This page is designed to give a quick guide on some of the
locations for photographing aircraft at different airports
As many aviation enthusiasts know, since the terrorist attacks
in the USA in 2001, very many official viewing locations
were closed down and some people look upon aircraft enthusiasts
with suspicion. Photographing aircraft is not illegal, but
there are places where it is allowed and those where it
is forbidden, for example, BAA does not allow photography
inside the airport. Always observe signs and notices, I
recommend carrying some form of ID.
I have never had any problems with Gardai or Airport
Security personnel in Ireland, I think it's part of the
Irish culture - people are genuinely incredibly friendly.
Note that in large part,
the locations listed are not official viewing areas and
you are reminded to abide by all laws and common sense when
it comes to visiting these places. I would always suggest
keeping well back from fences, do not trespass on private
land, and politely follow any requests or demands by those
Dublin Airport is the main entry point into
Ireland and over the past number of years it has been undergoing
a major extension and refurbishment. Since 2006 I've been
visiting Dublin and watching the new terminal 2 becoming a major
new feature at the airport.
Dublin is host to many airlines including Aer Lingus, Aer
Arann, Ryanair, CityJet, American, US Airways, Delta,
Continental, Etihad, Iberia, SAS, Lufthansa, Swiss, BMI etc.
and this is to be expected for an international gateway. Note
that it is rare to see an aircraft larger than an A330 at
A VIEW OF DUBLIN AIRPORT
Airport is Ireland's 3'rd largest airport and is
located on the south coast. It's in another very beautiful,
albeit less mountainous areas. The airport itself has a very
modern terminal building and is home to a flying school so as
well as airliners you often see smaller cessnas and the like
Cork airport has a number of operators including Aer Lingus,
Aer Arann, Ryanair and Jet2. Other operators include Air
Southwest, and a number of charter airlines during summer
months. Note that Cork does not have transatlantic flights.
A VIEW OF CORK AIRPORT
my destination of choice for a short break, there really
is so much to see and do and a lot of beautiful scenery
(not just the aircraft). I've been fortunate to stay in
some really good hotels that I frankly can't rate highly
enough and here's 3 of them.
MY PERSONAL RECOMMENDATIONS
- A must for any spotter is the
CARLTON AIRPORT HOTEL
located on the old airport road. This is a modern 4 star
hotel but has much cheaper rates than equivalent hotels in
the heart of Dublin. The good thing about this hotel is
some of the rooms look out over the airport and that can
only get better with Terminal 2 open. Additionally this
hotel is very well located for the spotting locations, and
for getting out and about in the Wicklow region.
- A must for any
spotter is the
CORK INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT HOTEL
you can walk out of the terminal building, across the car
park and you are in one of the most amazing hotels that I
think I've ever stayed in. This hotel is extremely new
build and of exceptional standard. There's so much
aircraft memorabilia in here as well, some great seating
locations, wonderful lighting effects, modern art, open
fires, its very special and well worth a stay. 4 star, but
again exceptionally well priced.
- I've not listed Galway as a spotters location
because there are only 2 airlines flying there. But I
would highly recommend a visit, I go there frequently and
it's a beautiful place. The travelling in is about as
stress free as flying gets. To top that off stay at yet
another exceptionally keenly priced 4 start hotel called
this hotel is another new build and I've stayed here
numerous times over the last couple of years. It is
absolutely immaculate, has the most comfortable beds
anywhere and a great bar!
The best and most accessible viewing area is along the old
airport road, there is a very large layby and a high mound
which enables photos over the fence of aircraft lining up and
Do note that this road is very busy and although video can be
taken here, the sound is often ruined by the noise of the
vehicles and often by large lorries that obscure views.
A VIEW FROM THE OLD AIRPORT ROAD LOCATION
viewing location - The Carlton Airport Hotel - book a room
with an airport view.
From the upper floor of the car park at Cork Airport you
can get some nice photos of aircraft coming in to land or
those taxiing out to the runway.
A VIEW FROM
THE AIRPORT CAR PARK
Depending on which runway is in use, you can get some
great views of aircraft lining up and departing out over Cork.
The airport does not have a parallel taxiway therefore all
aircraft must backtrack and turn around etc on the runway
TAKEN AT THE END OF THE RUNWAY AT CORK
There are no refreshments or toilet facilities a any of the
- Along the runway side on views
By Road - Leave the terminal and follow the signs to
exit the airport. You will be heading towards the first main
roundabout called the Airport Roundabout you'll see a large
monument in the centre of this roundabout.
You need to take the 2nd exit heading on the Swords Road heading
on the R132 to Swords (you can also follow the signs for the
long stay parking & Car Hire for easier reference) you'll see
the car Hire on the left, but don't turn in, carry on down
Swords Road. Eventually you'll come to a junction operated by
traffic lights, on the inside you have a Bus Lane then at the
junction you can carry on towards the Carlton Hotel or turn
right into Old airport Road.
Turn right at the traffic lights and follow the Old airport road
you'll be following the runway. You'll see the large layby on
the left. Pull in and enjoy your day!
Another View ;
Continue past the large layby heading along the old airport
road. At the end of this road there's another traffic light
operated junction. Turning left takes you onto the M50 Motorway.
However if you turn RIGHT you'll continue following the
perimeter of the airport heading towards St Margarets. Along
this road you'll pass the threshold to the other end of the
runway. Not many places to park along here unfortunately.
By Road - You are heading to LIOS CROSS and you are at
the end of the runway.
Leave the airport and head right on the R600, Kinsale Road. The
journey time with be about 15mins you will eventually come to a
very small junction called Bowens Cross here, you want to turn
right onto the L2456 which isn't very well signposted and the
roads are small and quite unassuming, it's not a big junction.
There is a "multiple" signpost with loads of different signs
pointing all over the place including a tiny one as shown above
"Aerofort". Sorry that's about the best description I can give.
Follow the L2456 for another 10 mins or so, and you will come to
a cross roads i.e. Lois Cross. You're now under the runway
lights and there;s a place to pull up and stop. Great views can
be had here of departures from runway 35.
I know some of the descriptions aren't that great but a lot of
the places I find are by trial and error - a bit of instinct..
as long as you broadly follow the airport perimeter and have a
look at Google Earth you can find some great spots, but
hopefully these give a few pointers. Don't waste all your time
looking at aircraft, Ireland is too beautiful a place for that!!
Ladders are not required anywhere all the images i've taken
have been without ladders, mainly thanks to luck in finding the
locations with mounds of earth or platforms of some description
nearby. I would recommend a lens up to 300mm for most
photos however, at Cork at the end of the runway you could get
away with a much smaller lens.
A VIEW FROM THE ROADSIDE AT DUBLIN
A VIEW FROM CORK
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