Spotting tips for Zurich Airport

 

Zurich Airport (ZRH) offers a lot of very attractive spotting points all around the airport area. On this site I describe you in some short words and pictures my favourite spotting points. Of course this is just a selection and ZRH offers much more. Almost all around the airport area, paths allow you to find your personal favourite photo positions by foot or bycicle. 
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Runway usage
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Because of noise allocating, the airport authority had to elaborate a detailed concept of runway usage. To avoid disappointment while spotting you should pay attention to this. In the following table is listed the standard concept. Of course changes can be made in some cases, e.g. weather reasons. So listen to ATIS (128.525) before spotting.
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Monday to Friday Weekends and public holidays 

06.00 - 07.00 Landings: Rwy 34 06.00 - 09.00 Landings: Rwy 34
Departures: Rwy 32 Departures: Rwy 32
07.00 - 21-00 Landings: Rwy 14 09.00 - 20.00 Landings: Rwy 14
Departures: Rwys 16 /28 Departures: Rwys 16 / 28
21.00 - 00.30 Landings: Rwy 28 20.00 - 00.30 Landings: Rwy 28
Departures: Rwys 32 / 34 Departures: Rwys 32 / 34
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Spotting points
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Spotting point 1
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Spectators terraces Terminal 2 and E
Getting there Follow the signs in the airport buildings
Description Observation deck terminal 2: Departures rwy 16, landings and departures rwy 34, aircrafts taxiing and parked at terminal 2. Observation deck terminal E: Takeoff rwy 16, 34 and 28. Aircrafts taxiing and parked at terminal E. Only opened on wednesday afternoon and on weekends afternoon.
Time of day Morning till noon
Steps required No
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Spotting point 2
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Parking 3
Getting there Follow the signs in the airport buildings.  See the >>map<<
Description Landings rwy 34, Takeoffs rwy 16 (heavies). Aircrafts parked.
Time of day Morning till noon
Steps required No
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Spotting point 3
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Parking 6
Getting there Follow the signs in the airport buildings. See the >>map<<
Description Aircrafts taxiing and lining up rwy 28, landings rwy 28
Time of day All day long
Steps required No
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Spotting point 4
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Short final rwy 28
Getting there About 15 minutes walk from the airport building direction freight, General aviation and REGA. Same way by car. See the >>map<<
Description Landings rwy 28, takeoffs rwy 10
Time of day Evening
Steps required No
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Spotting point 5
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Touch down rwy 14
Getting there About 20 minutes walk along the airport fence from parking lot at spotting point 7. See the >>map<<
Description Landings rwy 14, takeoffs rwy 32
Time of day Early morning till about 10 am
Steps required Yes
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Spotting point 6
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Short final rwy 14
Getting there About 5 minutes walk along the airport fence from the parking lot at spotting point 7. See the >>map<<
Description Landings rwy 14
Time of day Early morning and evening (sunset shots)
Steps required No
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Spotting point 7
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Final rwy 14/16
Getting there Parking lot at the main street between the villages of Bachenbülach and Oberglatt. See the >>map<<
Description Landings rwy 14
Time of day Early morning and evening (sunset shots)
Steps required No
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Spotting point 8
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Final rwy 14/16
Getting there Big parking lot at the main street between the villages of Oberglatt and Bachenbülach. See the >>map<<
Description Landings rwy 14 and 16
Time of day Noon till sunset
Steps required No
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Spotting point 9
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Short final rwy 14/16
Getting there About 5 minutes walk from the parking lot at spotting point 8. See the >>map<<
Description Landings rwy 14 and 16, Takeoffs rwy 32 (heavies)
Time of day Noon till sunset
Steps required Yes
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Spotting point 10
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Lineup rwy 16 "Firefighter hill"
Getting there Drive into the street called "im Hof" in the village of Oberglatt and park your car in front of the driving prohibited sign. From there about 5 minutes walk. See the >>map<<
Description Lineup rwy 16, landings rwy 16
Time of day Noon
Steps required No
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Spotting point 11
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Lineup rwy 10 / Climbout rwy 28
Getting there Park your car in front of the "Kart-Bahn" (map) and place yourself on the bridge across the street or near the fence. See the >>map<<
Description Climbout rwy 28, lineup rwy 10
Time of day Afternoon and evening
Steps required Lineup 10: Yes / Cimbout 28: No
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Spotting point 12
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Heligrill
Getting there Follow the sign in the village of Rümlang. See the >>map<<
Description Takeoffs rwy 16, 34 and 28, landings rwy 34
Time of day All day long
Steps required Advantageous
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Spotting point 13
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opposite SRTechnics
Getting there Follow the sign "restaurant 34" in the village of Glattbrugg. See the >>map<<
Description Aircrafts parked in front of SRTechnics.
Time of day Afternoon, evening
Steps required Yes
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Links / Further informations
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For spotting tips I recommend you to visit also the following websites. For maps, radio frequencies and very detailed informations about the different spotting points and the runway usage, I recommend you to visit ZRH-spotter.ch, PlanePics.org by Tis Meyer or the website by Gerardo Dominguez. To plan a spotting trip to ZRH, the best thing is to have a look at the official timetable (available by 19.00  the previous day) on the airport website. On ZRH-spotter.ch a list of special visitors is updated every day. You can also find a lot of additional information about ZRH on the ZRH Wiki.
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Advise: Large areas in and around the airport fence are zones for preservation of nature. In the interest of a good relationship between spotters and the airport authority, please respect prohibitions and don`t leave the official paths. Thank you.
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The maps on this site are modified maps from Google Earth