Catania Fontanarossa Spotting Guide

The airport of Sicily’s second largest city is directly located at Etna’s toe nails creating a unique scenery! Not only a unique scenery makes the airport stunningly good for spotters, superb spotter locations literally sweetens your trip by sitting underneath a sicilian orange tree!

Check out the guide for it!

The history of this airport began in the very early years of aviation, when commercial flight had just become possible, back in 1924. The largest airport at that time for the island suddenly became very important when the World War II began. By the time, the airport was expanded a few times but then in the 1980’s, Catania’s airport received a new passenger terminal allowing more passengers to come into CTA, and the airport not only got a new terminal, no, the biggest refurbishment in its history took place! Aeropuerto di Catania was equipped with a brand-new terminal, a new freight sector and the runway was extended. In 2007, a yet larger and newer terminal was inaugurated.

Since it has taken its today’s shape, Catania is Italy’s sixth busiest aerodrome, handling a passenger amount of exactly 6’400’127 million passengers in 2013. An airport which plays an important role for Sicily’s international tourism and for shuttle’s to cruisings leaving from Catania. Windjet used to have its base at CTA, but as the airline went bankruptcy, the airport lost an important carrier, marking Alitalia as the new landlady.

Enough talk, enjoy Sicilian hospatility and Italian flair.

Written by Marlin & Jonas Lehmann, visited January 2013

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Airline Variety
Photo Locations
Airport Information    Runways 08/26
2.436 m (7,989 ft)
Terminals one is in use for all airlines
Spotting Information Ladder There is no need for it.
Car Yes, required
Restrooms Available at all publicly accessible buildings like restaurants or inside the terminal building
Drinks/Food There are supermarkets nearby the airport and food is available inside the airport’s terminals. Restaurants are available in every town nearby.
Hotels There are a vast number of hotels along the shoreline and in the suburbs of Catania which are very close to the airport. The ‘Catania International Airport Hotel’ is closest and very recommendable.
Season Catania is busiest during the spring/summer season and during winter peak times for the respective countries.
Runway Usage 08/26 Used in both directions for arrivals and departures

Spot #1 – Viale Presidente Kennedy – RWY26 arrivals
WHERE There is an unused area between Viale Presidente Kennedy and Via San Guiseppe de la Rena
WHAT Flight arrivals of runway 26 can be observed from here
TIME From the morning until afternoon (in winter months all day long)
MISC. On days with good visibility, the vulcano Etna is clearly visible in the background of your photo.
FOCAL LENGTH 130mm for a Boeing 737-300 and Boeing 717
Spot #2 – Via San Guiseppe de la Rena – RWY08 departures
WHERE There is a street running parallel to the runway (Via San Guiseppe de la Rena) which allows you to stop your vehicle where you want to (except if you are blocking the road) so you can choose where to photograph. Via San Guiseppe will somewhen snapp off to the right which directly leads you to Spot #4.
WHAT Runway 08 departures only – Arrivals are also visible but you can mostly see the tail scurrying along the bushes only.
TIME From the morning until afternoon (in winter months all day long)
MISC. Aircraft height varies on the aircraft’s weight so smaller airplanes may be already high up in the air at this spotting point.
FOCAL LENGTH 290mm for an E175; 220mm for an A320; 240mm for an A319
Spot #3 – Take off – RWY08 depatures
WHERE Just a few meters from Spot 2 towards the west, Via San Guiseppe La Rena becomes Strada Primosole and Via San Guiseppe La Rena snaps off to the right in form of a gey narrow street aligned in a angle of 90 degrees to the runway. Drive to the end of the road until it snapps off to the left again. If you stop in this bend, you have reached your destination.
WHAT Departures from runway 08
TIME From the morning until afternoon (in winter months all day long)
MISC. Do not park your car right in the bend to avoid punishments by the police which checks the area regularly.
FOCAL LENGTH 100mm for an A321; 110mm for a Boeing 737; 120mm for an A319
Spot #4 – Orange tree field – RWY08 arrivals
WHERE There is a large field with orange trees in the industrial area in the town of Pigno, to the west of the airport. Park you car anywhere on Strada Comunale Passo Cavaliere and cross a small dried-off stream. Once you are there you can choose a suitable angle for yourself. Google Maps coordinates: 37.463354, 15.045314
WHAT Runway 08 arrivlas
TIME From the morning until afternoon (in winter months all day long)
MISC. There are fairly aggressive dogs nearby which live in an old station concourse over the way. They will only be pushy when you are, so behave and do not show any misbehaviour in front of them.
FOCAL LENGTH Boeing 737-400: 110mm; A319: 150mm; ATR42: 205mm
Spot #5 – Ruin – RWY08 arrivals
WHERE There is a ruin right next to the orange tree field from which you can take the 08 arrivals as well! This location is also easier to access than Spot 4.
WHAT Runway 08 arrivals only
TIME From the morning until afternoon (in winter months all day long)
MISC. Be careful when you circumvent the gateway by walking around it as the stones you are walking onto are wobbly.
FOCAL LENGTH A321: 155mm; B734: 155mm

Spot #6 – Auchan parking deck – RWY08 arrivals
WHERE There is a large shopping mall in the west of the airport where all kind of shops are available like groceries (Auchan) and fashion stores. On its parking level you are able to observe arrivals heading into runway 08.
WHAT Runway 08 arrivals only. There can be a lot of heat haze due to the distance.
TIME In the evenings (only to use in summer! Sun won’t turn over in winter months)
MISC. Food and facilities are available here
FOCAL LENGTH We can only guess the focal lenght you might need: 300-400mm for single aisle aircrafts

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location and you are willing to show them here? Just leave a reply underneath this guide and we will immediately contact you. We would be happy about any help!

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