Monday, June 17, 2013

Amsterdam Schiphol - The worlds best aircraft spotting place?

Some people have said that Amsterdam-Schiphol airport is probably the worlds best airport for aircraft spotting. For the ones that don't know, what exactly is aircraft spotting?

Wikepedia says an airplane spotter is: "A person observing and logging aircraft registration numbers". We must however go back in time to find the origin of plane spotting. During WWII the Royal Air Force used a large number of volunteers to observe incoming aircraft. Due to the lack of radar at that time, the information gathered by these volunteers was critical in planning and executing defensive counter measures. 

Today aircraft spotting is however a peaceful hobby which can be practiced in many different ways; some are only interested in military aircraft others in airliners, general aviation aircraft or even disused airplane wrecks. Among all of these, we find  again a few different categories; photographers, people who are only writing down registrations, people listening in on the air band frequencies and a combination of all of the above.

Even though I do not call myself a "spotter", I do admit that I can probably be given the die hard aviation enthusiast tittle.

Fokker F100 on the rooftop observation deck at Schiphol airport

One of the more popular places to observe the departing and arriving airliners at Schiphol airport, is an extensive observation deck on top of one of the passenger terminals. The image above is of a KLM Fokker F100 sitting on the deck. The retired airliner can be visited by young and old. All for the great price of "free"!

I immediately asked myself why not more airports have a similar setup? After all it is probably one of the best ways to promote aviation. I'm convinced that kids visiting these places, often develop an interest in aviation and then as a result become pilots, engineers, cabin crew, etc... My "Aviation Photography" obviously plays an important role in this!

Beside the observation deck, Schiphol airport has plenty of places around the airport where one can watch and/or photograph the airliners landing and taking-off. These places often have no fences, but rather a small canal that avoids people getting to close. What a concept!

A complete list of the best viewing places at Schiphol airport can be found at the Schipholspotter website.

More Airliner images by Bjorn Moerman Photography, can be found here.

Fly safe and click that shutter,

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