Torrejón Air Base (TOJ/LETO) is located in the East of Madrid, near Barajas Intl.Airport, and was built in 1953 – once it had the longest runway in Spain. It was an USAF + Spanish AF joint venture base from 1988 until 1991. However suince then till now, it is still only serving as airforce base for Spannish AF and one of the most important of the SAF.
Here you can see based aircraft as some spanish F18s, spanish kingdom airplanes, Guardia Civil helicopters/planes and some waterbombers from the ALA43. If you are lucky, you may also see some rare visitors as this airport is sometimes approached by foreign military/cargo airplanes or governmental jets – such as IAF B707 or Air India B747 did already for example.
Written by Severin Hackenberger, Juan Manuel Gibaja and Björn Düwel. Last change: May 2023 (Spot 3 updated, Spot 4 added)
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| (8 votes, average: 4.25 out of 5)
|04/22||3657m / 11998 ft|
|Ladder||Not needed and recommended.|
|Car/Public Transport||Only type of public transport to get to the locations is taking a taxi, uber or cabify. Car is needed to get around for sure, but be careful with the places where you cannot go to by car.|
|Restrooms||Towards the city of Torrejón you can find plenty restaurants/supermarkets, where you can find restrooms, too.|
|Drinks/Food||Towards the city of Torrejón you can find plenty restaurants/supermarkets, but the best and easiest option is the mall west of the airport.|
|Hotels||Plenty in the city, but no real “spotterworthy” hotel.|
|Season||Winter may be better due to nicer light and calmer, cooler weather. Summer is hot and hazy.|
|Security||Although this airfield is serving as a military air base, spotters normally don’t have any problems here. However, we can just recommend you to carry an ID with you at all time in order to be safe if they check you. In addition, keep a low profile and don’t break the road restrictions around the airport – some are marked on the map. If you break the restrictions and the police caughts you, they may make you pay the fine of up to 600€! That’s why rather go some steps by foot…|
|04/22||Usual configuration is arrivals on RWY22 and takeoffs on RWY04 due to Barajas Approach, which runs southwest of Torrejon air base.|
|Spot #1 – Dog Pound – 22 Arrivals|
|WHERE||This spot can be found at the northeastern end of the airfield and is hard to reach due to road restrictions. Be careful and do not enter any tracks with your car you are not allowed to as the fines are up to 600€ – here it is the bridge which is not supposed to be crossed!
You will have to take the bridge a bit to the south (“Calle Buenos Aires”) and drive up to the farest point in this industrial area – a roundabout, where you can leave the car. Then walk to the mentioned restricted street (only restricted for unauthorized cars, not pedestrians) and follow it until you see the ILS lights. However, you can freely choose your position in the area then there regarding your favourite angle and light.
|WHAT||Arrivals on runway 22.|
|TIME||Best in in the morning till late noon.|
|MISC.||There´s nothing to buy there, be sure you have something to drink or eat before you go. You will be on the meadow in the middle of nowhere.
TAKE CARE NOT TO TAKE THE WRONG ROAD AND THEREBY BREAK ROAD RESTRICTIONS!
|Spot #2 – Dirt mounds – 22 Arrivals + Departures|
|WHERE||This spot can be found in the middle of nowhere; west of the northern end of runway 04/22 on the opposite side of the Tower on some little dirt mounds along the highway. It is extremely hard to reach as well due to road restrictions for cars all around here. If you break them and the police arrives, they make you pay a fine up to 600€! So rather take these options:
As you see, this spot is very hard to reach – especially without car you don’t have a chance to get into this area at all…
|WHAT||All runway 22 movements as well as line-ups. You can see some hangars, the Tower or the Military Terminal – but do NOT photograph them!|
|TIME||Afternoon till sunset.|
|MISC.||There´s nothing around here, be sure you have something to drink or eat before you go. You will be on the meadow, where you have to be careful, even if they are not right, police can make you leave.
In summer, you will have heat haze here. Take care and keep a low profile. Keep an eye out for car drive restrictions.
|Spot #3 – Field – 04 Arrivals + 22 Departures|
|WHERE||This spot is located at the southern end of the airfield between the fence and motorway “A2”. It can be reached best by car from the west as shown on the map by turning off “M108” onto a little road which will lead you then to this position. However, we don’t know till which position you are allowed to drive here – take care to not pass any signs with enter restrictions (most likely the “Via Pecuaria” signs), otherwise you may face high fines (up to 600€). Luckily this spot is no exact position, rather can be found in this area around there, so no need to exactly drive to an exact point.
The safest option is to park the car in the Calle Brasil, next to the A-2. Then this spot can also be reached through a small pedestrian tunnel under highway A-2 from Calle Brasil / Calle los Curas in Torrejón de Ardoz.
|WHAT||Arrivals on runway 04 and maybe also heavy 22 departures – both are quite rare.|
|TIME||Best in in the morning till late noon.|
|MISC.||Nothing around here. Take care and keep a low profile. Keep an eye out for car drive restrictions. Shops in Torrejón de Ardoz or in the large mall on the opppsite site of the runway|
|Spot #4 – Shopping Mall – 04 arrivals and 22 departures|
|WHERE||Follow M-108 to centro comercial. Park your car where ever you like on the huge parking lot. There is a small green strip between the parking lot and the M-108 road. You can postion yourself where you like. Planes are still high enough so no ladder it needed.|
|WHAT||Arrivals on runway 04 and 22 heavy departures. Smaller aircraft like Fighter Jets, Firebombers and Falcons tend to do a very sharp turn when approaching in order to avoid the approach path of Barajas Airport, so they will fly just over your head or turn in front of you. Thats why this position is mostly useful for larger planes.|
|TIME||Summer only. From around 5 pm until sunset.|
|MISC.||Large mall is just some meters away with everything you need. Enough shadow available.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||100-300 mm|