Bari-Palese “Karol Wojtyla” Airport (BRI/LIBD) was opened during WW1 and named after the Polish pope John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla), who passed away in 2005. Latter called Bari the “bridge to the east” due to Nicolaus’ relics, which are being preserved in Bari, who is a holy for both religions, orthodox and christian believer. This caused the airport a state visit by Wladimir Putin for example already and some other high political leaders. In addition to religious visitors, Bari is also visited a lot by tourists in the summer months for beach holidays. Thus, the airport is especially a hub for LCC like Ryanair, Transavia or EasyJet and in addition to this, it also offers some connections to big European airporthubs like Rome (flown by Alitalia) or Frankfurt (served by Lufthansa), but also not quite common rotuings to Tirana for example (provided by Albawings). Last attraction here are some freighters from within Italy (Poste Italiane from Brescia e.g.) and you can also spot Guardia di Finanza or Italian Air Force airframes rarely on training or mission flights.
The airport was opened during WW1 here, modernized in the late 1920s and then opened as military air base in 1930. Just in 1934 the first civil facility joined the military airport, which was left rather untouched during WW2. Between 1944 and 1946, the alieds used Bari-Palese as air base though, but since 1946 it was under the power of the Italian forces again. Just in 1960, the civil passenger traffic returned to Palese as Alitalia established a network of domestic services. The former runway 12/30 became too short quickly and thus today’s runway was built in the 70s, in 1981 a new terminal was opened, which was modernized in 1990 for the first time and reconstructed in the early 2000s. Shortly afterwards the former runway 12/30 and the military base in the east were cut off from the airport and are about to be reused for civil usage soon and today’s strip 07/25 was extended…
Written by Julian Mittnacht in cooperation with Enzo Gatullo and the whole PlanespottersBari Group. Last Update: Winter 2020
How was your trip? Rate this airport!
| (2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
|07/25||3000m x 45m – Asphalt|
|Terminals||There is only one terminal here which handles all flights.|
|Ladder||Although the usage of a ladder may be useful at some spots, it is not allowed to use any ladders along the fence at Bari. As the authorities are not used to see ladders along the fence here, they get very suspicious then and will cause problems!|
|Car/Public Transport||The terminal can be reached well by public transport, but the spots around the airfield cannot be reached by such services anymore. There you need a car as most routes are very long and not very safe to walk!|
|Restrooms||Only in the terminal for spots 2 and 3.|
|Drinks/Food||In the terminal you will find some facilities to refresh yourself. However, outside there is only a gas station in the southeast. Apart from this you will not find any shops or restaurants around here.|
|Hotels||No spotting hotels around here, but there is a collection of hotels southeast of the airport in the Europa village.|
|Season||Summer has bad light and heat haze due to hot temperatures, but therefore there is way more charter traffic. The winter is more comfortable for spotting, but also quiter.|
|Security||Spotting here is actually no problem, but in the east and southeast there are some police/military facilities (e.g. Guardia die Finanza) left, so keep a low profile there!|
|07/25||25 is the more common direction of usage here.|
|Spot #1 – SP204 – 25 Arrivals|
|WHERE||This spot can be found east of the airport along SP204. You can not park your car directly here, so you may rather park it at the gas station a few hundred meters south of the spot and then walk back here up north the busy street. Once you have reached a passenger crossing sign (shown below), you roughly reached the area we recommend to shoot from.|
|WHAT||Arrivals on runway 25 only. The runway is a bit elevated so you CANNOT shoot 25 Line-Ups!|
|TIME||Later morning till early afternoon.|
|MISC.||South of this spot is a gas station where you can grab some food/drinks. Keep a low profile as you are close to some police/military housings here, so do not use any ladder and keep your cam stowed for the time you do not need it.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||Depends on where you exactly stand, but 50-250mm will cover everything:
B737 on approach = ~90mm
|Spot #2 – Airside terminal – All runway + apron movements|
|WHERE||This spot is located inside the main passenger terminal and can only be reached WITH A VALID BOARDING PASS. It’s located AIRSIDE, so AFTER SECURITY CHECK. Just make your way before departure thru the checks and you will end up in a long terminal hall which’s glass front offers a great view with its windows.|
|WHAT||From here you can nicely see the apron in front as well the runway behind.|
|TIME||Depends on the angle and position you wanna shoot, but actually it can work all day around although midday is best.|
|MISC.||You can find all facilities inside this terminal like restrooms or foodshops. Heat haze is huge issue on the runway! The glass is only tinged in the northeastern end, the rest of the windows are ok.
Keep in mind, that you need a VALID BOARDING PASS to reach this spot, which is located AFTER SECURITY CHECK, so it’s AIRSIDE.
B738 on apron = 65mm / B734 on runway = 210mm
|Spot #3 – Terminal driveway – Western ramp + several runway movements|
|WHERE||This spotting position can be found just outside the terminal on the departure floor. Leave the facility and then you can choose:
1. Walk to the west, once the buildings on your right/north end, you will have a nice view onto the western apron from the sidewalk by the terminal driveway’s side.
2. Walk to the east, once the buildings on your left/north end, you will have to continue a bit on the sidewalk in order to get a clear view, but once the driveway starts making a right turn, you will have a nice view onto the eastern apron from the sidewalk.
|WHAT||Nice, but limited view onto the parts of the apron in front as well as the runway and taxiways behind.|
|TIME||Depends on what you wanna shoot. Some parking spots may be great in the early morning, but except that the taxiways/runway will be fine from the later morning till early afternoon.|
|MISC.||You can find all facilities inside this terminal like restrooms or foodshops. Heat haze is huge issue on the runway! Some poles, trees and ground equipment distrub your view, so spotting here is tricky.
Stand behind the barrier on the sidewalk and not on the street! Some drivers are very dangerous and furious here!
E190 on apron = 160mm
|Spot #4 – SP 210 South – All runway + nearby taxiway movements|
|WHERE||Take the SP210 south from the airport westwards for a long time and just where the street makes a little right-left turn next to a building airside, you have roughly reached the spot as you are next to taxiway from /to runway. Then you can just search your favourite position along the fence here either east or west of the taxiway leading to the treshold.|
|WHAT||All runway movements and also the nearby taxiway movements (runway vacations or line-ups).|
|TIME||Later morning till early afternoon, although turning aircraft on the taxiway to/off runway may also work in the morning or evening – depends on where you stand.|
|MISC.||You have to shoot thru the mesh or the aprongate with wider gaps here as a ladder is not allowed to be used.
Nothing around, therefore heat haze is a huge issue on hot days on the runway.
B757 taxiway backshot = 55mm
|Spot #5 – Approach south – 07 Arrivals|
|WHERE||This spot is actually just located along the fence south of the runway’s western head. Make your way to the runway head here either from the east on SP210 itsself or from the west on Str. Torre di Brengola and then just park your car by the raodside here somewhere. Afterwards you will just have to search your favourite positon around here regarding your favourite angle.|
|WHAT||You can nicely see 07 Arrivals from here.|
|TIME||Morning till late noon.|
|MISC.||Nothing around, nothing needed.|
A320 = 110mm
|Spot #6 – Str. Torre di Brengola – 07 Arrivals|
|WHERE||This spot can be found southwest of the airport just where Strada Torre di Brengola crosses the railway. Leave your car behind/next to the bridge here and shoot from its top on the sidewalk.|
|WHAT||From here you can only shoot 07 Arrivals nicely.|
|TIME||Morning till late noon.|
|MISC.||Nothing around, nothing needed. Be aware of faster passing trains below.|
|Spot #7 – Approach north – 07 Arrivals + Line-Ups|
|WHERE||This spot is actually just located along the fence north of the runway’s western head. Make your way to the runway head here either from the east on SP210 itsself or from the west on Str. Torre di Brengola and then just park your car by the raodside here somewhere. Afterwards you will just have to search your favourite positon around here regarding your favourite angle.|
|WHAT||You can nicely see 07 Arrivals from here and from the fence you can also shoot Line-Ups onto 07.|
|TIME||Only useable in summer on afternoons till sunset.|
|MISC.||Nothing around, nothing needed. Line-Ups have to be shot thru the mesh, heat haze however is a huge issue as well as the long grass sometimes.|
Global 6000 = 100mm
|Spot #8 – SP 210 North – All runway movements|
|WHERE||Take the SP210 north of the airfield from the big highway crossing in the north to the west. After Via Modugno meets with the SP210, you have reached the spot area. Park your car by the raodside or in the little parking bays by the side here and search your favourite position along the fence around here.|
|WHAT||All movements on the runway can be shot nicely from here. The taxiway and apron behind is mostly not the same level and thus parts are cut off (not to mention the crazy heat haze during the summer here).|
|TIME||Only useable in summer on afternoons till sunset.|
|MISC.||You have to shoot thru the mesh here as a ladder is not allowed to be used. Heat haze and high grass can destroy your pictures easily.
Take care when crossing the street as it is often very busy and you can get hurt easily due to the furios driving style.
A319 on runway = 95mm