Caen Carpiquet Airport (CFR/LFRK) is a small airport in the Normandy, up in the northern part of France. The airfield can be found 6km west of the city of Caen and offers a very few scheudeled services only – flown by Volotea and Air France. Thus, the airport handles roughly 275.000 passenger a year, but lately these numbers were increasing rapidely. However, there is still not a lot of traffic, except these few services and some charters in the summer. In addition, CFR has sometimes visits by military stuff, business jets or little freighters. Therefore, you have some general aviation/sports aircraft as well as a few unregular Chalair flights as there is a little base here where Chalair also does some maintenance. You have most traffic during the “D-Day” celebrations, when there is a lot of military traffic taking place and also some VIP flights for military officials.
The airfield was opened in 1938, used as a military base since 1939 and was directly taken over by the Germans in 1940. After the Germans left in summer 1944, after the D-Day, the airfield was reconstructed and served as military base again. In 1967, the airport opened for civil traffic and since 2008, there are the first regular passenger services.
Written by Severin Hackenberger in cooperation with Maël Robin – thanks to Sebastian Sowa for providing some pictures. Last Update: Summer 2020
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|05/23||1180m / 3871ft – Asphalt|
|13/31||1900m / 6233ft – Asphalt|
|Terminals||There is only one civil passenger terminal in the northwest serving all flights.|
|Ladder||Needed at two points and recommended therefore, but those spots (#1 and #4) cover slow movements mostly, so you may also be fine with shooting thru the mesh.|
|Car/Public Transport||Car definitely needed, as public transport around the field is poor.|
|Restrooms||There are several facilities close to the spots.|
|Drinks/Food||Yet again, there are several facilities close to the spots.|
|Hotels||None at the airfield.|
|Season||Summer is better as you can use more spots and can catch more traffic due to better weather and therefore more movements.|
|Security||Spotting is no problem here at all.|
|General Info||The airport has two paved runways, but mostly only operates one of them. There is also a grass runway on the airfield, so sports aircraft may land there!|
|05/23||Barely used nowadays.|
|13/31||Major runway, used for all bigger movements.|
|Spot #1 – Field West – 13/31 movements|
|WHERE||This spot is located southwest of the runway’s northern extention. Park your car at the end of “Rue Du Haut De Marcelet” at the Aeroclub (spot #2) and then just walk along the fence to the east first, then follow the kinks to the north. Once you have reached the fence’s part, which runs parallely to the runway, just search your favourite position along the fence here…|
|WHAT||From this spot you can see the runway thus 13/31 movements, but mainly 13 arrivals and backtracks prior 13 departure.|
|TIME||Runway: early noon till sunset.
Aeroclub’s apron: only on early summer mornings or late summer evenings.
|MISC.||Haze may be a problem in the summer. The field may be very dirty on wet days, so we recommend solid shoes and a ladder. You may also shoot slow turning aircraft thru the mesh, but ladder is better.|
Turning C17 = 125mm
|Spot #2 – Aeroclub – Aeroclub apron|
|WHERE||This spot is located all around the Aeroclub, which is west of the airport, next to the city of Marcelet. Park your car in front of the Aeroclub building/restaurant at the end of “Rue Du Haut De Marcelet” north of the Aeroclub apron. Then just start walking along the fence and choose your favourite position somewhere around the apron in the north, west or south (hard to explain, see the map for more details).|
|WHAT||The Aeroclub’s apron and parking row/taxiway in front can be seen well here. From some points you can also see into the hangars or the Noratlas parked in the west here.|
|TIME||Runway: early noon till sunset.
Aeroclub’s apron: late morning till afternoon.
|MISC.||Ladder not needed at all points as the fence is partly very low. Restaurant is just next to the parking, please support the club and parking opportunity by buying something there.|
V22 starting engines = 110mm
Pictures taken from various positions around the apron here – that is the reason for various angles and positions:
|Spot #3 – Terminal Viewing Area – Apron + Runway 13/31|
|WHERE||Drive to the terminal, park in the nearby parking areas (e.g.g the official marked airport parking) and go inside the building. Go up the white little stairs in the north of the terminal, cross the bridge to the buildinig’s south. Then enter the door just in front of the bridge (between all the offices around), continue a few steps and find a place behind the door at the glass front.|
|WHAT||From here you can see a lot: the runway 13/31 in the back, the apron and nearby taxiways in the foreground.|
|TIME||Spot is best on early summer mornings or late summer evenings actually.|
|MISC.||Reflections on the window may disturb your view, therefore everything you need is right there inside the terminal.
Haze may be a problem in the summer on the runway.
|FOCAL LENGTH||18-300mm actually depending on what you wanna shoot
C17 = 75mm
The terminal’s inside with the white stairs and the bridge can be seen HERE
|Spot #4 – Ramp fence – Chalair ramp + GA ramp + Terminal apron|
|WHERE||This spot is actually not one exact position as you can choose between various points. So first, get rid of your car close to the terminal or at one of the more easterly parking areas and then you have the choice:
All of these option have their own advantages, but are all in walk distance from each other/the parking.
|WHAT||The Chalair ramp/hangar and GA apron can be seen well from here. In addition, you can also spot parts of the main terminal’s ramp here nicely.|
|TIME||Good in the early morning or late evening – depends on the aircraft’s parking position/angle.|
|MISC.||Ladder needed at all three options. Respect reserved parking spaces here and only use public ones. The field may be very dirty on wet days.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||18-200mm depending on at which part and what you shoot
Gulfstream = 70mm / C17 tails = 135mm
Pictures taken from various parts along the fence/apron here – that’s is the reason for various angles and positions:
I think the Germans left in 1944 🙂