Zaragoza Air Base Spotting Guide

Zaragoza Air Base (LEZG/ZAZ) is a commercial airport near Zaragoza, Spain. It is one of the most important airport in terms of cargo in Spain, with more than 8,000 tonnes that put it each month in the third place of the Spanish airport behind Madrid and Barcelona. With respect to passengers, Ryanair is the most important airline that operates at the airport, along with Wizz Air, Air Europa and Vueling. With regard to the cargo, Zaragoza Airport is notable for a great activity of large air planes, such as Qatar Cargo, Emirates Skycargo, Korean Air Cargo, Air China Cargo, Atlas Air, Cargolux, Etihad Airways Cargo, China Cargo Airlines, TNT Airways … with daily operations with air planes such as Airbus 330, Boeing 747 or Boeing 777. Zaragoza Air Base is also the home of Ala 15 with a large number of F18 and Ala 31 of the Spanish Air Force, which includes Hercules C130 and Airbus A400M.
AeroZaragoza Spotters is the group of planespotters of Zaragoza. In their website (in Spanish) you can find charter flights, places to do spotting, information about the airport and about spotting by clicking on the link : http://aerozaragoza.hol.es/

Tuesday mornings and Wednesdays, Saturday afternoons are the times when more operations are concentrated, especially freighter flights. In short, Zaragoza is one of the most important points in Spain to make spotting of large cargo aircraft.

Written by Jorge Algás (local spotter) (last update April 2017)

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Airport Information Runways 12R/30L 12L/30R
3.718 m (12.200 ft) 3.024 m (9.921 ft)
Terminal Terminal 1
Air Europa / Ryanair / Volotea / Vueling / Wizz Air
Spotting Information Ladder Not necessary.
Car Car is needed to spots #7 and #8, and highly recommended in the other ones. There is a bus that stops in the Terminal and in the Roundabout, which is 10 minutes walk to spots 1 to 4. Spot 5 requires 15 minutes more walk from those spots.
Restrooms Available only at the airport.
Drinks/Food There is a self-service restaurant and a snack bar in the terminal.
Hotels Hotel Diagonal Plaza (3 minutes), Hotel Eurostars Rey Fernando (3 minutes) and Tulip Inn (5 minutes).
Season Ryanair, Wizz Air, Air Europa, Vueling… and cargo flights during all year. In summer companies like Volotea or charter ones operate at the airport.
Runway Usage  General Info Runway 30R is the most used for civilian takeoffs and landings, but sometimes large planes use 30L for taking off. Rwy 30L is used usually for military flights. When wind is from east, 12L is most used for passenger operations and cargo planes land on 12R because it’s a longer runway.
30R Used most often for arrivals and departures.
30L Used by military aircraft and sometimes departures of heavy aircraft.
12L Used by airliners and cargo aircraft when wind comes from east.
12R Used by some heavy cargo aircraft arrivals when wind comes from east.

Spot #1 – The mound – Rwy30R arrivals and departures
WHERE Starting in Ronda del Aeropuerto, turn right onto the dirt track and drive a few meters where you find some concrete blocks. Park there and go up to the mound.
WHAT The preferred place to do spotting. From here you can see Rwy30R arrivals and departures.
TIME From midday until late afternoon.
MISC. As it’s the most used runway in the airport, the place is perfect to see many operations, but there is not shade and not facilities near this place.
FOCAL LENGTH 80-200mm
Spot #2 – Back mound – Rwy30R arrivals and departures
WHERE Starting in Ronda del Aeropuerto, turn right onto the second dirt and go up to the mound.
WHAT From here you can see Rwy30R arrivals and expecially departures because the taxiway is alligned with the spotting point and frontal photographies can be taken.
TIME From midday until late afternoon.
MISC. As it’s the most used runway in the airport, the place is perfect to see many operations, but there is not shade and not facilities near this place.
FOCAL LENGTH 150-400mm
Spot #3 – Approach path – Rwy30R arrivals
WHERE Under Rwy30R approach path. Starting in Ronda del Aeropuerto. Park next to the main road and walk some meters to the fence.
WHAT Rwy30R arrivals only.
TIME From midday until late afternoon.
MISC. As it’s the most used runway in the airport, the place is perfect to see many operations, but there is not shade and not facilities near this place.
FOCAL LENGTH 30-55mm
Spot #4 – Roundabout – Rwy30R arrivals
WHERE Near Ronda del Aeropuerto roundabout there is an open dirt área where car can be parked and photos can be taken.
WHAT From here you can see Rwy30R arrivals.
TIME From morning until midday.
MISC. As it’s the most used runway in the airport, the place is perfect to see many operations, but there is not shade and not facilities near this place.
FOCAL LENGTH 55-120mm
Spot #5 – Bottom mound – Rwy12L arrivals and departures, Rwy30R departures
WHERE Starting at the end of the Calle Alguero roundabout, continue onto the dirt track to the end and go up to the mound.
WHAT Rwy12L departures. Also Rwy30R and 12L departures in the moment of the rotation.
TIME From midday until late afternoon. On summer it’s not recommended due to heat distortion of the images.
MISC. There is an old sign that told you not to pass with car, but now you can reach the point by car. There is not shade and not facilities near this place.
FOCAL LENGTH 300-500mm
Spot #6 – Terminal – Rwy30R arrivals and platform
WHERE In the second floor of the terminal (landside) there is a snack bar with a reserved zone, perfect if the free zone is crowded due to many people.
WHAT Rwy30R arrivals and direct view to the platform.
TIME From morning until midday
MISC. Photos are taken across a window that is not always very clean. Besides, very good photos of the planes in the platform can be taken. There is a snack bar and bathrooms near the place.
FOCAL LENGTH 100-500mm
Spot #7 – Quarry – Rwy12R arrivals
WHERE t the Air Force Base road turn left to ‘Camping Bohalar’. Continue on the track and when it turns to the left, continue straight onto the dirt track. Turn right when path ends and follow it turning left and then right. You will see the airport fence, follow it.
WHAT Rwy12R arrivals, when wind is from east usually biggest aircraft like Boeing 777 or 747 land there. Also it is the most used runway for fighters and militay planes.
TIME From morning until midday.
MISC. You will need a ladder in order to take photos above the fence.There is not shade and not facilities near this place.
FOCAL LENGTH 100-250mm
Spot #8 – Tango-Bravo – Rwy12R arrivals and departures, taxi via TB
WHERE At the Air Force Base road turn left to ‘Camping Bohalar’. Continue on the track and when it turns to the left, continue straight onto the dirt track. Turn right when path ends and follow it turning left and then right until see the airport fence.
WHAT Rwy12R arrivals and airplanes in taxi via Tango-Bravo taxiway, when wind is from east usually biggest aircraft like Boeing 777 or 747 land there. Also it is the most used runway for fighters and militay planes.
TIME From midday until late afternoon.
MISC. You will need a ladder in order to take photos above the fence.There is not shade and not facilities near this place.
FOCAL LENGTH 50-200mm

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