Groningen Airport Eelde is the biggest airport in the northern part of the Netherlands and is always good for some nice visitors. Based here are a lot of light aircraft, one of the biggest flying schools of the country and Cirrus Europe. Stella Aviation also runs a maintenance facility on the field, and General Enterprises regularly makes for some exotic Cirrus aircraft, like examples registered in eastern Europe. The bulk of the holiday flights are flown by Transavia.
The airport's main runway has a south west - north east orientation. All the activity is on the north eastern side, the rest is open field. The terminal area and ramp is separated from the flight school area which has its own gate as well.
The airport can be reached by bus from the main railway station of Groningen. This bus runs at least twice an hour on weekdays, but less frequent during the weekends. You can also take a bus from Assen station to De Punt. It is covered by the Treintaxi of Groningen as well. Finally, driving there by car is obviously easy too. Just take exit 37 from highway A28 (Assen-Groningen), from where the airport is signposted.
Around the Airport
At the airport restaurant "L'Avion" you can find a terrace, which is open only in good weather. Charter aircraft parked at the departure hall can be photographed as they taxi out for the runway. Three setbacks on the terrace are the glass fence, the prohibition to use the chairs to look over the fence and the parking of aviation equipment at the left in front of the terrace. Photography is best in the morning, considering the position of the sun. Closeby to the right of the terminal building are the KLM Flight Academy hangars: at this place it is possible to make good shots of the airliners taxiing out, but you need a stair. On the left, past the tower, are various light aircraft hangars.
2Northeast side approach
A spot near runway 23 can be easily reached. Just drive around the field on the main road. But beware, parking is not allowed here, so take caution and park your car next to the road.
3East side - threshold runway 23
Another possibility at runway 23 is the holding. There is a cycling path on the east side of the runway. If you walk along this path for about 500 metres, you will reach the former fire brigade training ground. From the small hill it is possible to take pictures of aircraft just before touchdown and in the holding of runway 23. For a Boeing 737 you would need about 150 mm. The sun is in your back until about two o'clock in the afternoon.
4Halfway runway 05/23
If runway 05 is in use, you can drive to a less accessible spot. Drive from the exit of highway A28 in the direction of the village Yde. Take the first road (direction Donderen). Drive trough the village and turn right on the Moespot towards the radar post. At this post is a large field from where aircraft landing on runway 05 can be photographed. Larger aircraft, like a Boeing 737, departing from runway 23 are rotating at this point.
5Approach 05, north side
The runway extension has resulted in a new spot for taking pictures of aircraft landing on runway 05. It is only suitable from mid afternoon though and you will need something to get over te fence. Two benches on a slightly elevated area are available if you wish to sit down for a while.
From spot 4 go back to the Norgerweg and turn right. Then take the Eekhoornstraat (third road) to the right. After passing the approach lights take the sand road after passing the first house. It can also be reached from spot 6 by following the sand path. After a left and right turn you will see the benches on the small hill.
An alternative spot for the afternoon is at the end of the Luchtenburgerweg. This is very close to the taxiway to runway 05, so a small lens will suffice. To get here first follow the directions to spot 7. At the end of the Esweg turn left on the Hoofdweg. After passing Bloemkwekerij Rutgers take the second left, the Luchtenburgerweg.
At Groningen airport another runway exists, which is runway 01/19. This one is about 1500 meters long and is mainly used by small aircraft. Larger aircraft using runway 23, often use 01/19 as a taxiway to the terminal. To reach a spot here, drive past the airport to the village of Eelde. In Eelde, take the first road on your left (the "Esweg"). This road ends in an T-junction. Turn left, towards the bowling alley. When passed the bowling alley turn left and drive on until you reach the fence of the fire brigade. In the afternoon, perfect pictures can be taken of taxiing aircraft.
This picture of a Maersk 737 was taken at spot 1. Photo Jack Wolbrink
Eelde has military visitors. Hans Rolink photographed this Portuguese C-130 from spot 4 in August 2013.
|118.700 / 362.875||Tower|
|120.300 / 282.350||Approach|
|PH-RLS||Saab 91 Safir, preserved with KLS|
|SE-KZD||F27, used by for brigade for training|