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Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

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Revision as of 15:20, 30 November 2005 by Tommy (talk | contribs)
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Continent: Europe Country: Netherlands
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
Location Amsterdam, Netherlands
IATA code AMS
ICAO code EHAM
Airport type Commercial
Website [www.schiphol.nl www.schiphol.nl]
Overview map [ ]
Communications
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
Departure121.2
ATIS 122.2 108.4 132.97

Official Spotting Locations

Schiphol has three official viewing areas: The observation deck at Schiphol Plaza, the McDonalds overlooking 09/27 (Buitenveldertbaan), and a parking lot alongside 06/24 (Kaagbaan).

Observation Deck

The airport hosts a large outdoor observation deck with great views of the terminal. 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:

Summer 07:00 - 20:00
Winter 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.

  • JetPhotos.net sample photo: large
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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.


06/24 Kaagbaan

This spot is really excellent, and quite possibly one of the best of the world. You are just a few hundred metres away from the Kaagbaan. This runway is used almost all day, and offers a view without fences. A levy prevents you from entering the runway, along with video surveillance and regular driveby's by police.

To get a full frame side-on shot of a B747 you should need no more then 50mm. An F50 or ATR can be had at 200mm easily.

You can get here by bus by taking busline 191, 193 or 198 to busstop "Aalsmeerderweg". That's about a 15 minutes drive. From there another 15 minutes walk into the road on your left (yep, the Aalsmeerderweg) is all that is needed to get you at the spot.

You can also go here by car, and there is a lot space to park. When driving over the A4 motorway take exit the to Aalsmeer on the N201. At the end of the motorway exit, turn left towards Aalsmeer. At the first crossing you must go to the left, into the Aalsmeerderweg. At the end of this road is the parking lot.

You can either stay at the parking lot, or walk into the grass field adjacent to the parking area. Another option is to walk a bit further till the road makes a 90 degree turn. This is the closest you can get to cargo apron Gulf. Planes taxiing from Gulf to the runway pass by very closely. Mostly Martinair MD11s and 747s, but also JAL Cargo 747, DAS Air Cargo DC-10 and most oversized charters.

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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.

06/24 Kaagbaan

You can 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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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

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.

Now you have two options. You can 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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Another option is to stay at the N201. 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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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 accesible. 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 cemetary 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 autorities 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.

  • JetPhotos.net sample photo: large
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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 Oost is the maintenance and executive part of the airport. You can see a limited part of Oost. This includes the police air wing (Bo-105, C.172), the hangars of the Dutch Dakota Association and some Martinair hangars. The biz jet ramp can also be seen.

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 McDonalds adjacent to the Buitenveldertbaan.

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

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Regular Traffic

Adria Airways, Aer Lingus, Air Astana, Air Baltic, Air France, Air Malta, Air Memphis, Air Moldova, Air Zena, Aeroflot, Alitalia, AMC Airlines, Antonov 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, Continental, Croatia, CSA, Cyprus Airways, DAS Air Cargo, Delta Airlines, DHL, Dragonair Cargo, Easyjet, Egyptair, El Al, Emirates Skycargo, Eritrean, Estonian, Ethiopian, European Air Express (will start flights march 6th 2006), Eva Air, Finnair, Fly Air, Fly Me (will start flights summer 2006), Helios Airways, 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, Maersk (to be rebranded as Sterling), Malaysia Airlines, Malev, Martinair, Martinair Cargo, Meridiana, MNG Airlines, Nippon Cargo Airways, NWA Northwest Airlines, Olympic Airlines, Onur Air, Pegasus Airlines, Portugalia, Pulkovo, Qatar Airways Cargo, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian, Scot Airways, SAS, Singapore Airlines, Sky Airlines, Sky Europe, Slovak Airlines, Smart Wings, Sterling (will start flights march 26th 2006), Surinam Airways, Swiss, Syrian Airlines, TACV, TAP Air Portugal, Thomsonfly.com, TMA, TNT, Transavia, Tristar Airways, Tunisair, Turkish Airlines, Ukraine International, United, US Airways, Varig Brasil, Virgin Express, VLM, West Air Sweden, Wizzair (will start flights december 1st 2005)

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.


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