Fuerteventura Airport Spotting Guide

Canary’s third busiest airport – Fuerteventura – lives up to its name as strong gustings and stiff gales cater for some compelling adventures! The airport of this fascinating island is mainly headed by holiday charter traffic from France, the UK, Germany and from The Netherlands.

The history of this airport began in 1969 when the airport was opened up, originally built to replace the old military base serving the island for its defensive plan, but which was closed due to its large distance to the capital and bad wind conditions (Offical translation of the Island’s name: Fuerte ventura = strong wind) affecting the air traffic.

A Fokker 50 inaugurated the new airport with domestic services, respectively island hoppers to Fuerteventura’s neighbour islands. Then, in 1973, first international flights were commenced, and a holiday trend was set at the same time! FUE suddenly bursted at all seems as it received more and more passengers. As a consequence of that, the aerodrome was expanded and adopted its today’s shape.

Nowadays, the airport is one of the busiest in Spain, handling 4,200,000 million passengers and more than 35’000 aircraft movements.in 2013. It is a lovely island for tourists and spotters as well and here’s the guide for it!

Written by Marlin & Jonas Lehmann, last visit April 2014

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Airline Variety
Photo Locations
Weather
Airport Information Runways 01R/19L 01L/19R (closed)
3.400m (11,175ft)  2.140m (7,021ft)
Terminal All flights are dispatched from this terminal.
Spotting Information Ladder At one single point
Car Yes, required
Restrooms Available at all publicly accessible buildings like restaurants or inside the terminal building
Drinks/Food There is a supermarket nearby the airport and food is available inside the airport’s terminals. There are no restaurants outside of the Terminal. Restaurants are available in Puerto del Rosario.
Hotels Hotels are available in the nearest town (Caleta de Fuste)
Season The Canary Islands are busiest during the spring/summer season and during winter peak times for the respective countries.
+++ SECURITY INFORMATION +++
SPOTTING AT SPANISH AIRPORTS IS NOT ALWAYS UNDERSTOOD. ESPECIALLY AT AIRPORTS WITH A MILITARY BASE AS FOR INSTANCE LPA, FUE, XRY OR LEGT. PLEASE BE ALL SET FOR CHECKS BY GUARDIA CIVIL OR POLICÌA LOCAL. LOCAL AUTHORITIES ARE ALLOWED TO CHECK YOUR CAMERA AND YOUR SD CARD. TO AVIOD LIKELY TROUBLES OBEY FOLLOWING TIPPS:
– STOW CAMERA IN A CAR’S GLOVEBOX WHEN POSSIBLE
– KEEP A LOW PROFILE WHEREVER YOU ARE
– DO NOT TAKE PHOTOS OF RESTRICTED MILITARY AREA OR      ANY OTHER MILITARY INSTITUTIONS.
THE TEAMS HAS ALREADY EXPERIENCED TROUBLES AND CHECKS BY THE POLICE AT SPANISH AIRPORTS.
WE ARE NOT LIABLE FOR ANY INCONVENIENCES.
Runway Usage 01L/19R Closed
01R/19L Use of 19L is very rare. 01L is in use almost always.

Spot #1 – Near the terminal’s bus bay
WHERE There is a huge unused area next to the terminal’s bus bay which features a small white building, where you can sit down and photograph.
WHAT Flight arrivals of runway 13R can be observed from here. Departures from runway 31L are high already and in a unprofitable angle.
TIME From noon to sunset
MISCELLANEOUS Parking is not allowed on this unused area.
FOCAL LENGTH Runway operations: B737: 240mm; B757: 190mm, taxiing back to the gate: A320: 160mm; B753: 120mm
Spot #2 – VIP Apron
WHERE Spot 2 is located at ‘Terminal de Carga’, accessable through a street running parallel to FV-2. When coming from the airport terminal’s, follow street course until entrance to El Mattoral which begins at a roundabout. Exit the roundabout at its fourth exit (Terminal de Carga – Air Cargo Terminal) and turn off to the left. Now follow the parallel running street until the green cargo building appears on your right.
WHAT Business jets being parked up at the VIP apron. Runway operations are visible but gear of the airplanes are hidden due to lumpy airfield surface
TIME From noon to sunset
MISCELLANEOUS Nothing special to mention at this spot.
FOCAL LENGTH 70mm for an E135
Spot #3 – Line-up runway 01R
WHERE Right under approach path – accessable through an unpaved road snapping off from FV-2. Check map for further details. Spot is located in the S-band before the road goes parallel.
WHAT Line-up’s onto runway 01R. Landing aircrafts are passing overhead right above you.
TIME In the morning hours only
MISCELLANEOUS There are holes in the fence
FOCAL LENGTH 70-30mm – 100mm for an A320; 110mm for a Boeing 737
Spot #4 – Runway 01R view from ruin
WHERE This spot is not to be missed as you can clearly recognize a ruin of stones which enables you to look over the airport fence. The ruin is immediately on your right as soon as you are parallel to the runway at the unpaved road as described at Spot 3 and 6. Check the map for further details. The red line shows you access route to this spot. Only enter the road with a suitable car for this terrain as set out at the warning label.
WHAT All runway operations of runway 01R. Landing aircrafts are still high as the landing zone at FUE begins very late.
TIME From sunrise until mid-day
MISCELLANEOUS Be careful when climbing up the ruin as the stones are not fix and wobbly.
FOCAL LENGTH 70-400mm – 70mm for a Boeing 757; ATR: 130mm; 80mm for a landing Boeing 757
Spot #5 – Apron view
WHERE Spot 5 is located near the entrance to the airfield and in easy walking distance from Spot 1.
WHAT All apron movements. View may be limited due to parked airplanes at busy peak times.
TIME From mid-morning to early afternoon
MISCELLANEOUS You have to take photos thru the fence. A ladder is not advisable as the security service is nearby and keeps an eye onto the airfield entrance.
FOCAL LENGTH Depends on distance – The Austrian jet was taxiing into a secluded parking position forcing more focal length. But 150mm are required in average.
Spot #6 – Runway half
WHERE Follow street course of spot 4 for about 1.7km until a large radar is on your left snapping off to the right. Check map for further details.
WHAT All runway operations of runway 01R/19L
TIME From sunrise until mid-day
MISCELLANEOUS A ladder is required here. Airplanes are very close
FOCAL LENGTH 50-200mm – 70mm for narrow body sized jets at 90° angle, a Boeing 757 at 55mm
Spot #7 – Caleta de Fuste
WHERE You are able to photograph approaching aircrafts almost everywhere in this town, it’s best to spot at Av del Castillo, Hotel Castillo Playa or Calle Alcade Juan Evora Suarez as those street offer an undisturbed view onto the approach path.
WHAT Almost all flight arrivals of runway 01R can be observed from here.
TIME From sunrise until noon
MISCELLANEOUS Please note: Airplane height varies from approach path. Different heights are very likely. Some aircrafts (depending on ATC’s order) may not pass this point as they’re approaching into a tighter curve.
FOCAL LENGTH 70-300mm – 180mm for a Boeing 737
Spot #8 – Taxies to runway 01R
WHERE Very close to Spot 2, just follow the street a bit further until you have passed the green cargo terminal.
WHAT Flight arrivals of runway 13R can be observed from here. Departures from runway 31L are high already and in a unprofitable angle.
TIME From noon to sunset
MISCELLANEOUS Heat haze is a massive problem during noon, way better in ‘colder hours’ so towards evening. Photo was taken in the afternoon so heat haze is quite strong.
FOCAL LENGTH 70-30mm – Airbus A319: 175mm
Spot #9 – At the fence for runway 01R
WHERE Near Spot 4, directly of the fence. You can clearly see the location at a Spot 4’s picture (Departing Germania A321W, with spotters at the fence)
WHAT Departures on runway 01R, Arrivals are still too high.
TIME From sunrise until noon
MISCELLANEOUS There are holes in the fence. Bushes may obstruct or disrupt some parts of the runway which hides the gear bay of the aircrafts but you’ll find a clear and good angle with no disruptions.
FOCAL LENGTH 70-400mm – Boeing 737-700: 71mm from 90°, line-ups 85mm

 

Enjoy your trip to Fuerteventura.

 

 

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