Though it just processes about a half of the number of passengers of Munich Airport and even just a third of the Frankfurt one, Dusseldorf Airport is, by that metric, the third largest airport in Germany. They also offer a couple of nice tours around their premises. A very special one is likel the Photo Tour, which combines a trip around Dusseldorf Airport with stops allowing you to step out of the bus and take some pictures of the planes and what is going on around air traffic. I took that tour in late September 2019.
DUS Photo Tour – Admission and Rules
Dusseldorf Airport offers a couple of tours for interested visitors. The Photo Tour costs 16 Euro. You also receive a parking ticket, which reduces an up to five hour parking at P8 of the airport to 5 Euro. Adults need to have their passport or ID for verification and safety reasons. All tours start at Gates A Visitor Counter, not too far away from security and the Lufthansa check-in desks. Interestingly, you do not pre-pay the tour, but receive an invoice from the airport some two weeks after the took and pay my money transfer. After the tour, you may also have the Airports terminal viewing area for free.
DUS Photo Tour – The Tour
The tour starts with a walk, as the buses are typically parked at the end of the terminal, C Gates, Arrival Level. The photo tour I attended had just three participants, including myself and was guided by two people, the bus driver and one additional colleague, likely to prevent us from running away. Ordinary transfer buses are used for the tour (which is quite nice as they offer quite some space). Before you enter the runway area, you and all the stuff you bring to the bus have to be checked in an ordinary hand luggage control. You also have to wear visitors passes.
The first area we visited was the General Aviation and Business Jet area. We also met a Hahn Air plane, which is serving the lowest capacity scheduled flight from Dusseldorf (to Luxembourg Airport). The guide explained a lot about the planes standing around and about the maintenance facillities.
Apron Positions and Runway
After leaving the General Aviation area, we passed the apron positions. We first watched the processing a at landing airplane, as a Sun Express plane had just arrived. Afterwards, we had a look at the parking positions for the turboprop machines, mainly by LGW / Eurowings.
The first photo stop was quite close to the runway, where the planes touch down when the runways are used in Northeasterly direction (which is rarely the case). You still had some nice views of starting and taxiing planes and could explore the on-ground traffic.
After we re-entered the bus, we were driving around the terminal building, for example seeing an Turkish Airlines A330 taxiing to the parking position. Again, the bus diver / guide gave a lot of details, some of them might of course be known to aviation nerds. There were a couple of planes around, e.g. the ANA flight to Tokyo.
Taxiway and Departing/Landing Planes
We passed the Dusseldorf Airport Fire Fighters and made it to the second photo stop on the opposite end of the runway. The place was again very nice to explore the ground traffic, but even better to focus on departing and landing planes. A really nice spot, where we had quite some time. I especially loved to watch the Sun-Air of Scandinavia planes, which I recently enjoyed due to their amazing service.
End of the Runways
The final stop, before we headed back to the C Gates on the landside part of the Terminal, was as close as you can get towards the end of the runways.
Watching the taking off and especially the touching down planes was amazing. Bad luck this time, but if the Emirates Airbus A380 makes it on time, you could even see its approach from that position. It was the shortest, but nevertheless the coolest stop of the three ones.
DUS Photo Tour – The Gallery
The major size versions of 291 pictures of the concerts are located in the travel gallery:
DUS Photo Tour – My View
The Dusseldorf Airport Photo Tour was just a great treat, not just for an aviation nerd like me. We almost spent two hours in a very relaxed atmopshere. The bus driver could explain almost everything about the airport, the planes and the flights operated. These two hours were just an amazing value for money, which I can absolutely recommend – even if I appreciate that you might be less lucky than me regarding the size of the group.
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