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Lima Jorge Chavez Airport Spotting Guide
Jorge Chavez Internacional Aiport (LIM / SPJC) is the principal Airport of Peru and It is one of the most important airports in South America for both passenger transport and air cargo. It stands out for its enormous projections in the connection of flights between the Americas and uts strategic location has made it an important hub of the subcontinent. Serves more than 22,000,000 passengers and its cargo movement is 280000 TM per year. (LIM / SPJC) It’s located in the city of Callao, near the metropolitan area of Lima. Currently it has only one runway where civil and military traffic is handled. The airport has national routes to all the main cities of the country and international routes to the main cities of South America, Central America, North America and some others in Europe. Currently serves as HUB to the Avianca and LATAM Airlines.
Common airlines are Avianca, LATAM Airlines, Sky Airlines, JetSmart, Vivaair and Volaris, using mainly Airbus single aisle aircraft. From Europe you can see Air France, KLM, Iberia, Air Europa and PLUS. Furthermore you can catch all other major carriers from North and South America Some cargo airlines also arrive with B747, MD11, MD10, B767, B757, B737, An32, B727, but it is a bit unpredictable to know the exact arrival time.
This airport is the main operations center of the Star Peru and Peruvian Airlines airlines, airlines that operate with B737-300, B737-400 and B737-500 aircraft, as well as other airlines such as Wayra Peru that operates with Fokker 70, ATSA Peru operating with aircraft, Fokker 50, Beechcraft and Piper.
Don’t solely depend on the flight tracking websites to track arrivals. Most of the military traffic and ATSA don’t publish their ADSB data so they can pop up unexpectedly.
The area all around the runway was extra fenced recently by the airport/state, so reaching the fence got impossible now. Unluckily thus Lima spotting crew lost the best spot, but no way to get there now. Fenced and thus restricted area marked on the map.
Written by Clive Grant and Aldo Martinelli, Diego Jara. Last change: March 2023 (Spot 1 and 2 updated).
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| (3 votes, average: 4.33 out of 5)
|16L/34R||3.507 m (11,506 ft) Asphalt|
|16R/34L||3.480 m (11,417 ft) Asphalt|
|Terminals||One for all flight operations.|
|Ladder||Not required at any of the described locations|
|Car/Public Transport||Car is recommended / required since all locations are far from the terminal and public transport options are very limited and it is not so easy and safe to arrive. You can rent a taxi for a few hours (cheap) and use it to ‘hide’ while not taking photos.|
|Restrooms||In position # 3 there is a gas station and there restrooms.|
|Drinks/Food||Recommended to bring snacks and drinks.|
|Hotels||The Costa del Sol Hotel and the Holiday Inn Airport Hotel is right across from the terminal.|
|Season||The best time is in the months between November and April, the other months the weather is not pleasant.|
|Security||Note: This airport is in a dangerous area because the danger of theft is very prone, please, when taking photographs at this airport try to go in a group, no robberies have been reported to the spotters, but many robberies have been reported to the people of the surroundings.
It is recommended that you hide your equipment and personal items at all times, because there is the possibility of attracting criminals.
It is recommended not to access any other place that is not marked on the location map to take pictures, because could dangerous.
|16L/34R||Major runway for arrivals, mainly on 16L|
|16R/34L||New runway opened April 2023. Major runway for departures, mainly on 16R|
|Spot #1 – Gambetta Highway – 16L arrivals|
|WHERE||This location is located on a side road of the Nestor Gambetta highway, To get to this point by private car from North to South, leaving the terminal turn left, continue until you reach an oval, turn by the roundabout and enter the Nestor Gambetta road. Then leave the higway and turn right into the small auxiliary road and after few meters there is a bus stop by the road. This is where you can park the car and take the photos from the sidewalk. If you approach from the south, pass the location and turn around at the roundabout. The spot can be very noisy, very dusty and very, very exposed and you might feel very vulnerable there.
In this case it is possible to stay further down the track on a gravel parking area, next to some trees. This area can be full of cars of people just parking and taking rests. But that again provided reassurance, and there is also security guards right by the building next to the trees which did the same. We felt quite comfortable here, we didn’t feel conspicuous and we could see every vehicle coming up as there was no way to approach from behind. The only disadvantage is that you see the arrivals very late.
The way to get there by public transport is to take an informal minibus in front of the airport from the south to the north (it will cost S / 1.00 Pen / $ 0.30 Centavos de dollar), ask to get off at the stop ” Aguki ”, and walk some meters to the oval and turn left on the Nestor Gambetta road walk a few meters and reach the bus stop on the road. Also In taxi
|WHAT||You can take pictures from there to the planes in final approach to runway 16L in the afternoon.|
|TIME||From noon and Afternoon until sunset in Spring and Summer only.|
|MISC.||There are no bars or snack bars, take sunscreen. At the end of the track there are some trees providing shadow.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||A330/763 = 50mm; 737/320 = 100mm; 777/747 = 30mm|
|Spot #2 – Gas Station – 16L arrivals|
|WHERE||This location is a few meters from Elmer Faucett Avenue, it is a position for photos in the morning until noon. To get to this point by private transport it is from South to North, leaving the terminal turn left, continue until you reach an oval, turn by the oval and return to Elmer Faucett Avenue in the North to South direction, enter the station of services ” Primax ”, enter two blocks through the dirt road until you reach a small snack shop, there you can park and take photos. In public transport, take an informal minibus in front of the airport from the south to the north (it will cost S / 1.00 Pen / $ 0.30 Centavos de dollar), ask to get off at the stop ” Aguki ”, and cross the track, walk two blocks through the dirt road until you reach a small snack shop. Also by taxi indicating to take it to the ”óvalo 200 millas”|
|WHAT||You can take pictures from there to the planes in final approach to runway 16L in the morning. Usually lorries parking up on the fence which obscured our view of the approach. In this case move a bit further back the road to get a better view of the approach path if you don’t wanna miss the possibility to photograph an unexpected (military) movement.|
|TIME||From early morning to noon.|
|MISC.||There is a small snack shop at the gas station. Snacks, drinks and a toilet is provided. There are also places where you can cover yourself from the sun. Most people in this area going about their work and other than a few odd glances we didn’t feel unsafe, though we remained vigilant. There were always plenty of people around and you’re right next to a petrol station so there was some reassurance from that.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||A330/763 = 80mm; 737/320 = 120mm; 777/747 = 60mm|
|Spot #3 – Gas station / Market – 16L arrivals|
|WHERE||This position is located in a gas station, a few meters from the oval of Elmer Faucett Avenue. To get to this point by private transport it is from South to North, leaving the terminal turn left, continue until you reach an oval, enter the service station and park in the parking lots. Also by taxi indicating to take it to the ”óvalo 200 millas”|
|WHAT||You can take pictures from there to the planes in final approach to runway 16L in the morning.|
|TIME||From early morning to noon.|
|MISC.||There is a market, where there is also a restaurant, bathrooms, atm, places to sit and rest.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||A330/763 = 30mm; 737/320 = 70mm; 777/747 = 18mm|
|Spot #4 – “La Regla” Hill – Arrivals 16L|
|WHERE||This spot can be found of the local hill called “La Regla” north of the airport boundaries. Although it takes a bit to get there the results are really worth the climbing as you’ll have a spectacular view. You can get there walking from Elmer Faucett Avenue, but there are two ways to climb the hill – both marked on the map.
Way 1: Go up some stairs at the southern side, then climb the slope carefully because there are no railings.
Way 2: Access is through the back of the hill through a cemetery, then climb the hillside by a marked path, be careful because there are no safety railings.
|WHAT||You can take pictures from there to the planes in final approach to runway 16L.|
|TIME||From early morning to noon with light or in the evening as nice sunset shots. Only useable in summer and then mostly from sunrise till morning and then in the late afternoon till sunset.|
|MISC.||Area is a bit unsafer and heat haze is also a big problem, so rather only recommended in the early morning/late evening = extreme hours as it’s very hot and the photos will be distorted. On this site there are no bathrooms, no shops nearby, there is no shade, wear sunscreen.
Important recommendations: Do not go alone, this site is located in a dangerous area, there is a lot of danger being stolen, going in a group and staying away from unknown people, hiding personal belongings at all times, leaving if suspicious activity is detected.
B737 or A319 = 250mm / B767 or A330 180mm / B777 or B747 130mm
|Spot #5 – Minka Mall Parking – 16L departures|
|WHERE||The spot is located in the parking of the pretty huge Minka mall. Once arrived there go to the second floor of the parking lot.|
|WHAT||This spot is for the RWY16L departures. The airport is not visible from here.|
|TIME||From 2pm to 6:30pm in summer.|
|MISC.||The spot is located on a mall, so you’ll have all the facilities of being here (there are many restaurants, stores and bathroom to access). If possible be in a car and keep low profile. There are no problems with police but the security of the mall will check you and some of them could ask you to leave.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||For narrow body planes 300-400mm, for widebody planes between 150 and 300mm|