Malaga – Costa del Sol Intl. Airport Spotting Guide

Malaga – Costa del Sol Airport (AGP/LEMG) is the main airport for tourists visiting the beaches around Malaga and also all vacation places down to Gibraltar. The airport is surrounded by several motorways, which makes it easy to get to the terminal. Also a commuter train is connecting Malaga main station with the airport. It is located 8 kms southwest from the city centre of Malaga and 5 kms north of Torremolinos. The forth busiest airport of Spain handled 16,7 million passengers in 2016.

Malaga Airport opened 1919 with one runway (13/31). Terminal 1 was opened in 1968 and is used today as GAT, Terminal 2 in 1991. The latest terminal extension was done in 2010 named Terminal 3. A second runway (12/30) was built and went into operations in 2012.

AGP is currently served on regular service by several European carriers like Aeroflot, Alitalia, British, KLM, Lufthansa, Swiss or Turkish. Intercontinental services are offered by Delta (JFK) and Air Transat (YUL). In summer season from all over Europe charter services are flying into AGP. Busiest routes are to and from UK and Ireland, so British charter carriers can be seen all week long. From other European countries AGP is served by well known airlines from Scandinavia (e.g. SAS, TUI Nordic, Primera), Benelux (e.g. Brussels, Transavia, Correndon Dutch, TUI Belgium, Luxair), Germany (e.g. TUI, Germania, Germanwings), East Europe (e.g. Wizzair, Small Planet, Blue Air, S7, Smart Wings). Some charter flights are operated by widebodies, e.g. TUI 767 + 787, Norwegian 787 and Aer Lingus 330. Norwegian, Ryanair and Vueling are operating a base in AGP offering flights to all over Europe.

Besides the regular visitors, there are many VIP flights. A lot of celebrities and nobleman spend their time in Marbella using AGP as a gate to Costa del Sol. So Gulfstream, Falcon, BBJ or even 727 are regular but unpredictable visitors.

Around the airport several spotting positions allowing views to the movements. The airport is surrounded by partly double fences, partly high fences and partly normal fences. Fortunately spotting can be easily done without a ladder as some postions are elevated or away from the fence.

Written by Marcus (visited July 2017) and Mathijs Haest (additional infos spot #2)

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Airline Variety
Photo Locations
Weather
Airport Information Runways 13/31 12/30
3,200m 2,750m
Asphalt Asphalt
Terminal Terminal 2 Terminal 3
Non Schengen (UK, Ireland) & non-EU Flights from & to Schengen countries
Spotting Information Ladder Not necessary.
Car Necessary. Most of the positions cannot be reached by public transport, just Spot #1, #8 and #9 can be reached by bus (visit the mentioned spots for more information). The spots are far away from the terminal buildings. Bring your GPS as well as traffic routing sometimes is absolutely crazy. One-way roads, roundabouts, street closures can drive you mad…
Restrooms Only in the terminal building or at restaurants.
Drinks/Food Local restaurants, McDonald’s and Burger King are around the airport, but only reachable by car.
Hotels Hotels and apartments can be found all around in the vacation places.
Season High season is summer. Many airlines do not fly into AGP between October and April.
Runway Usage General Info Main runway is 13/31. Due to predominant winds runways 12 and 13 are preferred in summer. Second runway 12/30 is opened during peak hours. Please check NOTAMS: https://notams.aim.faa.gov/notamSearch/nsapp.html#/

NOTAM looks like this: RWY12/30 HOURS OF OPS 0700-1230 UTC

13/31 Main runway. During most of the hours of take-offs and landings will operate here. In case the second runway is in use, during easterly winds 13 is used for take-offs. In westerly winds 31 will be for landings.
12/30 In summer during specific hours 12/30 is in operation. In case of easterly winds then 12 is used for landings. In westerly winds 30 will be used for take-offs.

Spot #1 – Runway 13 Landings and Line-Up
WHERE Pass the airport on N-340 through the tunnel direction “P3 – Larga Estancia”. Reaching the roundabout still follow “P3 – Larga Estancia”. Follow the road through another tunnel until you reach the next roundabout. Leave the roundabout at the dirt road. There you can choose your position which you prefer. The road is 400 meters long and elevated above the fence.

This spot can be reached easily by bus, too. Take bus M135 which starts at the main bus hub in the city and exit at “Zapata” station. Then walk to the spot which is marked on the map.

WHAT You can get aircrafts landing on and lining up runway 13. Aircrafts taxiing on taxiway A are right in front of you. For aircrafts in line-up on the runway heat haze can get an issue.
TIME In the summer from sunrise to 11:30. Line-up until 12:30
MISC. No shade, better stay in your car. Nothing around here, so bring what you need. Be careful with the bumps and stones on the dirt road.
FOCAL LENGTH 220 mm for A320 on the runway, 80 mm on taxiway A.


Spot #2 – Los Chopos – Runway 12 Landings
WHERE Enter “Calle Sup” in Los Chopos in your GPS. Drive through the whole village of Los Chopos to the end of the road where you reach a dirt road and turn left. Depending on your preferred angle and background, drive along the road and park your car.
If you don´t turn left and stay at the end of the “Calle Sup” you don´t have the mountains as a background in your image and a shorter focal length.
WHAT You can get aircrafts landing on runway 12 only.
TIME From sunrise till 11:00 in the summer.
MISC. No shade, better stay in your car. Nothing around here, so bring what you need. Be careful with the bumps and stones on the dirt road. Sometimes horses can cross the road.
FOCAL LENGTH 320 mm for A320 (less if you stay at the first point, “Calle Sup”).


Spot #3 – Runway 31 Final Approach
WHERE In the village of San Julian enter Calle Rimsky Korsakov and find a place where your view is not obstructed by trees or wires.The best place seems to be close to a sports ground.
WHAT You can take shots of aircrafts in final to runway 31. I haven’t been to the spot, as runway 31 was not in use. The info was given by a local spotter.
TIME From sunrise to 11:30 in the summer.
MISC. No shade, better stay in your car. Nothing around here, so bring what you need.
FOCAL LENGTH Approximately 300 mm for A320

We can´t provide sample pictures yet so please don´t hesitate to contact us if you can provide some photos!

Spot #4 – Museo Aeronautico de Malaga
WHERE

On N-340 at the roundabout near San Miguel Brewery leave at the exit following the signs of “Aviación General/Museo” until the end, always leaving the San Miguel factory to your left. Parking in front of the museum or at Calle Aeroclub. Find out more about the museum here: http://www.aeroplaza.org/

WHAT Admission at the museum is free. You can find some aircrafts in the backyard and also a terrace to watch the traffic on the airport. The GAT apron is right in front of you, but also landing aircrafts on runway 31 or departure shots on runway 13 are possible.
TIME During opening hours of museum. Shots on traffic for 13/31 until 11:30.
MISC. Enjoy the museum, it’s definately worth a visit.
FOCAL LENGTH 320 mm for A320. At the museum you will need 40 mm for the convair.
Spot #5 – Churriana – Runway 13/31
WHERE Enter “Calle Pepe Mena” in the village of Churriana in your GPS. At the end of the road turn right to a small plateau where you can park your car directly at the airport fence. The area is elevated and pictures can be taken over the fence.
WHAT You are close to the touch down point of runway 31. Take-offs on runway 13 are in front of you, but depending on the destination the aircrafts may rotate already quite early. In this case they are too high for suitable pictures.
TIME In the afternoon from 14:30 until 20:00 in the summer.
MISC. There’s nothing at this spot, bring with you what you need.
FOCAL LENGTH 180 mm for A320


Spot #6 – Tree – Runway 13/31
WHERE Either park at spot 5 and walk about 150 meters or park your car opposite in front of the gate (don’t block it). If you are 1,90 meters tall you can easily take pictures over the fence. It is also possible to climb into the tree or to bring a small ladder.
WHAT All movements on runway 13/31
TIME During summer in the afternoon from 14:30 until 20:00. Aircrafts vacating runway 13 on taxiway E2 from 13:00 until 18:30.
MISC. There’s nothing at this spot, bring with you what you need. At least you can spend the time in the shadow of a tree.
FOCAL LENGTH 180 mm for A320 on the runway, 250 mm for vacating A320 on taxiway E2.


Spot #7 – Farm – Runway 13 Final Approach
WHERE At the corner Camino Puente del Rey and Camino de la Huertecillo enter a small dirt road, pass a farm on the right and drive slowly until you reach a closed gate. Park in front of the gate (space only for max. two cars). The farmer was smiling at us, so seems he is fine to see spotters here.
WHAT Final approach of runway 13
TIME During summer in the afternoon from 14:30 until 20:00.
MISC. Nothing here. Heat haze can be an issue.The dirt road is in lousy condition, so don’t break your car.
FOCAL LENGTH 200 mm for A320


Spot #8 – Runway 31 Arrivals
WHERE Park your car at the bend in front of the dyke at Camino Puente del Rey. Climb up the dyke and move to the position you prefer. Parking on the dyke would be possible as well, but from time to time a tractor will require you to leave as there is only space for a tractor and nothing else.

This spot can be reached easily by bus, too. Take bus M135 which starts at the main bus hub in the city and exit at “Zapata” station. Then walk to the spot which is marked on the map.

WHAT Afternoon and evening arrivals on runway 13. Depending on your position also line-ups to runway 13 are possible, but heat haze might destroy the picture.
TIME During summer in the afternoon from 14:30 until 20:00. Line-up from 17:00 until sunset.
MISC. Nothing here. Watch out for the rental cars moving around on Camino Puente del Rey. The rental car staff is driving like hell.
FOCAL LENGTH 180 to 330 mm for A320 depending where you prefer to stay.


Spot #9 – Runway 12 Final Approach
WHERE The position is not reachable by car. Park near Camino del Rey and walk the dirt road about 1 km until you reach a bridge for tubes. Climb up the concrete bridge and the tube. As I haven’t been here I don’t know if its easy to climb or not. I have seen some local spotters there and pictures can be found on Jetphotos: https://cdn.jetphotos.com/full/5/51773_1499236211.jpg

This spot can be reached easily by bus, too. Take bus M135 which starts at the main bus hub in the city and exit at “Zapata” station. Then walk to the spot which is marked on the map.

WHAT Final approach runway 12
TIME From sunrise till 11:00 in the summer.
MISC. Nothing here. Take high sun protection with you.
FOCAL LENGTH Approximately 80 mm for A320

We can´t provide sample pictures yet so please don´t hesitate to contact us if you can provide some photos!

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