Innsbruck in the center of Tyrol is a gateway to some of the world's best known winter holiday resorts. No surprise therefor that air traffic can be heavy in the snow season when charters from all over Europe arrive in large numbers. Scheduled services are mainly carried out by the Austrian Airlines group. Photo and viewing opportunities are often spectacular with aircraft climbing out on maximum power or performing visual approaches against a backdrop of steep rock formations.
Kranebitten airfield lies in the long Inn Valley with high Alpine tops directly north and south of it. The approach to this airport is among the most challenging worldwide and always concluded by visual manoeuvring to land. Rapidly changing weather and treacherous winds can add to the excitement for pilots and passengers! The field itself is quite basic in layout, an east-west runway with facilities south of it. Glider strips and the location of the old terminal lie on the north side.
The airport is well accessible by road, the Inntalautobahn has exits close to the field. Local roads lead to several spotting points and public transport is available as well.
Around the Airport
The observation deck provides an excellent view of the apron and rest of the airport. No glass to get in the way but still a roof overhead for protection from the elements, and admission is free. The light is good for photography virtually all day. Several parkings in front of the terminal building are free of charge the first 20 minutes.
From the terminal walk to the west, past the hangars. Along the small road, near an electrical power installation, is an excellent spot to photograph taxiing aircraft. Steps are needed to get above the fence.
3Final 08 north side
Just west of the junction between B171 and B171b there is parking space near the Kranebitter Hof, along the Tiroler Bundesstrasse. A pedestrian bridge crosses the road and gives a nice different angle on the airfield. Photography limited due to the sun's position. A little further down the path one gets really close to the runway threshold, separated only by a low fence.
4Final 08 south side
Following the footpath from spot 3 along the river Inn dam one gets to one of the most popular photo spots here. This place is crowded with enthusiasts on sunny winter days, and for a good reason too.
A modest parking and several buildings remind of the former terminal. This location is very useful for reading numbers but very limited for photography. The gliders and a number of light aircraft operate from this area. Bring steps if you want to try photography over the fence.
Next to the tennis court, a path leads to this viewing point for the eastern runway use (and partly for climb outs from 08). Parking available at the terminal or near the Sporthotel Penz. This spot can be unavailable depending on the crops in the field. With the same restriction, views and photos of the apron are possible from the east side after a walk in this direction. Bring steps for photography.
For a different perspective, the bordering mountain slopes offer several possibilities. One of the best is at the Grauer-Steinweg, accessed via the Speckweg which in turn is a side road of the B171. Parking possible some 500 meters before the end of the road. Plan your visit depending on light conditions that can be difficult.
Apart from the famous spectacular photos, nice shots like this one are also very well possible at Innsbruck. The Dash 8 approaches the turn bay of runway 08 and was pictured by Ard de Zeeuw from spot 3.
Order of Battle Austria
|Aigen im Ennstal   subscribers only|
|Graz International (Thalerhof)   subscribers only|
|Innsbruck - Intl (Kranebitten)|
|Klagenfurt - Wörthersee Intl   subscribers only|
|Linz - Intl (Hörsching)   subscribers only|
|Punitz-Güssing   subscribers only|
|Salzburg - W.A. Mozart   subscribers only|
|Tulln-Langenlebarn   subscribers only|
|Wien - Schwechat   subscribers only|
|Wiener Neustadt East|
|Wiener Neustadt West|
|Zeltweg (Hinterstoisser)   subscribers only|