Vienna Schwechat Airport Spotting Guide

Vienna International Airport / Flughafen Wien-Schwechat (VIE/LOWW) is the Gateway to Austria located on the far east of Austria, close to the borders of Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. Vienna handled in 2015 22,775,054 passengers and 290000 tons of freight. The Airport is a HUB for Austrian Airlines, Niki (Air Berlin) and the newly founded Eurowings Europe.

The Airport is served by most of the European Carriers. From Africa: Air Algerie, Air Cairo, Egypt Air, Ethiopian, Nouvelair and Tunis Air. From Asia: Air China, Air India, China Airlines, Emirates, Elal, Eva Air, Georgian Airways, Iran Air, Korean Air, Qatar and Royal Jordanian. America is only served by Austrian Airlines.

The Airport is also a destination for many business jets. Also Cargo aircraft serve VIE including Asiana Cargo (74F), ASL Airlines Belgium, Cargolux (74F), China Southern Cargo (B77F), Fedex, Korean Air Cargo (B77F/B74F), Silk Way Airlines (B74F), Turkish Cargo and UPS.

Don’t drive up the farm tracks around the Airport. The Police is controlling this and you get fined for using them!

For actual specials at VIE have a look on: http://slovakaviation.sk/vie

Written by Patrick Weis, Julian Mittnacht and Konstanty Dobrzyński (last visit Sept. 2016)

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Airline Variety
Photo Locations
Weather
Airport Information    Runways 11/29 16/34
3,500m 3.600m
Asphalt Asphalt
Terminal Terminal 1 Terminal 2 Terminal 3
Niki, One World, Skyteam, and no Alliance Airlines Curently closed due to constructions Austrian and LH Group + Emirates and Elal
Spotting Information Ladder Not necessary at some spots. If you need one: 4 steps to get a good shots at the most spots.
Car The easiest way to get around as the ways are long. There are dirt roads/pathways available basically all around the airport fence but which you can´t drive on. A bike can be very helpful!
Restrooms Only in the terminal building
Drinks/Food There are many restaurants in the terminal including MC Donald’s etc. Around the Airport there are also many places to find food.
Hotels Around the Airport or in the City.
Season All Year. But chance for sunshine is higher in summer. November to March can get grey, cold and rainy.
Runway Usage  General Info Depends on the wind. Until 8:00 the Aircraft are not allowed to land from the city side.
11/29 Used in both directions.
16/34 Used in both directions.

Spot #1 – 29 departures and 11 arrivals
WHERE Basically in the middle of a field and a long walk as its not allowed to drive on the dirt roads as the police checks this regulary. Park your car as marked on the map and don’t block the road and walk up the farm track. You won’t find much around. If walking it will be easiest to get there from the Mannswörth train station.
WHAT Aircraft landing on 11 and departing from 29 (already airborne)
TIME Entire day (freely roam around to get the best position)
MISC. It’s a field so take everything you need with you, no shops, no lavatories, no benches.
FOCAL LENGTH 200+ [Transaero at 210mm, Pegasus at 300mm, Emirates at 210mm]
Spot #2 – Landing and line-up 29
WHERE Near a gate in the fence. The gate enables you to take pictures with easy through the fence. You may easily get there by walking from spots 4 and 5 on the road that goes beside the fence of the airport. Park your car as marked on the road. Don’t drive on the farm tracks otherwise you will be fined by the police!
WHAT Aircraft landing and lining-up ar runway 29
TIME Most of the day. 9/10-18/19 (depending on the sun and lenght of the day)
MISC. Quite a walk from anything that would be easy to get to with public transport. Easier by car.
FOCAL LENGTH 100+ [Austrian at 195mm, Pegasus at 250mm, Niki at 300mm, SunExpress at 170mm, Luxair at 270mm, Turkish at 240mm]
Spot #3 – 29/34 arrivals, parallel taxiway to 16/34
WHERE At the curvature of the fence near runway 29 threshold. Easy to get to on foot. Simply walk north from spots 4 and 5 on the road which is located just beside the fence of the airport. Park as marked on the map. Don’t drive up the farm tracks! The farm track is paved. But to the spot itself you will have to walk through the field.
WHAT Aircraft landing on runway 29, those taxiing after arrival on runway 34 and those taxiing for departure from runway 34 and some departing 34 as well.
TIME Most of the day, more or less after 10 should be fine.
MISC. Quite a walk from anything that would be easy to get to with public transport. Easier by car.
FOCAL LENGTH 767 at 220mm, Q400 at 300mm, Austrian 319 at 300mm, Qatar at 300mm, 737 at 300mm, Royal Jordanian at 300mm
Spot #4 – Arrivals and Departures runway 34
WHERE Park as marked on the map at the end of Schwadorf and walk up the farm track as marked. Do not drive up the farm tracks as the Police will fine you. As the way is long use a light step ladder because you need at least 4 steps.
WHAT All Runway 34 movements.
TIME From 14:00 till sunset.
MISC. There’s nothing at this spot, bring with you what you need.
FOCAL LENGTH 50-300mm [767 at 100mm, Sun Express at 240mm, Austrian 737 at 240mm, 777 at 240mm, Embraer at 260mm, Falcon at 300mm]


Spot #5 – Final Runway 34
WHERE Park as marked on the map at the end of Schwadorf and walk up the farm track as marked. Do not drive up the farm tracks as the Police will fine you. You don’t need a step ladder for this spot as you can shot arrivals only.
WHAT You can take shots of aircraft arriving on Runway 34 and line-ups on Runway 34 if they use the last intersection
TIME From 14:00 – sunset
MISC. There’s nothing at this spot, bring with you what you need.
FOCAL LENGTH 70-400mm [A319 at 185mm, Qatar at 230mm, Rossiya at 185mm]
Spot #6 – Central line 34
WHERE Use the same parking as spot 4-5 and use the walkway near the fence and the main road
WHAT Best for head on shots for aircraft approaching runway 34.
TIME All day if you wish. Early morning move a little to the side, late evening move a little to the other side.
MISC. The runway itself is hidden behind a little hill so you will not be able to see it.
FOCAL LENGTH 50+ [Emirates up front at 260mm, Emirates from the back at 90mm, Air Berlin at 180mm]
Spot #7 – Final runway 34 morning
WHERE Just at the fence between spot 6 and 9 so start and park your car. There is a little road going side to side of the fence, easy to find. You can either walk there from spot 9 or spot 6. The road is in rather good condition and goes all the way beside the airport fence.
WHAT Morning movements from runway 34. Departures and arrivals. Line-up runway 34
TIME Mornings (until ~10 am)
MISC. The fence is nice to spot from, big holes, plenty of room
FOCAL LENGTH 70+ [A321 arr at 125mm, CRJ at 300mm, Fokker and Transavia at 195mm, Air Berlin at 155mm, Niki at 135mm]
Spot #8 – Touchdown zone – Runway 34
WHERE Just at the fence. There is a little road going side to side of the fence, easy to find. You can either walk there from spot 9 or spot 6. The road is in rather good condition and goes all the way beside the airport fence.
WHAT Aircraft touching down on runway 34
TIME Mornings (~10 am)
MISC. The fence is nice to spot from, big holes, plenty of room. You are slightly above the runway
FOCAL LENGTH 70+ [Fokker at 170mm, Lufthansa at 140mm, Austrian at 230mm, 747 at 120mm, Tarom at 210mm, Niki at 120mm]
Spot #9 – Spotting Hill – Runway 16/34 Movements
WHERE This Spot is the Official Spotter Hill of the Airport. Here you have a clear view of the runway without a stepladder. Park your car as marked on the map and walk up to the spot.
WHAT All Runway Movements on Runway 16 and 34
TIME From sunrise till 12:00
MISC. Nothing here except of a rubbish bin and a table.
FOCAL LENGTH 70-250mm [A330 at 120mm, ATR72 at 220mm]
Spot #10 – Hill – RWY16 departures and arrivals
WHERE Same as spot #11 but continue for a couple of minutes along the perimeter until you reach a big hill to your left. There are some foot paths to climb up. Now you have a great overlook of the runway and eastern part of the airport.
WHAT All arrivals and departures on RWY16. Departures on RWY34 too but can be already pretty high.
TIME From morning until noon.
MISC. Absolutely nothing here. The road can be muddy and dirty so be prepared.
FOCAL LENGTH 16 Arr/Dep: 100-250mm [CRJ at 230mm, 767 at 160mm)
34 Departure: 70+ [Fokker at 180mm, 767 at 100mm, 737 at 230mm]
Spot #11 – RWY16 approach
WHERE Coming from the airport drive on the 9 to Fischamend. After you have passed the approach path of RWY16 you see a small industrial area. Turn right, drive trough and turn right once you have leave the area. Now follow this road until you reach the marked parking spot. Leave your car hear and walk over the bridge, follow the dirt path along the perimeter fence until the first intersection. There you are.
WHAT Arrivals on RWY16 only. There are some stones to climb up so you can watch over the fence.
TIME From morning until noon.
MISC. Absolutely nothing here. The road can be muddy and dirty so be prepared.
FOCAL LENGTH 767 at 120mm
Spot #12 – Parking P4
WHERE This spot is on the top level of P4 parking. Just follow the signs.
WHAT A very nice view on the apron between the new Skylink, Terminal three and the cargo apron. Also RWY16 arrivals but a long lense is needed!
TIME Depends on the angle but perfect for night shots. Shots on RWY16 in the afternoon.
MISC. It’s a regular parking, easy to get to and from the terminal. Just go to the corner of the top level.
FOCAL LENGTH 50+ [A320 at 120mm, Retro at 140mm, 320 closeup at 300mm, 777 at 170mm, A330 at 250m, overview at 75mm]


Spot #13 – Viewing terrace
WHERE The entrance to the terrace is from the terminal building. Rather easy to find. You need to pass through a security check before entering. It also costs a couple of euro (not much but be prepared).
WHAT Best for aircrafts on the tarmac.
TIME The sun is usually on the other side so its not the best photo location.
MISC. The entrance costs 4€ for a day for one adult, and 2€ for a child (2-16yo). The terrace is outside and there is no glass between you and the tarmac. Unfortunately the apron is situated in the same direction as the sun is most of the day so it’s a fun place to sit at, but for pictures definitely better when the weather is poor.
FOCAL LENGTH 18+ [767 at 155mm, Aeroflot at 125mm, 777 at 195mm]
Spot #14 – Parking P3
WHERE This spot is on the top level of P3 parking. Just follow the signs.
WHAT Some aircraft standing on the apron.
TIME Depends on the angle but perfect for night shots.
MISC. It’s a regular parking, easy to get to and from the terminal. Just go to the the top level and find a spot that suits you.
FOCAL LENGTH 70+ [Niki at 230mm, BA at 300mm, Emirates at 240mm, Luxair at 270mm, Turkish at 300mm, Germanwings at 300mm]

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