Dublin Intl. Airport – Spotting Guide

Dublin Airport, (Irish: Aerfort Bhaile Átha Cliath) (IATA: DUB, ICAO: EIDW), is an international airport serving Dublin, the capital city of Ireland. The airport is located 5.4 nmi (10.0 km; 6.2 mi) north of Dublin in Collinstown, County Fingal. In 2015, over 25 million passengers passed through the airport making it the airport’s busiest year on record. It is also the busiest of the state’s airports by total passenger traffic. It also has the greatest traffic levels on the island of Ireland followed by Belfast International Airport, County Antrim.

The airport has an extensive short and medium haul network, served by an array of carriers as well as some intercontinental routes focused in the Middle East and North America. It serves as the headquarters of Ireland’s flag carrier – Aer Lingus, regional airline Stobart Air, Europe’s largest low­cost carrier – Ryanair, ASL Airlines Ireland, together with a fifth airline, CityJet, which does not maintain major operations here. United States border preclearance services are available at the airport for US­ bound passengers. Shannon Airport is the only other airport in Europe to offer this facility.

Written by Peter Adams,  Alberto J. Sierra D. (last update July 2016)

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Airline Variety
Photo Locations
Airport Information Runways 28/10 34/16
2.637 m (8.652 ft) 2.073 m (6.801 ft)
Terminal Terminal 1 Terminal 2
Wow Air, WestJet, Vueling, Cobalt Air, Ethiopian, ASL Airlines, Arkia, Air Transat, Air Canada Rouge, etc. United, Etihad, Emirates, Delta, American, & Aer Lingus
Spotting Information Ladder Not needed.
Car Only for spot #5
Restrooms Only at the terminal (spot 6).
Drinks/Food In the airport and around the airport there is petrol station and fast food places.
Hotels Around the airport there are hotels.
Season I suggest April – September, chance of bad weather in winter is pretty high.
Runway Usage 28/10 Runway 28 is the predominant runway in usage at Dublin
34/16 Rarely used

Spot #1 – Runway 28 ILS Lights
WHERE Follow the road from the terminal past T2, pass the traffic lights then there’s a side walk you can follow. This spot is 15 mins walk from the main terminal till you will see the fence and ILS lights on your right hand side.
WHAT Runway 28 arrivals sky shots only.
TIME Morning and afternoon but mostly AM arrivals until about 0930 am stick on the terminal side for AM arrivals then go over other side runway for after 0930 the light moves round so its good.
MISC. There is nothing nearby, so take what you need with you.
FOCAL LENGTH 18-200 mm
http://www.spotterguide.net/images/numbers/Number_002.png Spot #2 – The Mound
WHERE This is Dublin’s most famous spot. From spot 1 follow the road that runs with the perimeter fence. Then across the road there’s a car park with a raised up mound.
WHAT Runway 28 landings line ups plus there’s another mound past the trees you get the planes rotating when 10 is in usage.
TIME From 0930 am until sunset.
MISC. There is nothing nearby, so take what you need with you. Also the road you follow its dangerous to walk a lot of bad drivers use the road so walk with care. Also at this spot there is no shelter when it rains so you end up being soaked.
FOCAL LENGTH 18-300 mm

Spot #3 – The Mound 2
WHERE Spot #3 is next to the Blue Car park along the road next to the R108. Follow the Old AIrport road from the mound until you reach some traffic lights. Then take 1st right and follow the road along and the spots next to the Blue Car Park entrance where you can park your car.
From the terminal there’s a free Blue Car park bus you can take then a few minutes walk by foot.
WHAT Runway 28 rotation shots vacating shots.
TIME From 0930 am until sunset.
MISC. There is nothing nearby, so take what you need with you.
FOCAL LENGTH 70-200 mm

 Spot #4 – The Mound 3
WHERE Its a 5 minutes walk from the last spot at the end of the grass embankment. The Blue Car park bus from the terminals also can be used for this spot.
WHAT Runway 10 line-ups and landing shots.
TIME After 0930am until sunset.
MISC. There is nothing nearby, so take what you need with you.
FOCAL LENGTH 18-200 depending on motive
 Spot #5 – Runway 16
WHERE Its located in the northern side of the 10/28 runway in he road R108. Park your car on the grass along the road. Parking in front of a gate is no longer possible. To access the point simply go through the fence (there is a hole) and climb the small hill from behind.
WHAT Taxing, Taking Off and Landings in Runway 10, morning humidity can create nice condensations. Well, I think in Dublin you can see condensations all day long on a wet day. Its possible to catch planes taxing to the 10 Runway and taking very good close ups to them, even got few pilots waving to me.
TIME This is a summer spot only! In the winter you have backlit the whole day. The spot is recommended for use when runway 10 is active in the morning hours or late evening.
MISC. There is nothing nearby. Be careful as its Ireland and rains a lot so it can be very slippery and although the climb is short its very steep.
FOCAL LENGTH 18/200 lens. Lower length for taxiway even 70mm is too much for an ATR.


 Spot #6 – Runway 16
WHERE Take the road R122 northwards from spot 4, then follow l3132 to the end. Take the 1st right into the R108. This spot is very hard to get to and by car only as its too far. There is a ditch with a raised up mound so it clears the fence. You can park your car directly at the spot along the road.

+++ No longer available due to ongoing constructions for the new northern runway +++

WHAT Only useful when runway 16 is in use. Arrivals and line-ups plus you can read reggys of planes parked on the short runway.
TIME After 1200 pm when the sun moves round.
MISC. There is nothing nearby, so take what you need with you and also very hard to get to without transport.
FOCAL LENGTH 70-300 mm

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6 thoughts on “Dublin Intl. Airport – Spotting Guide

  1. Alexander

    “From the terminal there’s a free Blue Car park bus you can take”

    You should keep in mind that this bus is for customers only. We had several conversations with the security which told us this bus is not for “everyone”. Eventually they were calm and friendly and allowed us to use the bus, but they also told us we shouldn´t use it again next time. So just as a reminder if you want to go to position 3&4.

  2. Mick

    Spot 6 is all but gone now as work has started on the new northern runway which will run almost along the line of the old 11/29 runway

  3. Daniel Stanislaus Martel

    Dear Colleagues,

    I heard again and again that there is a café or an open place offering seating on the upper floor of the old terminal building? Can anybody update me?

    Thanks in advance,


  4. Darryn

    What is the viewing like airside after security ? if you are only going for the day ,and could you say airside

    1. Peter Adams


      Airsides good 1st thing morning and last at night airside but most the day its 100 percent backlit so not dooable ok if you take reggys but hopeless for photography

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