Dübendorf Air Base (IATA: none / ICAO: LSMD) is a military airport located in the nord-east of Zurich. It was a very important base for several military squadrons and also for civil aviation. The first flight took off from here back in 1910. The civil aviation moved to Zurich LSZH and Dübendorf changed to a fully military base. Jet aircraft dominated LSMD from 1960 until 2005. 2003 the last Mirage III RS took off from Dübendorf and 2005, the last FA18 of the 11 fighter squadron went to there new home Meiringen.
Today Dübendorf is the only Swiss Air Force base in Eastern Switzerland and it is under the responsibility of the Air Base Command 2 in Alpnach. The Air Transport Command 3 and 4 found there home in the Hangar 10 and 11 in the north of airport.
With the Super Puma, Cougar and the EC635, Dübendorf is the home of several Pilatus PC-6 Porter, Pilatus PC-7 Trainer and the Swisstopo fleet. T-721 Beechcraft 350 and T-741 DHC-6 Twin Otter are here for federal office of cartography. The two Swisstopo aircraft are located in the Hangar 11 and 12. The LTDB (Lufttranspordienst des Bundes) are present with their CL60 T-751/2 in Hangar 11.
Next to the military aircraft, REGA has one H145 in the south of the airfield on the REAG base and the Police (KAPO) has one single AS350 HB-ZKZ based in Hangar 1.”
LSMD Tower: 118.975
LSMD Approach: 134.925
Written by Lars Kampfer. Last update May 2021
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| (11 votes, average: 4.64 out of 5)
|11/29||2,355m (7,726ft) – Asphalt|
|11R/29L||650m (2,133ft) – Grass|
|Ladder||Needed at spots 1,6,10 and 11.|
|Car/Public Transport||Except for spots 4 and 5, a car is recommend, even if its possible to get to most of the other ones by public transport and by foot.|
|Restrooms||Only available in the Fliegermuseum spot 9.|
|Drinks/Food||Drinks and food available at spot 1, 8, 9, 10 and 13.|
|Hotels||There are plenty of hotels in all different price categories east of the airport.|
|Season||We suggest March – October, chance of bad weather in winter is pretty high.|
|11/29||Main runway for all operation. Used in all direction depending on the wind, but they prefer landings on RW29 due to Zurich LSZH outbound routes.|
|11R/29L||Used in all direction depending on the wind. Only with dry conditions. Normally only the PC-6 Porter use the grass runway for there missions. Also the DHC-6 Twin Otter T-741 use this runway, but very rarely.|
|WHERE||By car: Drive on the Zürcherstrasse until you see the “Autopark Hegnau” and the OTTO’S supermarket. Then join the Büelstrasse to the three parking spots. Please read the parking description on the map to park there.
By bus: Take the bus 756 from Dübendorf until Dübendorf, Heidenrietstrasse. Then walk along the Zürcherstrasse until you see the “”Autopark Hegnau”” and the OTTO’S. Then cross the street and walk down the Büelstrasse until you reach the spot along the fence. Walk takes you around 10 minutes.”
|WHAT||Arrival and departure RW29.|
|TIME||11:00 until sunset.|
|MISC.||Ladder is of advantage. You can also shot trough the fence, but you could have problem with your lense. There is a OTTO’S supermarket next to the spot.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||150-300mm, A310/321 70-300mm|
|WHERE||Same parking as spot 1. You start your walk at spot 1 and continue along the fence direction east until you see a military shelter on the right side. If you have reached the shelter, walk up and choose one of them. Walk takes you around 3 minutes.|
|WHAT||Arrival and departure RW29.|
|TIME||Line-up: Sunrise until 12:00 Arrival: 11:00 until sunset.|
|MISC.||Ladder not necessary. Due to the shelter you have a clean view on the action on the runway and in the approach. Next to spot 1 you have the OTTO’S supermarket.|
|WHERE||By car: Drive on the Zürcherstrasse and turn into the Büelstrasse. Then turn left and continue on the Büelstrasse until you reach the animal shelter. You will see the parking spots on the right side of the Büelstrasse. Please read the parking description on the map to park there.
By bus: Take the bus 725 from Schwerzenbach until Volketswil, Hegnau. Then walk the Usterstrasse down, join the Zürcherstrasse and cross the street to the Büelstrasse. Walk takes you around 12 minutes.”
|TIME||11:00 until sunset.|
|MISC.||You have clear view of the approach. Take everything you need with you, no shop next to the spot.|
|WHERE||Drive on the Hegnaustrasse which runs parallel to the Autobahn A15 until you see the two parking spots. From the Autobahn take exit 3 “Hegnau” to get on the Hegnaustrasse. Please read the parking description on the map to park there. Follow now the blue line by foot on the map to reach the spot 4. Walk takes you around 5 minutes. Remind you will walk on a (dirty) field without a marked way.”|
|WHAT||Arrival and departure RW29.|
|TIME||Sunrise until 10:00. Due to sun position, overcast weather is the best to visit spot 4.|
|MISC.||You have a clear view of the approach and the action on the runway. Take everything you need with you, no shop next to the spot.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||450-600mm, for A310 200-250mm.|
|WHERE||From spot 4 drive on the Hegnaustrasse westwards until you see a gravel path next to the street. Park your car there and choose your spot along the Hegnaustrasse.|
|TIME||Sunrise until 09:00. Only in summer due to sun position.|
|MISC.||Ladder not necessary. You have a clean on the departing aircraft. If you don’t have time to walk to spot 6, the spot 5 is the best for departing aircraft on RW11, Take everything you need with you, no shop next to the spot.|
|WHERE||By car: East: Drive on the Hegnaustrasse until you see the Arbeitsheim on your left side. West: Drive on the Brüttisellerstrasse, Im Oberdorf and join the Hegnaustrasse. On the right side you see the Arbeitsheim. You can choose between parking on the Arbeitsheim parking or in the gras next to the Chüeweg.
Please read the parking description on the map to park at the Arbeitsheim. Follow the Chüeweg until you reach the spot along the fence. Walk takes you between 3 to 12 minutes depending to the spot A,B or C.By bus: Take the bus 759 from Dübendorf until Wangen, Stierwisen or the bus 796 from Wangen-Brüttisellen until Wangen, Hätzelwisen. Follow the Zelglistrasse and join the Chüeweg until you reach the spot along the fence. Walk takes you between 12 to 20 minutes depending to the spot A,B or C.
|WHAT||6A: All movements in front of the hangar 10/11/12.
6B: Arrival and departure of the helicopter and taxiing of the Super Puma and the airplane on taxiway Bravo.
6C: Departure RW11 and taxiing air plane on taxiway Bravo.
|TIME||Sunrise until 12:00|
|MISC.||Ladder is advantageous, You can also shot trough the fence, but the taxiway is very close and you could have problem with your lense. Take everything you need with you, no shop next to the spot.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||6A: 50-400mm , 6B 40-400mm and 6C 100-300mm|
|WHERE||By car: Drive on the Wangenstrasse and turn into the Bachstrasse. On your left there are several parking spots. If the spots are full on the Bachstrasse, check the Birkenweg for more parking space. Please read the parking description on the map to park there.
Cross the Wangenstrasse and turn left after the Innovationspark between the hangar and the fence until the end. Walk takes you around 5 minutes.By bus: Take the bus 759 from Dübendorf until Dübendorf, Innovationspark. Walk to the Innovationspark. Then turn left and follow the way between the hangar and the fence until the end. Walk takes you around 4 minutes.
|WHAT||Arrival and departure Hangar 1. It is for HB-ZKZ AS350 only, expect no other movements from there.|
|TIME||14:00 until sunset.|
|MISC.||Ladder is advantageous, but for now not really needed. There are concrete barrier to climb on. From there you can see over the fence.|
|WHERE||By car: Drive on the Wangenstrasse and turn into the Rechweg. After the trees on your right side, turn into the parking spot. Walk some meters back to the Rechweg and find your spot between the trees to get a good view.
By bus: Take the bus 759 from Dübendorf until Dübendorf, Flugplatz. Walk along the Wangenstrasse and cross the Rechweg. Find your spot between the trees to get a good view.
|MISC.||During summer season you have to find your spot to see trough the trees. Best time to go there is from October until April. There is a bakery “Steiner”” 2 minutes away direction south on the right side of the Wangenstrasse,
Other option is to continue along the Wangernstrasse to the train station, there are several shops.
|WHERE||By car: Drive on the Überlandstrasse and turn into the Fliegermuseum parking spot when you see the Patrouille Suisse F-5 Tiger.
By bus. Take the train to Dübendorf Station and walk along the Überlanstrasse until you the Patrouille Suisse F-5 Tiger. Cross the street and walk to the main entrance of the Fliegermuseum.
|WHAT||Museum of the Swiss Air Force history.|
|TIME||If you wish to visit the museum, then please refer to the times/dates available on their website.|
|MISC.||To visit the museum you need to pay at the main entrance of the museum. The price for 6-16 year old kids is 6 CHF, adults are 15 CHF. For current prices and information visit the website.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||Smaller you have the best it is.|
|WHERE||By car: Drive on the Überlandstrasse until the roundabout with the mosquito on it. Leave the roundabout in direction north “”Air Force Center””. Park your car along the road and walk over the field to the fence.. Please read the parking description on the map to park there.
By bus: Take the bus 756 from Dübendorf until Dübendorf, Lindenbühl. Walk along the Überlandstrasse direction west and walk to the spot after the roundabout. Walk takes you around 6 minutes.
|WHAT||Arrival and departure RW11R/29L grass and the REGA base. For movements on the grass runway you must go to the fence. For military and REGA helicopter movements you could also stay on the road next to your car.|
|MISC.||Ladder is advantageous. On the other side of the Überlandstrasse is a LIDL supermarket.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||450-550mm, REGA base 25-150mm|
|WHERE||By car: Drive on the Überlandstrasse until you see the Auto Center Gfenn. Turn direction of the airfield into the spot 11 parking area. There is a fence door, but always open. Please read the parking description on the map to park there.
By bus: Take the bus 756 from Dübendorf until Dübendorf, Lindenbühl. Cross the Überlandstrasse to the spot. Walk takes you around 1 minutes.
|WHAT||Arrival RW29L gras and departure RW11.|
|TIME||RW29L: Noon until sunset. RW11: 10:00 until 16:00.|
|MISC.||Ladder is advantageous. Just stay next to your car or at the fence. Take everything you need with you, no shop next to the spot.|
|WHERE||By car: Drive on the Zürcherstrasse until you see a small road going direction north to the fence next to an old fashioned farmer house and a big tree. Please read the parking description on the map to park there.
By bus: Take the bus 756 from Dübendorf until Dübendorf, Heidenrietstrasse. Cross the Zürcherstrasse to the spot. Walk takes you around 2 minutes.
|WHAT||Arrival and departure RW11/29. Ladder is advantageous if you stay at the fence. If you stay on the little hill next to the street a ladder is not necessary.|
|TIME||10:00 to sunset.|
|MISC.||There is a shop at the filling station spot 13.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||400-600mm, A310 180-250mm.|
|WHERE||By car: Drive on the Zürcherstrasse until you see the filling station (Gfenn Benzin). Turn into the Büelstrasse or park your car on the official parking spot of the filling station. Please read the parking description on the map to park there.
By bus: Take the bus 756 from Dübendorf until Dübendorf, Heidenrietstrasse. Walk along the Zürcherstrasse direction east until you see the filling station. Cross the Zürcherstrasse to the spot. Walk takes you around 5 minutes.
|WHAT||Arrival and departure RW11/29. Ladder is advantageous if you stay at the fence. If you stay on the road or at the terrace of the filling station a ladder is not necessary.|
|TIME||10:00 to sunset.|
|MISC.||There is a shop at the filling station.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||150-450mm, A310 150-250mm.|
Good evening Stefan.
Thanks for the question. We will extend this guide with this information.
But to answer your question:
The base is open from Monday to Friday. Starting from 0800-1200 and 1315-1700.
There are some days with additional night training sessions. But only for helicopter.
On sunny days also both swisstopo plane could fly one mission in the morning and the afternoon each.
The CL60 fly several mission during the week. But best chance to catch is by end of the week. Normally they fly on Thursday or Friday to Kosovo for KFOR mission. Departing in the morning and arriving in the early afternoon.
T-741 and T-721 mostly fly on sunny day for swisstopo mission. During spring they perform a lot of pilot training mission on Twin Otter and B350.
Best is to keep an eye on ADSB radar and take a look for T721/741 and T751/752. PC-6/7 are not on ADSB.
Hope this will answer your question. Greets Lars
Thank you very much. This will help for my visit, I will only be there two days mainly at Zurich. But also planning the visit the museum and of course the port itself. Very helpful.
Are there any preferred times to catch the based planes? Do they have brakes like midday and weekends?
But a very good and well done guide. Thanks for that.