Mönchengladbach Airport (MGL/EDLN) is located northeast of the city Mönchengladbach and next to the highway A44. It’s not used for regular flights anymore and the biggest part of the traffic consists out of ATRs, which are visitng the RAS (Rheinland Air Service) – some of them as their last “home” and some of them on their search for a new owner.
Most of them are some really rare aircrafts which aren’t that often in Europe like Air Botsuana, Pakistan Navy, Columbian Police Guard, Hunnu Air, Nesma Airlines, Tschad Government, Air Mauritius, Satena Airlines or Oman Air ATRs. Apart form those MGL is used by most football charters for the local football club Borussia Mönchengladbach (mostly Do 328s) and their opponents. Sometimes Ju-52s and freighters (like Arcus Do228 or Sprint Air Saab 340) are visitng MGL, too.
Guide was written by Severin Hackenberger (regular visitor), Marco M. (local spotter) and in cooperation with MGL-Spotter.de.
Last visit: October 2018
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|Airport Information||Runways||13/31||1.200m (3.937ft)|
|Terminal||GAT Terminal||Used for all flights (charter, freighter or general Aviation). There is no public and frequent traffic at MGL!|
|Spotting Information||Ladder||Needed at some spots and recommend anyway – always.
But you can try to shot through the mesh too.
|Car||Not needed, spots aren’t that far away from each other, but much more comfortable.
There is just one bus line which takes you to the airport; Bus 025.
|Restrooms||Inside the nearby restaurants or the temrinal.|
|Drinks/Food||Not really, just the Airport Bistro or the Mc Donald’s a bit to south-western direction from the airport (marked on the map).|
|Hotels||Hotels are just inside the city, but MGL isn’t the airport too stay for days anyway though not that worse.|
|Season||Depends on the RAS guests which are the most interesting here mostly.|
|Runway Usage||13/31||Used in both directions.|
|Spot #1 – RWL Flight Academy – Taxiway and runway movements
|WHERE||This spot is located near the RWL flight academy inside the parking area. Once entered the airport aerial from the one and only access road “Am Flughafen” continue straight ahead. You can park there for free.|
|WHAT||You can see runway 13 line ups and arrivals and runway 31 departures as well as ATRs taxiing to the engine test area from here.|
|TIME||Light on the runway and taxiway is good from early midday till sunset.|
|MISC.||A small 2-step ladder is enough to be above the fence, although there is a small door where you can make photos through as well.|
|FOCAL LENGTH|| 24 – 200mm
Landing ATR72 = 140mm / ATR72 on taxiway = 75mm
|Spot #2 – Crash Gate – Taxiway movements and RAS Apron
|WHERE||This spot is located at the crash gate infront of the “RAS taxiway” at the end of the “Am Flughafen” street. Just park there but don´t block the gate.|
|WHAT||You can see all activities on the RAS apron and the taxiway to/from the area from this spot.|
|TIME||On the taxiway light is good from late afternoon till sunset. The light for the RAS apron is good in the early morning.|
|MISC.||Ladder is useful, taxiway shots can be taken without, but for the RAS apron a ladder might be good. You can park your car nearby.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||18 – 200mm
ATR72 on taxiway = ~30mm
|Spot #3 – Transmitter fence – RAS apron
|WHERE||This spot is located at the fence near the transmitter station. Take the first right after you have accessed the airport via “Am Flughafen” road. You can park your car on the little dirty road on the other side of the street.|
|WHAT||From here you can take good pictures of aircrafts parked in the opposite row(s) of the hangars.|
|TIME||Light is okay from mid afternoon till sunset.|
|MISC.||Ladder needed. Nothing really nearby, but food and restrooms can be found in the nearby Mc Donalds and the terminal (with its restaurants).|
|FOCAL LENGTH||100 – 350mm
Raytheon 390 (little Bizjet) = 310mm / ATR42 at the front of parkingrow = 130mm
|Spot #4 – “Flughafenstrasse” roadside – RAS apron
|WHERE||Continue the road from #3 and pass the RAS hangars. It’s located outside the RAS parking just by the roadside of Flughafenstrasse. This spot isn’t an exact postition rather an area along the fence, depends on the aircraft and angle you wanna take a picture of.
Don´t park at the RAS and take pictures from inside the RAS parking! There are new signs which forbid to take pictures from the parking!
|WHAT||The whole RAS apron can be seen from here.|
|TIME||Light is good from morning hours till midday.|
|MISC.||Ladder needed. Nothing really nearby, but food and restrooms can be found in the nearby Mc Donalds and the terminal (with its restaurants). Stopping by the roadside is okay for a short moment (on weekends even more), but if you wanna stay here for longer time you should park inside the parking area marked on the map next to spot #5.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||70 – 300mm
All white ATR72 = 180mm / BH Airlines ATR72 = 85mm
|Spot #5 – Firefighter gate – Taxiway movements and RAS apron
|WHERE||Continue on the road “Flughafenstrasse”. This spot is next/infront of the firefighter crash gate next to the RAS taxiway. You can park your car inside the nearby parking area (marked on the map).|
|WHAT||RAS apron and taxiway to/from RAS apron. The marked spot is good for taxiing aircrafts, but the angle for the parked ATR’s isn’t that good. You can go into the mentioned parking area and take pictures of parked aircrafts from there, the angle might be a bit better.|
|TIME||Light conditions are good in the morning till midday.|
|MISC.||Ladder useful. Nothing really nearby, but food and restrooms can be found in the nearby Mc Donalds and the terminal (with its restaurants).|
|FOCAL LENGTH||18 – 300mm
Cessna on taxiway = 100mm / ATR72 on taxiway = 20mm
|Spot #6 – Gravelground – Taxiway and runway movements + GAT apron
|WHERE||This spot is located between Flughafenstrasse and fence on the gravel area. You can park your car nearby.|
|WHAT||This spot offers you a perfect view of the north-western terminal apron area and the runway (and of course the taxiways to/from the eastern runway end).|
|TIME||Light on runway and taxiways is good from early midday till sunset, but for parked planes it’s good from morning till late midday (depends on the way they are parked in).|
|MISC.||A ladder is recommended. Food and restrooms can be found in the nearby Mc Donalds and the terminal (with its restaurants).|
|FOCAL LENGTH||20 – 200mm
Do328/Saab 340 on parking spot = ~140mm
|Spot #7 – Terrace – Taxiway and runway movements + GAT apron
|WHERE||This spot is located between the terrace of the “Airport Bistro Winkens” and “Hugo Junkers” hangar.|
|WHAT||From here you have a good view onto the whole apron (the RAS apron can’t be seen from here), the main taxiway and the runway.|
|TIME||Light is good from the morning till sunset, but it depends on what you wanna take pictures of (e.g. runway/taxiways are good from early midday till sunset).|
|MISC.||A 3-step ladder is needed, otherwise you can take pictures form the terrace, but it’s protected with high glass walls. Food and restrooms can be found in the nearby Bistro and the terminal (with its restaurants).|
|FOCAL LENGTH||24 – 200mm
ATR on taxiway = 70mm; ATR on runway = 175mm
|Spot #8 – Trietbach – Taxiway and runway movements
|WHERE||This spot is located at the crash gate next to the taxiway leading to the threshold of runway 31. Just walk down the footpath which starts at the end of “Flughafenstrasse” next to “Hugo Junkers” hangar.|
|WHAT||Aircrafts taxiing to runway 31 and of course the runway activities.|
|TIME||Light is good from early midday till sunset on the runway and taxiway.|
|MISC.||There is a crash gate, so no ladder isn’t needed. But if you use an wide lens a ladder might be better!|
|FOCAL LENGTH||24 – 200mm
ATR72 on taxiway = ~30mm
|Spot #9 – Field – Arrivals 13
|WHERE||This spot is located on a field near the arrival pathlights. Just park your car by the roadside, (but watch out for stopping restriction signs) and walk down the route (marked on the map). After you’ve crossed the arrivalpathlights search your favourite position which depends on the angle you like the most. Route from the airport is marked on the map and takes up to 10 minutes.|
|WHAT||Aircrafts arriving onto runway 13.|
|TIME||Light is good only in summer during the morning hours. In winter months this spot isn’t usable.|
|MISC.||No ladder needed. Nothing nearby!|