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Frankfurt Main Airport

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Continent: Europe Country: Germany
Frankfurt Main Airport
Location Frankfurt, Germany
IATA code FRA
ICAO code EDDF
Airport type Commercial
Website [www.airportcity-frankfurt.com www.airportcity-frankfurt.com]
Overview map [ ]
Communications
Tower 119.900, 124.850 Mhz
Ground 121.800 Mhz
Clearance 121.9
Approach
Departure120.15,136.125,352.4
ATIS 118.025

Official Spotting Locations

FRA has two observation decks, of which one is permanently closed.

Terminal 1, Concourse B Observation Deck

The open observation deck is in Terminal 1, Concourse B. The fee to get on the observation deck is 3€ for adults and 2€ for teenagers up to 15 years of age, students, and handicapped people. It is free of charge for those under 6 years of age.

The opening times are:
November - February: 10:00 - 18:30h
March - October: 8:00 - 20:30h

This observation deck will also be closed 28.12.2005.

From the observation deck you can see the 25L/R approach pretty well, better than 07L/R. You are standing very close to the gates, so you will get good photo opportunities for planes that are being pushed back and for the ones that are pulling up to the gate. Here are just a couple of examples of photos taken from the deck.

Terminal 2, Concourse E Observation Deck (closed)

The closed observation deck is in Terminal 2, Concourse E right next to McDonald's.

Viewing Platform next to rwy 18 and approach 07

Right next to rwy 18 (south departure) there is a concrete platform for viewing purposes. However there is a fence between you and the runway, and you will need a small ladder to shoot over it. An A321 will need 100mm right in front of you. From here you can also see the 07L/R approach. For an A321 on 07R you need around 180mm, for an A330 around 110mm. For 07L approach you need around 240mm for a 747...

There is a road right next to the airport called "Airportring". Take that from the Terminal towards the west, which is where rwy 18 is located. The road will make a left turn and shortly after another left turn. Right in the middle of that second left turn there is a parking lot on the right where you can park. From there you can walk to the platform. It is just a 2-3 minute walk from there.

Other Spotting Locations

25L/R approach

If the winds are in favor of the 25L/R being used, which is the case most of the times, there is one spot in particular where you can take really good photos of the approaching aircraft. Especially on the weekends you will run into quite a few fellow spotters there. Since this spot brings you pretty close to the action you won't be needing a lot of focal length to get good results. 200mm will be enough to cover the aircraft coming in on 25L. However, since you will be standing closer to 25L the right approach will still be kind of far, so to ensure that you can get all the pictures you want you might actually need a 400mm lens. Just a few examples to show the different motives at this spot.

To get to this location from the airport you will have to get on the Autobahn A5 towards Basel. Get off at the first exit called "Zeppelinheim". After getting off the Autobahn you just drive straight for about 400m and then take a left. There will be a sign for a Recreational Area. Just follow that. That will lead you into a forest and there will be a small parking lot. Park there, since that will be as close as you can get with your car. From there it is a 5 minute walk towards the airport. You will cross the A5 on a bridge and then you're there. Just pick a spot and have fun!

07L/R Approach

Should the situation of a 07L/R approach occur, you have two choices. You can either go to the platform next to rwy 18 as I described already, or there is a small parking lot on either side of the road on the way to the platform, where you can park and then spot. You will be right in between of the left and the right approach. No matter which choice you like better, the approaching planes can't be seen until they're almost right in front of you, so you won't know long in advance what's coming in.

Just take the "Airportring" as described in how to get to the viewing platform next to rwy 18, but park in the lots shortly after the first left turn.

Locations to Avoid

Location

Regular Traffic

Facilities and Transportation