Düsseldorf is one of the busiest airports in Germany. It has a large variety of scheduled European airline traffic and lots of charters during the Summer months. Together with Eurowings and Lufthansa, all German charter airlines fly here and it is a hub of Air-Berlin (that took over former resident LTU). Also, a large variety of Turkish airlines are operating into Düsseldorf during the entire year.
The airport has two major aircraft viewing facilities, one at the main terminal and one at the railway station. You have to pay a small fee to gain access. Don't worry: once you have paid you have access all day, for both terraces. For opening times see below.
Düsseldorf is easily accessible by car and public transport. It is clearly signposted from all major motorways passing by, and you can get there by train via the S-bahn station in the main terminal (connects to Düsseldorf Hauptbahnhof) or via the Flughafen bahnhof which has its own check-in facility and a free connecting bus or elevated shuttle train to the main terminal. You can use this (free) shuttle for your own transportation between the two viewing decks at this airport.
Around the Airport
1Besucherterrasse Flugsteig B
This terrace is on the roof of the main terminal building. It offers great views of the whole airport and is an excellent location for taking pictures, regardless of which runway is in use. Also, the general aviation area is visible from here. The cargo and remote stands are only partially visible.
From 27 October 2013, the terrace is opened daily between 10:00 and 19:00 hours.
The viewing area on top of the railway station is closed indefinately at the moment, for security reasons.
On top of the railway station you have an excellent view of landing and departing aircraft on runway 23L if they are using this side for landing and take off. All aircraft are passing by at very close range and from the outdoor viewing deck you can take very nice pictures, with less than 70 'real' millimetres. If the runways are used from the opposite direction, nice take-off shots of the larger aircraft can be taken. You have a limited view of the airport, but all the cargo and remote stands can be seen from here. You also have a good view of the police helicopter facility next to the station. Should the terrace be closed, which happens in winter due to ice or snow, the police may allow spotting and photography from the emergency staircase. This is reached from the bottom floor below the Skytrain station.
Arriving by car, you can park at the railway station, which is much cheaper then the airport car parks. Also, if a longer walk is not a problem, the nearby business park offers free parking opportunities. By car, and from the terminal (or the Autobahn), just follow the signs Bahnhof Düsseldorf-Flughafen.
Parking P7 is housing the rental cars, but available for normal parking as well. It lies a few hundred metres from the terminal and the fee is 3,50 euros per hour. Its top floor (level 8) offers views on taxiing and departing aircraft. Bring steps and at least 300mm effective to photograph these over the fence.
You can get close to the general aviation area, just follow the signs 'Excecutive Terminal - GAT' from the main terminal. You can read off all aircraft from behind the fence and also peek in the hangars if the doors are open. Also, aircraft on short finals 05R (and with a 'little' more millimetres, aircraft on 05L too) can be photographed here.
From spot 3, park your car just a little bit to the west and continue by foot, crossing the B8 by footbridge. Here you have a great position for shooting aircraft on finals for both 05R and 05L.
Continuing down the footbridge, cross the railway tracks of "U79" at the station. Continue north, keep the tracks to your left, and the motorway to your right. Moving up and down you will have lots of opportunities shooting aircraft on finals 05R and 05L, throughout the day.
Of course, getting here by car is also possible: from spot 3 return to the Autobahn 44 direction Mönchengladbach, and after about 1 kilometer take the second exit to the right ("Niederrheinstraße"). Take the first right to proceed to the station, and continue by foot. You can try and take the second ("Spielbergerweg"), or third ("Ikarusstraße") exit to the right but crossing the tracks from these positions is less easy.
In the afternoon (later than approx. 18:00) you are able to shoot aircraft on 05L/23R, midfield. For this spot you will certainly need a car. From Bundesstraße 8/8n take the exit to Kalkum: road L422/"Kalkumer Schloßallee". Continue in the direction of Kalkum and take the first left: "Zeppelinheimer Straße". After about 1 kilometer you will approach a 'fork' in the road, go slightly left. After 400 meters you will be on the bridge. From here it is possible to walk - and drive - all along the fence of the airfield. This may not be very worthwhile, but it could give you some unexpected angles on aircraft landing or departing. You will need steps!
The railway station spectators' terrace (spot 2) on the eastern edge of the airport is one of the best vantage points at Düsseldorf. (Arnoud Raeven)
This departing 757 was shot from spot 3 on our guide, the top level of Parkhaus 7, by Arnoud Raeven.
|118.300 / 378.350||Tower|
|128.550 / 133.775||Langen Radar|
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