Porto Francis. de Sá Carneiro Spotting Guide

Located on the North of Portugal, Porto is the country’s 2nd busiest airport handling nowadays more then 6 Million passengers/year. The airport is an hub for TAP, Ryanair, and starting in 2015 for easyJet as well. Even though TAP is the busiest airline in terms of aircraft movements, Ryanair is the leading airline in terms of passenger numbers. TAP operates one daily A330 flight to destinations in South and North America and most of its flights are operated by PGA aircraft. From the TAP fleet don’t expect to see A340, A321 or ATR-42 at Porto. TAAG also operates to OPO but not as regular as in LIS. However during the Christmas/New Years Eve extra flights are operated. Another notable operator is Air France Cargo who operates a weekly (wednesday) flight with B747. As for cargo, TNT, Star Air and DHL/EAT Leipzig are regular operatores and from times to times, there are An124’s making a stop at the airport, more then anywhere else in Portugal.

Although Porto doesn’t offer a lot of airline variety, it’s a very spotter friendly airport and good spots were you can see all the movements on the runway, no matter which one is being used.

Written by Rui Miguel (visited December 2014)

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Airline Variety
Photo Locations
Airport Information    Runways 17/35
3.480m (11.417ft)
Terminals Terminal
All airline are served at the same Terminal
Spotting Information Ladder No need.
Car No need.
Restrooms Near spot 1.
Drinks/Food Near spot 1 there’s a coffee shop. Not much of food as in terms of a meal, so bring all you need.
Hotels Just outside the Terminal you’ll see a newly built Hotel called “Park Hotel”. Lowest price is around 50€.
Season According to statistics, July and August are the bussiest months, not that there’s a huge difference, but these are also the warmest months.
Runway Usage  17/35
Runway 35 is more used then 17.

Spot #1 – Morning spot – Taxiway F
WHERE This spot is located next to taxiway F. From the Terminal it will take you around 30min. on foot, or about 5 minutes by car. On the map you can find a car route from the terminal to the spot, assuming that you are 1st driving towards the “Departures”. If you are driving, make sure to park on the mentioned parking location. A lot of people park it next to spotting location, and because the place itself is actually on a very tight turn, bad parking can cause traffic jam or risk of car crash.
WHAT This spot is midfield and you can see all landing and departures, no mater the runway. If you are taking shots to the ground there’s a risk that you’ll get a bit of fence on your photos.
TIME From sunrise until 10:30.
MISC. There are no shades on this area. If you’re coming during the weekend expect a lot of people there who just come to see the planes landing and departing. Because of that the road might be full of badly parked cars.
FOCAL LENGTH 21mm = A330 on TWY F, 90mm = A330, 100mm = B737-800

Spot #2 – Afternoon spot
WHERE From the morning spot all you have to do is to go down the road and go through the tunnel (there’s a sidewalk for pedestrians). Once on the other side go up and straight until you see on your left side an emergency exit from the airport. Spot2 in on the oposite side, on a hill.
WHAT Just like the morning spot, this spot is midfield and you can see all landing and departures, no mater the runway. However there’s more fence then on the previous spot. Yet when aircraft are passing in front of you there will be a clear area, just as you can see on the photos bellow.
TIME From 13:00 until the end of the day.
MISC. There’s no shade in here and no facilities or anywhere nearby to buy food, so bring all that you need. If you are with a car, there’s no proper parking spots. Yet it’s best to park where it’s point out on the map, as close as to fence as you can, then parking at the emergency gate for the obvious reasons.
FOCAL LENGTH 70mm = A330, 115mm = A319, 180mm = A310 on TWY F

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