Naples Capodichino Intl. Airport (NAP/LIRN) is located 7km northeast of Neapel itsself. With more than 10 million passenger in 2019, NAP is one of Italy’s most important airports and especially in the south a big hub as it connect the region to many internationally important hubs within Europe thanks to Lufthansa, Alitalia, British Airways, Brussels Airlines, Iberia, etc. flying from NAP to their homebases. Furthermore the airport serves many seasonal routes mostly flown by tourists, thus summer is the busier time of the year with Transavia flights to the Netherlands or routes to the UK and Scandinavia for example.
In addition, Naples is a NATO air base for the mediterranen region (thus mainly Navy ones) and that is the reason why you may see some USAF aircraft or other various air forces paying NAP a visit. In addition, Naples airport is also home to a local firefighter squadron with their CL415 in summer (in winter they move back to their maintenance base) and a huge maintenance facility can also be found in NAP’s north: Atitech. Thanks to this company, which is the largest privately owned MRO site in whole europe, there are many special and unregular arrivals into Naples Airport.
The airport was opened in 1910 as military airbase and was run for training operations and education till 1939. After it hosted Italian and alied troops and air forces during WW2, the airfield back a NATO and US Marines base on behalf of the local Italian forces in the 1950s. Today, NAP is still an important military airfield as the US forces moved their Navy headquarter from London to Naples in 2005. However, since 1950 it is also used partly as civil airport and the numbers exploded lately with a huge increase of passenger traffic. But as it is quite narrowly surrounded by living areas, museums and co, there are plans to develop the Salerno airfield roughly 50km south of Naples as second civil airport in order to reduce the pressure on NAP here. Let’s see, what future brings…
As spotting at Naples is very difficult for foreigners due to the local “rules” and Italian lifestyle it is always good to have a local backing you up. So we recommend on behalf of our local spotter/support Marco Macca, to contact some local spotters – feel free to get in touch with him:
Marco Macca | aviator_ita
Founder of Aviator_ita – Collaborator for Spotter Magazine and JP4 Mensile di Aeronautica e Spazio
Instagram: @aviator_ita +++ Facebook: Marco Macca
Written by Severin Hackenberger in cooperation with Marco Macca. Last Update: Fall 2021
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| (3 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
|06/24||2628m x 45m|
|Terminal 1||Although there are two parts/seperate facilities, there is only one terminal at NAP serving all airlines and routes.|
|Ladder||Useless and not allowed at NAP! The airport is surrounded by high walls and additional fences on top. A ladder does not pay off at all here and is just a very high risk in addition as police often circles around the field.|
|Car/Public Transport||Car definitely needed as the spots – except #1 – are hard to reach without.|
|Restrooms||Only in the terminal and shopping malls in the east. Maybe also some in the local cafés and restaurants.|
|Drinks/Food||In the shopping malls in the east or the terminal for sure. But there are also plenty little stores, snack shops and similar in the nearby villages and cities.|
|Hotels||There are some hotels south of the airport, plus various in the farer surrounding area.|
|Season||Summer is very hazy and has worse light, so we recommend winter here, although traffic is a bit calmer then.|
|Security||Spotting at Naples is difficult due to the local military, firefighterplane and maintenance base. The airport is often surrounded by military security services and the Italian police, so hide your camera at spot #2 especially!
Keep a low profile in addition as there are some gangs and thieves in the area!
|06/24||24 is in use almost all of the time due to the regular western winds from the seaside.|
|Spot #1 – Parking garage – 06/24 movements + Apron|
|WHERE||This spot can be found southwest of the terminal on the top floor of a pink/orange 6 storey parking garage. Just enter the garage from the northeast by leaving the terminal driveway “Viale F. Ruffo di Calabria” as marked on the map with your car, pay the parking fee and position yourself/your car wherever you want. In the end, just search your favourite position along the garage’s northwestern front.|
|WHAT||From here you can nicely shoot all 06 movements and in addition also 24 departures – light 24 arrivals may also vacate earlier. Furthermore, you have parts of the apron in front and the maintenance base in the background.|
|TIME||Runway has light from sunrise till early afternoon. Apron may only work till noon roughly or just after noon – depends on the exact movement/angle.|
|MISC.||Heat haze is a very big issue here – especially in summer. In addition you have foreground clutter, which may disturb your view onto the apron.
All you need is therefore close thanks to the nearby terminal.
A300 on apron = 85mm / C17 arrival = 140mm / A320 departure = 180mm
|Spot #2 – Spot #2 – Via Giovanni Pascoli – 24 Arrivals|
|WHERE||This spot is located just by the airport’s fence in the east. Just take “Via Giovanni Pascoli” towards the runway’s northeastern end and park your car in front of a car dealer store on the other side of the fence. This location can be found just north of the arrival path where the street starts to make a U-curve around the runway’s head.
Now you can also easily walk along the streetside onto the southern side of the runway axis.
|WHAT||Arrivals on runway 24 only.|
|TIME||Actually all day as you can switch sides by foot easily.|
|MISC.||Nothing around, keep a low profile as police and similar security services often patrol here! So you may be checked or sent away.|
F100 front shot = 180mm
|Spot #3 – McDonald’s – 24 Arrivals|
|WHERE||This spot is located on a little staircase in front of the “Yes Megastore” and can be reached best from SP1 by leaving for Casoria park shopping centre (then drive as marked on the map). You can leave your car in the parking of the local McDonald’s store, which can be found just behind the McDonald’s the building or in the Yes Megastore parking as well,but this was closed lately as the shop closed down as well. So rather head for the McDonald’s straight away and just park somewhere in a calm corner here. Then go back to the stairs in front of the Yes Megastore so you can see the Vesuvius in the far distance and shoot from around there…|
|WHAT||Arrivals on runway 24 only.|
|TIME||Afternoon till sunset.|
|MISC.||Haze can be an issue here as the distance is quite high. Therefore you do not have to be afraid of being sent away here by the military services.
You have a McDonald’s next to you with food and restrooms.
Spot #4 – MediaWorld parking – 24 Arrivals
|WHERE||This spot is just located in the parking of the MediaWorld, which can be found east of the airport just where A1 and SP1 meet. Enter the parking from the SP1 as marked on the map and search your favourite position somewhere in a calm corner of the parking area.|
|WHAT||Arrivals on runway 24 only.|
|TIME||From sunrise till early afternoon.|
|MISC.||In the MediaWorld next to you, you can find everything you need: food, drinks, snacks, shadow…
Sometimes the air is a bit hazy here, so be aware of that.