While Linate has become less busy with the opening of Malpensa's new terminal, it still is the main airport for domestic flights, as well as some intra European flights. It is also the airport to see business aircraft, being so close to the city centre. Therefore it is no surprise that Alitalia Airbusses and bizjets dominate traffic here, with occasional flights from Meridiana, Lufthansa, Air France, British Airways, etc. Still the photo opportunities are quite decent, so spending a part of the day here is worth the time. Otherwise just make a quick hit and run to read the biz aircraft and move on.
Linate has two north-south runways, of which 17/35 is only used by small aircraft considering the length of 600 m. Runway 36 is the preferred runway for landing and take-off.
The main passenger terminal and apron are northeast of runway 18/36, with the maintenance area immediately south of the terminal. To the west are the general aviation ramps and hangars.
Linate is just east of the Tangetiale Est (A51), a part of the ring road around Milan. Take exit 6, and then take Viale Enrico Forlanini to the east to bring you to the terminal (spot 1). Travel in the other direction and you will go to the city centre. This is also the road bus (X)73 takes to San Babila metro station, which takes about 25 minutes (or less with the express bus X73).
To get to the spots west of runway 18/36, take exit Via Mecenate and follow the signs to the town of Linate.
Around the Airport
If you are a passenger, the terminal itself offers a good view on the action. You can see the whole runway and most of the main apron. However, the general aviation ramps are out of sight. Still arriving and departing biz traffic can be seen when it is taxiing. Photography is possible through the windows, but beware of reflections. Also you are looking into the sun almost the whole day.
The terminal is close to the runway centreline, which means that if you can find yourself a spot in front of the terminal, you are in a good position to take pictures of aircraft landing on runway 18 in the morning. However, we do not know how security staff reacts on such activities.
2Via 4 Novembre
A small parking lot for the Canzo cemetery at the end of Via 4 Novembre is next to the airport fence. From the parking, you can continue by foot on a footpath that goes along the airport fence in a southerly direction. You are close to the parallel taxiway here, but photography is made difficult here by the high fence. You need to put up a ladder to get over it. However, further south along the footpath, there is an area where you can climb on top of the wall or an embankment, to get an elevated view over the fence. Traffic departing from runway 18 has generally climbed above the fence here, providing better photo options if you step back from the fence.
3Approach 36 eastside
South of the premises of a truck company, there is a small dead end road leading towards the runway centreline. It should give you the opportunity to photograph aircraft landing on runway 36 until the sun moves through the centreline around noon. As an alternative you could try the roundabout at the end of Via Lambro, although aircraft will be somewhat higher here. Note that both spots have not been verified.
4Approach 36 westside
When the sun passes its highest point and moves to the west of the centreline, you can get the sun in your back again by moving to Via Milano. At the bend in the road, there is a small cut out west of the road (at the entrance to a farm), where you can park your car. You may not want to leave it out of sight, just in case the police comes by. Photography of landing aircraft is excellent here until the sun sets.
Somewhat east of spot 4, there is a cycling track along the fence, which is made of wood. With a small ladder, you can peek over the fence, and take photos of aircraft lining up with mountains in the background. However, this spot is too close to the centreline for landing shots.
When runway 18 is in use, this is the place to be to take pictures of departing aircraft in the afternoon. Departing traffic has generally climbed above the fence here. For 36 departures, this location is useless, as aircraft are not airborne yet. Parking can be done on the west side of the road, which seems to be a sort of dump area.
Locals use this spot during Sunday afternoons to view the action. However, it is less suitable for photography because of the high, fine mazed fence.
The general aviation area is not accessible to the general public; there is a guarded gate at the northern end of the hangars. Still you can see most of the aircraft parked outside from Via Francesco Baracca. The best spot is at the intersection of this road with Viale della Rimembranze. While driving from here towards the west, peeking through bushes in between the hangars can yield you a couple more registrations.
The road is close to taxiway K, which is normally used by most bizjets. However, the fence hinders photography.
A close view on the military apron is only possible from Viale Enrico Forlanini, as there are base building areas west and south of the apron. However, this is a busy road where you cannot stop. Moreover, buildings still largely block your view. Therefore the best option is probably to go to the Parco Forlanini. This has not been verified.
Sunny Sunday afternoons are a great time to make photos at Linate. This departing Alitalia MD-80 was made at spot 5. (Leo Hoogerbrugge)
When runway 36 is used for landings, spot 4 is the place to be for landing shots. Here Air One come in to land. (Leo Hoogerbrugge)
|118.100 / 118.400||Linate Tower|
|126.300 / 126.750||Milano Radar|
|133.175 / 134.175||Milano Radar|
|Air Four||AS350, BAe125, Beech 400, Ce525A, CL-604, Global Express, Lj31, Lj45|
|Alba Servizi Aerotrasporti||AW139, BAe125, CL-604, G-V, Lj60, Raytheon 390|
|Helisirio||A109, AS365N3, EC120|
|Sirio||BAe125, Beech 90, Beech 400, Ce525, CL-300, Falcon 2000, G550, Lj40/60, Raytheon 390|
|Rep. Sperimentale e di Standardizz. del Tiro Aereo||AB212AM, NH500E, P180AM|
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