Antalya Airport Spotting Guide

Antalya airport (AYT/LTAI) is operated in Turkey’s primary holiday destination located on the country’s Mediterranean coast. The airport was built to accommodate the millions of passengers who come to Turkey’s Mediterranean beaches in summer. It handled 28.3 million passengers in 2014, more than 20 million of which were international passengers. The airport has two international terminals and one domestic terminal. Based on the projection from data from peak months, it currently has an estimated capacity of accommodating up to 45 million passengers/year, theoretically.

AYT has three runways. One is reserved for military and governmental aircrafts. The two other are more interesting, as they are the two runways operating everyday to the other planes. There are many good photo spots for arrivals, but practically none for ground shots or departures. During our stay we did not have any issues with police or other authorities.

Antalya Airport is a hub for the turkish carriers Anadolujet, Corendon Airlines, Freebird Airlines, Pegasus Airlines, Tailwind and SunExpress. Turkish Airlines, Atlasjet and Onurair also operate frequently on domestic and international routes. Other than that, the traffic consists of a lot of different airlines which are hard to see anywhere else in Europe besides Moscow. Antalya attracts a lot of airlines from Russia (VIM, iFly, Nordwind, Azur Air, Rossiya, Ural, etc.) and CIS-states.
Furthermore you will also see plenty of airlines from Poland (Small Planet & EnterAir), Czech Republic (Travel Service, Czech Holidays), Germany (TUIfly, Condor, Germania, Air Berlin) and the UK (Thomas Cook, Jet2, Thomson). Other european (charter) airlines also operate less frequent services to the airport.

In preparation of your trip you may want to know which russian charter airlines are operating to AYT. There are some tour operators where you will find detailed schedules with times, airline and aircraft type.

A useful tool for AYT is a mobile device (good prepaid fares available at turkcell. Buy your card before your trip and not in Turkey) with FR24 installed and a radio scanner as you never no which runway a flight will use. With a scanner (Antalya Upper Approach – 124.350 at 120ft or 119.65 later) you have enough time to switch your position as the ATC tells the pilot long time before the final approach which runway is to use (approx. 5-10 minutes). In those cases switching the runway for the occasional highlight can be quite rewarding. But of course you can also stick to one runway and you should still have a quite rewarding day.

The official ICF Airport app for your mobile device is also very helpful! You find a detailed schedule including the airline, aircraft type and even the registration!

Written by Jeremy Denton, Peter Psenica, Julian Mittnacht and Jan Seba (last visit September 2015).

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Airline Variety
Photo Locations
Weather
Airport Information    Runways 18L/36R 18C/36C  18R/36L
3.400 m (11.154 ft) 3.400 m (11.154 ft) 2.990 m (9.809 ft)
Terminals Terminal 1 Terminal 2
Most International traffic and also for domestic traffic International traffic only
Spotting Information Ladder Not required
Car Required. Its not easy to find the spotting location so it’s necessary to rent a car. It costs around 30 Euro per day. You can park your car easily at every location we provide!
Restrooms At the hotels and gas stations around the airport.
Drinks/Food Gas stations and other facilities are near some locations and several restaurants can be found in the village north of the airport and near the sea, south of the airport.
Hotels There is just 1 hotel near the airport called IC Hotels Airport (see spot #12). Rooms are not the cheapest and you can find many good alternatives within Lara, south of the airport at the sea.
Season The best season is summer, from June to (beginning of) September, as the most charter carriers operate only during this time.
Runway Usage  18L/36R Used both for Departures and Arrivals. Seemed to yield a bit more interesting traffic in the morning when 36R is in use.
18C/36C Used both for Departures and Arrivals. Seemed to yield a bit more traffic in the afternoon. Also handles most of the domestic traffic, as Terminal 1 ist closer to it.
The wind at AYT changes several times during the day and usually landings are from the south in the morning, then changing sometime during late morning (around 11:00) and changing again in the evening (after sunset) at around 19:00. But it can also happen that they switch back earlier before sunset. Unfortunately, while in the past they seemed to use one runway for landings and one for departures (with some exceptions, like Transaero), now it seems that they prefer a system of landings according to the terminal, so some portion of the traffic will be always lost. But even then the system is not 100% clear and while some airlines seem to have a preferred RWY, they have almost all been seen landing on both RWYs.

Spot #1 – 18L Arrivals Morning
WHERE Spot 1 is at a parking place of a bus company. There are some other places in the area as well to park the car. To reach this from the entry road of the airport: Take a left turn at the traffic light, heading East and take a left after around 400 meters.
WHAT This spot is good in the morning for arrivals on 18L. Compared to spot #2 the angle for arrivals is not so great here, but you will encounter less heat haze.
TIME In summer the light is good from sunrise until 11:00.
MISC. There is a restaurant and a small market next to the bus company.
FOCAL LENGTH 155mm B744, 240mm A320, 270mm A319
Spot #2 – Small Field – 18L Arrivals Morning
WHERE Getting here is a bit tricky, as there is no official turning point from the main road into this road if you are coming from the north. So either drive past and make a u-turn later or turn into the 1508 Sk and approach this locations through the side roads from the south.
WHAT This spot is good in the morning for arrivals on 18L. Sadly you will most likely face slight heat hace from around 10:00 for smaller aircraft.
TIME In summer the light is good from sunrise until 11:00.
MISC. There is a restaurant and a small market next to the bus company.
FOCAL LENGTH 210mm for a B738 and 150mm for a B753.


Spot #3 – Building 18L/36R
WHERE From Spot 1 & 2 continue the main road southward along the airports perimeter fence. After a few minutes turn right and behind the petrol station you will see a sand road go strait until you will see an huge unfinished building. Park your car next to the building and go to the second floor. Be careful about the security tower in front of you, sometimes a car came and drop a man who stay some hours inside.
WHAT You can have very nice pictures of arrivals, departures and taxi from 18L/36R. Later during the morning you might experience strong heat haze in your shots.
TIME In summer the light is good from sunrise until 11:00.
MISC. There is nothing nearby, so take what you need with you. Keep in mind this is private property.
FOCAL LENGTH 155mm for a B744 and 260mm for a B738.



Spot #4 – Greenhouse Hill – 36R Arrivals Morning
WHERE If you are coming from the north, pass the petrol station which is marked and turn right into the Yörükoglu Cd. Follow this street along the airport fence and turn into the small housing area at the southern airport perimeter. The location is found in a small side street, where you can park you car on a gravel street, which is pretty much never used. For the photos you have to get out of the car and climb onto the small hill behind you, where you can easily shoot over the greenhouses.
WHAT This spot is good in the morning for arrivals on 36R. You would probably have to deal with heat haze at this locations from 10:00 onwards, but as the RWY direction is usually switched before that, this will rarely be an issue. Otherwise (or if this spot is too far for you, use #5).
TIME In summer the light is good from sunrise until 11:00.
MISC. There is nothing nearby, so take what you need with you.
FOCAL LENGTH An A320 is about 250mm and a B747 is 150mm.


Spot #5 – 36R Arrivals Morning
WHERE Follow the road along the airport fence a bit further until you reach the Asmali Sk, turn into this road. The spot is located right alongside the street, so try to find a suitable parking space without blocking the street.
WHAT This spot is good in the morning for arrivals on 36R. The angle at this spot is a worse compared to #4, but you are closer to the action.
TIME In summer the light is good from sunrise until 11:00.
MISC. There is a local supermarket nearby.
FOCAL LENGTH As we did not use this location we can only guess it is almost half the focal length.

Sorry, but we can not provide sample pictures here. If you have photos from this location please don´t hesitate to contact us.

Spot #6 – Graveyard – 36C Arrivals Morning
WHERE Spot 6 is good for landings at 36C and most of the time you will use this location coming from #4 or 5. Follow the airport fence a bit and then turn left into the Zeybek Sk which leads you directly to this spot. Drive the Zeybek Sk carefully, as there are several blind corners. Turn right into the Yonka Sk and turn right after a few hundred meters trough a blue gate. Park your car on the flat area. For the shots you can climb onto the wall to have a better shot over the greenhouses.
WHAT This spot is good in the morning for arrivals on 36C. It’s best used for only one or two aircraft which you probably heard on the radio and gives a very good angle for shooting.
TIME In summer the light is good from sunrise until 11:00.
MISC. There is nothing nearby, so take what you need with you.
FOCAL LENGTH 150mm for an A330 and 210mm for an A321.


Spot #7 – 36C Arrivals Morning
WHERE Instead of going right to location #6 continue on the street until you get to a large empty area on your right. Stay right at the beginning of this area, as going forward would only result in a worse angle.
WHAT This spot is good in the morning for arrivals on 36C. It is an alternative to the previous one and a bit more comfortable if you are planning to stay longer at this RWY. Sadly the angle is borderline and worse compared to Spot #6.
TIME In summer the light is good from sunrise until 11:00.
MISC. There is nothing nearby, so take what you need with you.
FOCAL LENGTH 145mm for a B752 and 185mm for an A320.


Spot #8 – 36C Arrivals Evening
WHERE You will usually have to get to this location from the north of the airport, if they switch the RWY back in the evening before sunset. Use the fast road on the eastern side of the airport to get to the known locations and then either use the Zeybek or Ebru Sk to turn into the Havaalani Cd and then into Cesur-1. The spot is right on a large sandy area which you have to go towards the end of, in order to avoid cables and posts.
WHAT This spot is good in the evening for arrivals on 36C.
TIME In summer the light is good from 14:00 until sunset.
MISC. There is nothing nearby, so take what you need with you.
FOCAL LENGTH 110mm for a B747 and 200mm for an A320.


Spot #9 – 18C Arrivals Evening
WHERE This spot is possibly the first you will go to after your lunch break. So coming from your hotel or any other place, use the D400 highway. Turn off into the Serik C. Yanyolu (running parallel to the D400) and take one of the side road to the Ülker Sk. Either directly (if you are already going in western direction) or via one of the road crossings. Follow the Ülker Sk to the end and turn your car around there. Then park the car next to the road directly at the spot. Be sure to leave enough space on the road, as other vehicles pass by here on occasion.
WHAT This spot is good in the evening for arrivals on 18C.
TIME In summer the light is good from 14:00 until sunset.
MISC. There is nothing nearby, so take what you need with you.
FOCAL LENGTH 145mm for a B763 and 200mm for a B738.


Spot #10 – Gravel Lot – 18C Arrivals Morning
WHERE Similar to spot #9, this location is located next to the D400 side road and you can park right at this spot as there is a gravel area next to the Serik C. Yanyolu which can be used to park and spot from.
WHAT This spot is good in the morning for 18C arrivals. The aircraft are very far away at this location, but this is necessary as they are still very high.
TIME In summer the light is good from sunrise until 11:00.
MISC. There is nothing nearby, so take what you need with you.
FOCAL LENGTH 250mm for an A321 and 190mm for a B763.


Spot #11 – Boat Repair – Arrivals 18L Evening
WHERE As the two previous locations this spot is located on the known side road and directions apply similarly. Just follow the side road eastwards and turn left into the 79. Sk. You can park your car on the right side of the street opposite the Boat Repair.
WHAT This location is good for arrivals on 18L in the evening. It can be reached from Spot #9 in just a few minutes, making it ideal for a quick switch if you heard a highlight on the radio for this RWY. Sadly the angle is rather bad, so you might consider the alternative Spot #13 if this bothers you too much.
TIME In summer the light is good from 14:00 until sunset.
MISC. There is nothing nearby, so take what you need with you.
FOCAL LENGTH 135mm for a B747 and 240mm for a B738.


Spot #12 – IC Airport Hotel – Arrivals 18L Evening
WHERE Spotting can also be done from the IC Airport Hotel roof, making it a relaxing place to stay, spot and enjoy the sun. Obviously directions are not necessary if you stay here… 🙂
WHAT This location is good for arrivals on 18L in the evening. The angle is pretty good, however there are a few disadvantages: First of all, you are committed to one runway, meaning that a quick switch is not as easily possible as with the other locations. Secondly, staying at this Hotel is rather costly compared to alternatives in the area.
TIME In summer the light is good from 14:00 until sunset.
MISC. There is everything nearby! You have your room, toilets and even Wifi right with you and the hotel tolerates spotting from the roof.
FOCAL LENGTH We did not use this location, but it will be slightly closer than Spot #13.

Sorry, but we can not provide sample pictures here. If you have photos from this location please don´t hesitate to contact us.

Spot #13 – Airport Road – 18L Arrivals Evening
WHERE On the road leading to the airport terminals there is an unofficial parking area right next to the road which is often used by cab drivers. You can also pull off here with your car and shoot arriving aircraft over the trees. Make sure to get a location where the trees aren’t that high, otherwise they will disturb your shots. Also take care to avoid the lamp posts and signs placed in the middle of the road.
WHAT This spot is a good choice for 18L arrivals in the evening. The advantage is a good angle, but it is further away from Spot #9 if you just want to switch quickly for one highlight.
TIME In summer the light is good from 14:00 until sunset.
MISC. As this location is next to the main road we recommend to exercise some caution here and not run around wildly with your cameras around your neck.
FOCAL LENGTH 180mm for a B738 and 110mm for a B747.


Spot #14 – Terminal 2 – 18L/36R, taxiway
WHERE This spot is very easy to find as it is situated just next to the Departure Hall of Terminal 2. Its outside on the eastern side where all the hotel busses arrive.
WHAT You see all movements of runway 18L/36R as well as the taxiway next to the runway.
TIME We recommend this location in the evening only as during midday there is a lot of heat haze. The taxiway is no problem but on the runway there can be still heat haze in the evening so we recommend this spot only if you have some time left before your departure back home.
MISC. Burger King, Starbucks and Toilets are outside of the Terminal. This spot may be history soon as there are plants that growing fast and may block the sight one day.
FOCAL LENGTH 747 on runway = 170mm; 737 on taxiway = 170mm


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5 thoughts on “Antalya Airport Spotting Guide

  1. Alp Townend

    Hi just came back from Antalya and was able to do a little spotting. Firstly spot #14 is hard to photograph at as the terminal is closed and many security personnel are about. They told me it was the fact that the terminal was closed but I am still pretty sure that if someone went there when it was open you would still be kicked out as you would pose a threat to passengers. I decided to go to spot #9 were I was able to remain undisturbed as it is quite isolated but I am quite sure that if we stayed much longer I would have been kicked out. Before my flight while driving down the perimeter road I found another spotting location which was 2 expo bridges which provided good views of the terminal and gave good views of take-offs on 36c and 36r and landings and line ups on 18c and 18r I was only able to stay there for half an hour due to the fact that I had to catch my flight. For that duration of time I stood behind the elevator out of sight of the security box situated in the centre of the bridge but this didn’t affect my views at all. Even though security have told me that it is not prohibited to take photos of aircraft in Turkey I would never spend a day out spotting their as security are strict and tend to move you on if they are suspicious. In my personal opinion the best place to spot at Antalya is the terminal as you get good vantage points. People on this site need to be reminded that spotting in Turkey is not as accepted as the UK, the USA and the rest of Europe. These terror attacks have played quite a role in this.

    1. JulianJulian

      Hi,

      Terminal 2 is now reopened and Terminal 1 is closed for constructions. So Spot #14 should useable now.
      Spot #9 is fine as we spent there 4 days and never saw a security.
      We know spotters that were checked by the police and even had to went to the station but thereafter they were able to continue spotting.

      -Julian

  2. Chris Grew

    Hi Jeremy,

    Another good location for 36R arrivals is at the following coordinates, 36’52 09.57″N 30’48 31.83″E. There is an opening in the trees and buildings. A little local supermarket is nearby(for drinks). The main advantage of this spot is that you are not in sight of the authorities and the people who live here are very used to spotters.

  3. Peter Psenica

    Hi Jeremy, AYT is a great airport and also my favourite. However I am surprised you havent encountered any problems with the police, especially spot Nr.3 seems to me to be quite problematic, as the watching towers of the airport are situated every few hundred meters. I was visited by the police on another locations in the past two years, luckily I had a stamped permission to take photos (on the apron) so it worked well with them, however I dont know their reaction in case I wouldnt have that. Probably they would send me away and maybe come to visit the place again to check that I left. Officially, it is forbidden to photograph at Turkish airports and especially if it is also a military base, they are very sensitive about that. I suppose that maybe some stupid local inhabitants called the police in my case. They are very poor and they dont understand our hobby and anybody hanging around with expensive camera looks suspicious. Nevertheless, with some discrecy, AYT spotting can be done without bigger problems. The second thing which you havent mentioned in your article is, that the wind at AYT changes several times during the day and usually landings are from the south in the morning, then changing sometime during late morning or midday and changing again in the evening at around 19:00 hrs. Unfortunately, while in the past they seemed to use one runway for landings and one for departures (with some exceptions, like Transaero you mentioned), now it seems that they prefer a system of landings according to the terminal, so some portion of the traffic will be always lost.

    1. JeremyJeremy Post author

      Hi Peter, thanks for your comment. When I went with my father we didn’t know that spotting wasn’t allowed. We know that there were a Military Base and some security towers so we stayed careful. We didn’t have any problems with people and police hopefully.

      I will mentioned that spotting is not allowed in AYT and to be careful about police and people.

      For the wind, you are reason, I missed to mentioned that thing.

      Thank you very much to correct me and add some informations about AYT.

      Regards
      Jeremy

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