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Kos Airport Spotting Guide
Kos Airport (KGS/LGKO) is the gateway to the greek island of Kos. It is located quite in the middle of the isle just a bit southwest of the village of Andimachia. This airfield was opened there back in 1964 and expanded as well as reconstructed over the years as traffic was increasing. As the airport was privatized back in 2017, the new owner – an agreement between Fraport AG/Copelouzos Group – created a plan of how to renew this hub for airtraffic. Thus the airport was said to get new sanitary facilities, a modernized airside area, new fire station and many more features to follow…
The airport serves roughly 2,6 million passenger a year right now; Kos has to thank these numbers to the seasonal holiday charters from Europe mainly, which make the airport busy in summer months. Thus, charters are the main object to focus on here at KGS/LGKO.
Written by Severin Hackenberger with information and pictures provided by Marian Barath (Spot 6), Jakob Backmann, Patrick Weis, Alberto Cucini and Ramin. Last Update: August 2022 (spot 1 updated and 6 added)
How was your trip? Rate this airport!
| (4 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
|Terminals||One terminal, which is serving all flights – domestic and international.|
|Ladder||Not really needed as the airport is surrounded by high rocks and mounds on the one side. Only needed for spot #2.|
|Car/Public Transport||Car/Scooter definitely needed for all spots – except spot #1 and #2, which are closer to the terminal, but still far away if you walk in hot summer sun.|
|Restrooms||Only in the restaurants of the nearby villages and the terminal.|
|Drinks/Food||Only in the restaurants of the nearby villages and the terminal.|
|Hotels||Along the coast or a few in the surrounding villages.|
|Season||Definitely summer, when there is way more traffic and better weather, which may be too hot sometimes though. Heat haze and health problems may occur!|
|Security||Locations 2-5 are pretty remote and almost no cars pass by. But it is possible that a local will see you and call the police… So keep a low profile there and behave unsuspicious.|
|14/32||Runway 32 is for sure the preferred direction thus you’ll mostly have backtracks on runway 14 to the southern end for departure.|
Due to “security concerns” the greek government told google to pixelize the satellite images of all airports in greece with military movements. That is why you don´t see all positions as clear as usual. A good alternative is Microsofts Bing Maps where the airports in Greece are still visible…
|Spot #1 – Taverna Panorama – 14 arrivals, apron|
|WHERE||This spot is maybe the most comfortable one at Kos airport. As this location can be found inside/on the terrace of the “Taverna Panorama” restaurant one can have a seat/meal and take nice pictures in the same time. So of course to reach it, get to the restaurant, which can be reached by car best (parking possibilities all around it), and then – if it’s allowed/opened – take the stairs on the side of the restaurant in order to get to the elevated terrace, which helps to clear the fence.|
|WHAT||Aircraft arriving runway 14 as well as parts of the apron and thereby some taxiies and similar.
You can also stand outside the restaurant on the other side of the street (before the steps down to the main road) and photograph from there, but only arrivals on RWY14 or departures with the church together within a photo are possible now, as the new terminal moved very close to the church now and blocks the view to the apron.
|TIME||Best time is from sunrise till early midday.|
|MISC.||All you need is inside the taverna. Heat haze is a big problem on hot days. Please – if you use this spot – order something in order to support this place and those who run it.|
The position itsself looks like THIS
|Spot #2 – Fence – all movements|
|WHERE||This spot is just located in the major fencekink at the southeastern end of the apron. To reach this spot, you have to head on the main road towards KGS airport terminal, but just before you get there, turn off to the left behind the only gas station around there onto a sandpath. This runs all way along the fence and can be used to get to this spot. Therefore you have to follow this route for like 750m as you end up in the mentioned corner of the fence.|
|WHAT||Apron movements as well as the runway and taxiway infront. You can shoot through the fenceholes as they are quite big. A ladder is tricky and diffcult to place at the fence (see photo below). You can clear the fence for a 45 degree angle to your left (see sample photos) but 90 degree is possible through the mesh only.|
|TIME||Sunrise till midday or late afternoon – depending on angle.|
|MISC.||Closest facility for food, drinks and shadow is the terminal.
On the way from the gas station to this point there are two aggressive dogs tied on a rope. When you walk on the path, they bark and run to into your direction. Luckily they are tied up, but be careful and maybe keep a woodstock in your hand to scare them. Obviously, do not hurt them.
Photo taken trough the fence
|Spot #3 – Sanddune – all movements|
|WHERE||Almost the same as for spot #2: To reach this spot, you have to head on the main road towards KGS airport terminal, but just before you get there, turn off to the left behind the only gas station around there onto a sandpath. This runs all way along the fence and can be used to get to this spot. Therefore you have to follow this route for like 1500m as you first pass spot #2 oon your way to spot #3. Then continue for a bit more, take the little courves in the way till some sand dunes start to appear on the left along with kinda “house” we used for spotting just where spot #3 is marked on our map.|
|WHAT||All runway movements.|
|TIME||From sunrise till midday.|
|MISC.||Bring plenty of water and hats with you as it will be very hot and sunny. Nothing around here! No ladder needed as you can shoot over the fence form the mounds and surrounding area.
There are some dogs on the way but they are caged.
A320 side on = 80mm
|Spot #4 – Field – 32 arrivals/departures|
|WHERE||This spot is located east of the southern end of the runway and is quite hard to reach. However, the way from the south is still the best way as the ways from the right are only useable by jeeps.
So, once you pass Kardamena take the car towards the Aquatica Water park in the southwest. Then pass this area and continue on the road to the northwest, till an fieldpath turns off – the way from here on is marked on the map. Follow this path till it makes a 90 degree left turn, but here turn off the road and continue straight forward. From now on the street starts going up the hill. Park your car on the left behind some trees (to get shadow) and continue by foot. Therefore go up to the hill’s top and then just infront of the fence turn right and follow the road along the fence around the end of the runway. Continue a bit to the north and now you can search your favourite position here on the right as this spot is no exact location, rather the area around the runway’s head.
Beware, that you don’t block any farmer roads and stand properly by the side. The spotter community is happy to be allowed and able to use this farmer’s land here, so please adjust to the standards.However, this spot can also be reached via the same sandroad as spot #2 and #3, just continue from there on down the fence.
|WHAT||32 arrivals and departures as well as 14 arrivals turn arounds. 14 departures may be too high already.|
|TIME||From sunrise till midday.|
|MISC.||Nothing around here. Take lots of water and a hat with you as there is just little shadow. Be aware of snakes as well! Security/police might pass sometimes, but is mostly kind and just asks to avoid photographing Israeli planes – nothing more yet experience.
Fence can be “overshooted” by climbing on the surrounding rocks.
A320 or B737 side on = 85mm
|Spot #5 – Runway head – 32 arrivals|
|WHERE||Almost the same as spot #4: This spot is located at the southern end of the runway and is quite hard to reach. However, the way from the south is still the best way as the ways from the right are only useable by jeeps. So, once you pass Kardamena take the car towards the Aquatica Water park in the southwest. Then pass this area and continue on the road to the northwest, till an fieldpath turns off – the way from here on is marked on the map. Follow this path till it makes a 90 degree left turn, but here turn off the road and continue straight forward. From now on the street starts going up the hill. Park your car on the left behind some trees (to get shadow) and continue by foot. You can search your favourite position here as this spot is no exact location, rather the area around the runway’s head.
Beware, that you don’t block any farmer roads and stand properly by the side. The spotter community is happy to be allowed and able to use this farmer’s land here, so please adjust to the standards.
|WHAT||Only arrivals onto runway 32.|
|TIME||From midday till sunset.|
|MISC.||Very little shadow and high temperatures around here. Nothing else. Take a lot of water with you.
We also recommend good boots and a pair of long trousers as there are lots of thorny bushes and rocks around.
Take care when parking your car to NOT BLOCK THE FARMER’S ROAD.
ATR42 = 225mm
|Spot #6 – Airport Parking – 14/32 movements, taxiway, ramp|
|WHERE||From the restaurant (spot 1) cross the street in front of it (there are steps down to the main ring road) and you can enter the airport (non airside) property through a passage hole in the fence (it’s an official passage). There is some vegetation but 2 meters behind this entrance on your right you can see the newly built parking lot where you can see the apron west (parking stands 1, 1a, 1b) very close, the fence wire mesh is big enough.
By car you can reach the parking lot easily by driving towards terminal and follow the first exit of the round about, then just follow the signs to the far west part of the parking area.
|WHAT||Landings on RWY32 which have a long roll out (usually happening when the apron is full with planes and taxiway A1 is needed for departing traffic to backtrack) and use taxiway A2 to get to the apron. Vice versa RWY14 line up and departures. From the parking lot you have parking stands 1, 1a, 1b and some of GA stands (S1, S2)|
|TIME||Sunrise till noon all year round; heat haze on runway actions|
|MISC.||Food and drinks can be acquired either at the terminal, the restaurant taverna of spot 1 or the supermarket a bit further passed the restaurant taverna.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||Transavia 738 = 120mm
Privelege 767 runway = 140mm