Paris Châlons Vatry Airport (XCR/LFOK) is located in the campagne region of France east of Paris and is more than 150km away from the downtown of the French capital, but Paris was added to the official name as of marketing reasons. The small airfield airfield was opened back in 1953 and served for military usage till 2000 when it was sold to civil interests. Since then, the airport was reconstructed a bit and nowadays mainly serves as cargo airport for some unregular charter flights and sometimes also for very few regular passenger services. However, the airport is sometimes also approached by business or air force jets for training flights/rounds or parking. Nevertheless, once there is a movement here, this airport is worth a visit for sure as normally then the movement is llike Turkmenistan IL76, ADB An225 or UAL An12 – these are frequent visitors here…
Written by Severin Hackenberger in cooperation with Wout Gossens. Last Update: 2020
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|10/28||3.860m / 12.664ft – Concrete|
|Terminals||There is a small terminal used for the seasonal charter flights|
|Ladder||Ladder is needed for spotting at this airport.|
|Car/Public Transport||Public transport is not available at all, car needed for sure.|
|Restrooms||Maybe in the airport facilities, but nothing really nearby where you could find some for sure.|
|Season||Good all year round but clear winterweather is preferable due to the runway’s direction.|
|10/28||Direction depends on the days’ wind, no prefred direction noteable and also hardly predictable due to very little traffic.|
|Spot #1 – Airport Parking – Apron movements|
|WHERE||This spot can be found east of the main airport facilities and just next to the ramp. It is literally just all way along the fence there infront of the parking apron there and thereby this spot offers plenty possibilities, angles and positions. It can be reached easily by car and therefore just park your car in the nearby public parking next to the orange hall (parking marked on the map). In order to get there, take “La Basse Cour” (also known as “D778” street), which you are supposed to leave at the south-eastern end of the airport area. Then just go to the fence and search your favourite position…|
|WHAT||This area offers superb view onto most parts of the apron (mainly the cargo parking spots) as well as the taxiway parts around here.|
|TIME||It is not useable in winter as it will be backlit. In summer this spot can be used from Sunrise untill late morning and in the late evening again, but this is totally depending on the angles and positions/subjects you want to picture.|
|MISC.||Ladder is needed. Nothing around here except the nearby small terminal/airport facilities and a parking. Heat haze can be a problem in summer.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||18-300mm – depends on the subject/parking spot
IL76 turning in = 200mm / An12 parking = 125mm
|Spot #2 – Fence – All runway movements|
|WHERE||This position is similar to the other spot as it is also located just all the way along the fence running parallely to the runway. This is why this spot is an area, which is more than 2kms long. In order to get here, you have to cross some fields by car on more or less paved field paths. However, due to the lenght of this spot, there are numerous options which way to take exactly – just choose your favourite one. But the best way is suppposed to be from the east as you can easily leave D977 there onto a paved way, drive around the former military fighter parking and then (if you always keep right) you will end up at the fireld right alng the fence where you can park (way marked on the map):
Anyway, you have to end up at the fence next to the runway on the airport’s southern site at the end and then just park along the little field road south of fence somewhere. Then you can choose your position depending on which angle/subject/situation you wanna photograph and you just need to move along the fence then…
|WHAT||All runway movements literally.|
|TIME||Winter: All day.
Summer: late morning till late afternoon.
|MISC.||Ladder is needed. The spot is accesable via numerous dirtroads, this might not be the best spot to visit after heavy rainfall as it will be muddy. Heat haze can be a problem in summer.
When you park your car here, please take care not to destroy any plants or block the field path in order to preserve the opportunity to drive and spot here for the future, too!
A310 side shot = 75mm
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