Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

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Continent: Europe Country: Netherlands
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
Location Amsterdam, Netherlands
Airport type Commercial
Overview map Google Maps
Tower 119.22 118.1 118.95
Ground 121.7 121.8 121.9
Clearance 121.97 Start-up 121.65
Approach 119.05 121.2 Arrival 118.4 131.15
ATIS 122.2 108.4 132.97
Plane Spotting Hotels guide

Official Spotting Locations

Schiphol has three official viewing areas: The observation deck at Schiphol Plaza (also called the Panorama Terrace), the McDonalds overlooking 09/27 (Buitenveldertbaan), and a parking lot alongside 18R/36L (Polderbaan). The official spot alongside 06/24 (Kaagbaan) has been closed. The airport's web site also contains information on the Panorama Terrace and runway observation locations.

Panorama Terrace

The Panorama Terrace is a large outdoor observation deck with great views of the terminal. A Fokker 100 is on the terrace and can be entered for free. There is also Dakota's Café & Bar, just inside the observation deck with good view if the weather is bad. Unfortunately the platform faces the sun most of the day. For photography it is therefore not too great. If you want to catch registrations this is a great place though! Just don't forget to bring your binoculars!

Operating hours (weather permitting):

  • Summer (from the last Sunday in March) 07:00 - 20:00
  • Winter (from the last Sunday in October) 09:00 - 17:00

For now access to the observation deck is free of charge, however there are plans to change this. The turnstiles have already been installed, so it is probably just a matter of time. Due to construction works, the section between E and F piers has been closed. However, the terrace in front of Dakota's Bar has been enlarged.

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09/27 Buitenveldertbaan (McDonalds)

This spot is not that good. You will face the sun all day at this spot. On top of that, the Buitenveldertbaan is rarely used due to noise regulations. So this place is not really worth it.

Just in case you do want to go here, you can easily get here by busline 190, 191, 192, 193, 196, 198 or 199. Get off at busstop "Loevestijnse Dwarsweg", easily recognisable by the massive McDonalds sign.

18R/36L Polderbaan (west side)

The Polderbaan (18R/36L) is the newest runway, located in the middle of nowhere (by Dutch standards anyway). Because of that, few people are annoyed by the aircraft noise, so this runway is used as much as possible.

When the wind comes roughly from the southwest to the west this runway is used for landings. When the wind comes rouhgly from the northwest to the east this runway is used for take-offs.

This spot can not be reached by public transport, so a car or a bike will be required. When coming from the A4 motorway you must take the exit to Hoofddorp. At the exit go to the left and follow this road. After 5 minutes you will be at a large intersection with a fire station on your right. At this intersection you must go to the right. Then take the second road to the right and continue to the end of this road. Now you will be looking over the Polderbaan from the west.

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Schiphol Experience Tour

A behind the scenes tour of the airport is offered a few times per day, most days per week. View the tour web site for schedules and reservations:

Other Spotting Locations

Schiphol has a lot of unofficial spots, mostly around the Polderbaan, but every other runway has one or two spots as well. When coming by car: Please park properly. Many spots around Schiphol are due to disappear because of problems caused by people parking recklessly. Many spots have no parking possebilities. So you need to park elsewhere at a proper parking location and walk to the spotting location. Please keep to this unwritten rule, to keep Amsterdam the spotters friendly airport it still is.

The Hyatt Place Hotel

From this hotel you can see stuff taxiing from the Polderbaan to the terminals. Just ask for a room facing the airport. With free WiFi you can use Flightradar24 to see the arrivals. Here is the hotel's website: [1]

18L/36R Aalsmeerderbaan

This runway is the back-up runway to the Kaagbaan, and only used during rush hours. Views are rather good here, and you can get close to the action. It is reachable both by car and by bus.

To get to the western side of this runway you must exit the A4 motorway at the exit Hoofddorp/Aalsmeer. Drive towards Aalsmeer, and take the 2nd intersection to the left (Fokkerweg). Follow this road to the end. Once there turn to the left at the roundabout and follow this road to the end. There you can park the car on the side of the road.

Going here by bus is also possible by taking line 191 or 193 to busstop Anchoragelaan.

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To get on the eastern side of the runway you must also get onto the Fokkerweg. However, at the end of the road you must go to the right. Take the first intersection to the left (or stop half way if you want to stand in the approach) and park there. By bus you can get here by taking line 191 or 193 to busstop Koolhovenlaan. From there you will have to walk the last 15 or 20 minutes though!

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18C/36C Zwanenburgbaan

This runway is the back-up runway for the Polderbaan. So this runway is only used when it is very busy.

You can only get into the approach of this runway. In the past you could drive all along the runway, but recent construction works (most notably the Polderbaan and the A5 motorway) have made this impossible.

To get into the approach from motorway A4 (the motorway running through Schiphol) you must follow the signs towards Hoofddorp. This will get you on the N201. Once there take the exit towards Boesingheliede (N520). If you follow this road for a few minutes you will find yourself in the approach. There is not an official parking area, so please be careful where you park. Do not hinder the traffic, as this might give the police a reason to send you off (or worse, give Schiphol a reason to close the spot!).

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18R/36L Polderbaan (east side)

This spot can not be reached by public transport, so a car or a bike will be required. When coming from the A4 motorway you must take the exit to Hoofddorp. Follow this road and take the exit onto the N520 towards Boesingheliede. At the end of this road you must go to the left (onto Schipholweg), and then at the first crossing again to the left (IJweg). At the end of this road you can park and look over the Polderbaan from the east.

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The eastern side of the polderbaan is preferable in the morning and early afternoon. After that the western side is preferable.

The taxiway linking this runway to Schiphol is also accessible. However, this place is always very busy. There is a fence so a step ladder will be required. To get here get onto the N520 as mentioned earlier. After a few minutes you will drive under a bridge, this bridge is the taxiway. You can park your car at the cemetery just in front of the bridge on the western side of the river. Of course you can also park your car at the crashgate as many others do, but I would ask you not to. This place has attracted a lot of attention from the local authorities for all the wrong reasons. A lot of people park their car here rather dangerously. If this goes on this spot might well be closed.

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Taxiway over A4

Just 15 minutes walk from Schiphol Plaza is the taxiway over the A4 motorway. Planes taxi by really close by. Mostly European, but the cargo flights use this taxiway as well. To get here leave the terminal and walk to the left. You will walk past the ATC tower, cargo facilities and some offices. You can't really miss it. You can spot the planes from either side of the taxiway, so this spot can be used all day.

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Schiphol Oost

Schiphol East (Oost in Dutch) is the maintenance and executive part of the airport. You can see a limited part of East. This includes the police air wing (Bo-105, C.172), the hangars of the DDA Classic Airlines and some Martinair hangars like 4-RUYS where the Fokker 70 and 100 are maintained. The biz jet ramp can also be seen.

There are a lot of private planes based at Schiphol East but in the weekend there is always a VLM Airlines, Transavia or KLM Cityhopper. Planes from football clubs that come to visit Amsterdam can also be seen like the Yak-52 that recently visited Amsterdam. The Netherlands Cost Guard is also based at Schiphol East

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To get here you can easily take bus 190, 191, 196, 198 or 199. When you see the police air hangar on your right, you will know you are there! It is the second stop after the McDonald's adjacent to the Buitenveldertbaan.

By car you can go here by taking exit "Schiphol Oost" from the A9 motorway.

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Kaagbaan 06/24 (Approach)

Although the official spotter site was closed due to airport expansion, you can still get into the approach of the Kaagbaan, but you are not allowed to park here. You can easily park your car at the local McDonalds though, and walk the last 5 minutes. Just take the exit towards Hoofddorp/Aalsmeer on the A4 motorway. Park the car at the McDonalds across the intersection, and walk under the bridge towards the runway.

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Regular Traffic

Adria Airways, Aer Lingus, Air Astana, Air France, Air Malta, Air Moldova, Air Zena, Aeroflot, Alitalia, AMC Airlines, ArkeFly (TUI group), Asiana Cargo, Atlasair, Atlas Blue, Atlasjet, Armavia, Austrian Airlines, Blue 1, BMI Baby, BMI British Midland, British Airways, Bulgaria Air, Cargo Air Lines, Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, China Southern, Croatia, CSA, Cyprus Airways, Delta Air Lines, DHL, Dragonair Cargo, Easyjet, Egyptair, El Al, Emirates Skycargo, Ethiopian, Eva Air, Finnair, Fly Air, Iberia, Icelandair, Inter Ekspres, Iran Air, Israir, Japan Airlines, JAT, Jet2, Kalitta, Kenya Airways, KLM, KLM Cargo, KLM Cityhopper, Korean Airlines, Kuzu Airlines, Libyan Arab Airlines, Lithuanian Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, Lotus Airways, Lufthansa, Macedonian Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Malev, Martinair, Martinair Cargo, Meridiana, MNG Airlines, Nippon Cargo Airways, Olympic Airlines, Onur Air, Pegasus Airlines, Portugalia, Pulkovo, Qatar Airways Cargo, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian, SAS, Singapore Airlines, Sky Airlines, Sky Europe, Smart Wings, Sterling, Surinam Airways, Swiss, Syrian Airlines, TACV, TAP Air Portugal,, TNT, Transavia, Tristar Airways, Tunisair, Turkish Airlines, Ukraine International, United, US Airways, Varig Log, VLM, West Air Sweden

Facilities and Transportation

Schiphol has all fascilities you can think of. Shops, casinos, hotels, restaurants. You will find it here.

Schiphol is connected to both local and regional buslines. The railways feature prominently too with local, national and international (Belgium, France and Germany) routes. The Nederlandse Spoorwegen claim that ANY station in the Netherlands can be reached with no more then two changes. Most major cities can be reached directly or with only one change.

Car rentals

Bus companies

Train company

External Links


Aviation shops