Payerne Air Force Base Spotting Guide

Payerne Airport is a military airfield of the Swiss Air Force north of Payerne, approximately 1:15 from Geneva Airport by car. LSMP was the home of the Northrop F-5 Squadron 6 Ducks, now you’ll see more FA18 from the Fighter squadrons Sqd17 Falcons and Sqd18 Panthers. It’s also the base of Solar Impulse and there is an aviation Museum “Clin d’Ailes”.

When visiting you can just call the airport and ask for the flight schedule, they’ll usually give you all the needed infos. Note that it works on every military airfield in Switzerland. LSMP is by far the busiest military airfield in Switzerland

The Swiss Air Force are flying from 09:00 to 12:00 and 13:30-17:00 from every Airfield in Switzerland. Evening flights, every Monday from October and March 18:00-22:00. Mostly Swiss Air Force traffics, rarely foreign army, except Air show time and special military flights C-130 / Spartan during summer from Morocco Air Force.

On the link, the flights services of military aircraft of Swiss Air Force at LSMP:

http://www.lw.admin.ch/internet/luftwaffe/fr/home/verbaende/einsatz_lw/payer/flightline.html

Written by Jeremy Denton and Omar Alex Saffe / Frequent visitors (last update 2014)

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Airline Variety
Photo Locations
Weather
Airport Information Runway 05/23
2483m (8.145 ft)
Concrete
Terminals Block A + B + C
Different military aircraft
Spotting Information Ladder Not necessary
Car Necessary
Restrooms Available only at spot 3
Drinks/Food Available only at spot 3
Hotels Inside the Town of Payerne
Season I suggest April – September, chance of bad weather in winter is pretty high
Runway Usage 05/23 Runway used from 9h to 12h and 13h30-17h.

Spot #1 – Arrivals 23
WHERE From Geneva, follow the direction of Fribourg and Valley de Joux then follow Payerne. Exit at Payerne, at the first roundabout turn on the left, continue strait until the second one follow airport. You will pass under the highway and take the second exit on the right. Small way between field.
WHAT Good spotting point for arrivals on rwy23
TIME In the early of the morning to 13:30-14:00
MISCELLANEOUS Bring what you need before coming at this spot.
FOCAL LENGTH 150-300mm
Spot #2 – The Hill
WHERE From Geneva, follow the direction of Fribourg and Valley de Joux then follow Payerne. Exit at Payerne, at the first roundabout turn on the left, continue strait until another one take on the left. Go strait, you will pass over the highway and take first road after the house.
WHAT Good spot for arrivals, taxi and departures rwy05 and also arrivals and departures on rwy23.
TIME In the early of the morning until 14:30-15:00
MISCELLANEOUS Bring what you need before coming at this spot.
FOCAL LENGTH 18mm – 300mm and rotation on rwy it’s 450mm minimum
Spot #3 – Control Tower
WHERE From spot 2, take the road who cross the runway then on the right continue strait until the parking next to the control tower.
WHAT Good location for taxi, arrivals and departures of both runways. It’s also possible to sneak a good shot of what’s standing on the left ramp by standing on a ladder right under the control tower, you can get a nice view over the first positions there (see Marocco Air force picture below). Don’t stay on the ladder for too long, just take your shot and go back next to the public parking
TIME From the afternoon until the end of the day.
MISCELLANEOUS There is a restaurant for the pilots and staff of the airfield where you can have food, drinks, toilets.
FOCAL LENGTH 18mm – 300mm
Spot #4 – Opposite of the TWR
WHERE Spot right opposite to the control tower.
WHAT Good for both runway. very low fence, no ladder needed, just take a chair and enjoy, don’t try to hide, security well knows about spotters/photographers standing there. Taxing planes on the south taxiway takes you really close to the action. Nice in winter or humid weather.
TIME Early morning until 14:30
MISCELLANEOUS During lunch road is opened again so you can just cross the runway and head to the restaurant.
FOCAL LENGTH 100mm – 400mm
Spot #5 – Approach rwy05 morning
WHERE
For approach shots on rwy05, just park your car by the main road or to Estavayer le Lac and walk to the different spots. The fields offer different angles and it might be interesting to move around a bit, just don’t pass the military fences. 100-400mm. No food around
WHAT Approach rwy05
TIME From early morning until 14:00
MISCELLANEOUS Bring what you need before coming at this spot.
FOCAL LENGTH 100mm – 400mm
Spot #6 – Approach rwy05 afternoon
WHERE
On the afternoon just go around the approach and you can stand by the football field. Further down the new fences are a big problem and might obstruct your view.
WHAT Approach rwy05 afternoon
TIME From 15:00 until the end of the day
MISCELLANEOUS Bring what you need before coming at this spot.
FOCAL LENGTH 100mm – 400mm
Payerne Air Show
WHERE
Payerne Air Force Base
WHAT Every 10 years, LSMP offer you an Air Show during 2 weeks with a lot of different display and static aircraft. The next Air Show will be in 2024. More pictures can be reached here, http://jeremydenton.carbonmade.com
TIME From 09:00 to 17:00 the weekend and from 08:00 to 19:00-20:00 during the week.
MISCELLANEOUS They provide stands of foods and drinks with a hundred stands on aviation.
FOCAL LENGTH The bigger you have, best pictures you will have.

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