Moscow Domodedovo Spotting Guide

Located 30 km south of the Russian megapolis, Domodedovo Airport is the largest airport in the country and welcomed over 33 Mio. passengers in 2014. It consists of two parallel runways, at the center is the main terminal located. The two parallel runways are numbered 14L-32R at the north and 14R-32L at the south. Northern ruways are generally dedicated to arrivals while the southerns are used for departures. Sometimes, however, will make landings on the southern runways, in this case it is Ural airlines or private aviation that arrive by that track directly to the parking places. The large airport complex houses day and night flights from all over the world. The S7 airlines companies, Ural, Rusline, Nordavia, Red Wings, Yamal, Vim, Air Azur and Nordstar have a base in Domodedovo. Other flights are operated by other Russian companies with varied and exotic fleets. European major companies and golf are present at DME. From Asia JAL, Vietnam and Singapore Airlines provide daily rotations. Regarding the cargo business, various flights are operated daily. Finally, a maintenance stand hosts various flights mainly charter airlines. Many aircraft at end of life are stored in DME in front of the terminal.

Written by Cédric Valence (visited June 2016)

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Airline Variety
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Airport Informations Runways 14L/32R 14R/32L
3.800 m (12,467 ft) 3.500 m (11,483 ft)
Terminals Concourse A Concourse B
non russian carriers mainly russian carriers
Spotting Informations Ladder Not necessery but better for point 5
Car There is a train station for spots 1 and 2, also a bus to joint points 3 and 4. You need a car for the other locations.
Restrooms Not availlable
Drinks/Food Not availlable
Hotels See “Domodedovo airport” for location and you’ll find some hotels around with different prices
Season Winter ar very cold with snow, best from may to september.
Runway Usage  14L/32R Mainly for arrivals
14R/32L Departures and some arrivals

Spot #1 and spot #2 – Approach 14L
WHERE There is a street above the final approach runway 14L. From the airport access road A105 you have to turn left/right next to the Kosmos train station. Park the car on the field and you easly can take pictures of landings. By train reach Kosmos station and walk along the street to the points. Caution because it’s dangerous as you have to cross the A105 which is quiet busy.
WHAT Arrivals on RWY 14L only.
TIME The light is good from sunrise till 11am at number 1, then joint point 2 where the light is perfect from 1pm till sunset.
MISC. There is no shop, no restrooms in this area so take yours dispositions before. In dry weather, note that there may be dust due to the trucks traffic on the street.
FOCAL LENGTH Use about 150mm for an A320. It’s not possible to take pictures of the departures 14L.


  Spot #3 – Arrivals 32R
WHERE We found a place for landings 32R with a clear view between the trees. Just under the approach there is a bus stop, but its much easier if you use a car. Drive on the A107 till Pestovo. Then turn left on a little street and park along the road until you’ll find a field without trees.
WHAT In the case of 32 are in use, 32R is dedicated to the landings. We observed that some Ruslines or Ural landed on 32L due to proximity of their terminal at the end of this runway. Airplanes are a little bit high but this is a solution when airplanes are landing there.
TIME Light is good from sunrise till 11AM.
MISC. North-East of DME airport is a military area, so don’t try to explore the forest at this side. There is nothing around, prepare your trip.
FOCAL LENGTH Use about 250mm for an A320.


  Spot #4 – A107 street – Arrivals 32R PM
WHERE Spot 4 is located along the A107 when you drive back from spot 3 to the airport. Park the car along the A107 on the grass just after the bus stop or along the fence of the farm (tagged on the map) and walk along the street till point 4.
WHAT You’ll find a place for landings 32R and shoot between the trees. Airplanes are a little far and high, but it’s better than nothing.
TIME Point 4 is good from 2pm till sunset.
MISC. It’s impossible to park along the A107 at another place than the one detailed before.There is nothing around for shopping or restrooms.
FOCAL LENGTH Use about 250mm for an A320


  Spot #5 – Street A107 – Landings 32L

We didn’t tried landings at runway 32L because it’s seems difficult. Just a picture through the car’s window during driving. Park your car at gaz station at intersection between “Obaztrovo” and A107 and walk about 25min along the street on the grass. Dont walk to close to the road as there is a fast traffic on the A107 and it’s not safe.

WHAT Approach runway 32L shots, but you have to hurry up cause the space between the trees is short.
TIME Point 5 is good from 2pm till sunset.
MISC. This is noisily and bad conditions of spotting for finally a light result. Not possible to park along the A107 street.
FOCAL LENGTH You’ll shoot about 300mm for a B738

VQ-BBI - B767-328ER S7 - DME 01-06-2016

  Spot #6 – South runway 32L

In the afternoon till sunset we found a place for landings and departures runway on 14R-32L. Drive till Lovtsovo village and park there, then walk on the dirt road direction the airfield and it’ll take about 45 minutes and you’ll find point 6. It’s possible to drive till there but very difficult due to the bad conditions on the  way. Don’t park or stay along the airport’s fence and just approach to take your pictures and go away. By the way, you’ll take your pictures through a fence. Don’t use steps there because Russian’s authorities will arrest you. If you decide going there take pictures through the fence,

WHAT Great shots for departures and landings on runway 32L. This runway is mainly used for departures. We didn’t get samples for 14R movements but seems also ideal.
TIME Light at point 6 is good from 2pm till sunset
MISC. Nothing around point 6. There are shops in the village but local people don’t speak English and doesn’t accept international credit cards. We didn’t get problems with police and security there
FOCAL LENGTH Use about 150mm for a B738


  Spot #7 and #8 – Tupoleva street – Approach 14R
WHERE The spots are along Tupoleva street. You may park your car at the approach light and walk along the trees to find the area for your shots with the correct lightning.
WHAT  Approach for 14R mainly by Yamal, Ural and general aviation.
TIME  All the day, morning at #7, afternoon at #8
MISC.  There is nothing around,
FOCAL LENGTH  Use 150mm for a B738
Spot #9 – Appron activity in main terminal
WHERE Just behind the check-in and before the security check to the doors, you’ll find some great glasses to see the airport activity at the gates.
WHAT Taxi to the runways and airplanes going to the doors. You must take pictures through the window
TIME Light is good from 5PM till sunset
MISC.  Expect some distortions due to the glass and “green” effects
FOCAL LENGTH  35/150mm for gates ans 180mm at taxi

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