Airways, American, United, and Delta.

Facilities and Transportation

To spot at YUL, you generally need a car to get around, and a ladder is helpful.

External Links