Regarding passenger flights, my hometown airport Cologne / Bonn is only the seventh biggest in Germany, servicing some 12 million passengers per year (Frankfurt airport does some seven times more). Currently, there are Easter holidays – one of the peak travel periods of the year. Instead of likely half a million or more passengers per week, the airport just had 300 pax in the week of 6th April 2020. Covid-19 lead to a completely breakdown of civil aviation worldwide – instead of five million passengers in all Germany in the same week last year (no Easter), there were just 70,000 (a reduction of 98.5 per cent).
As I wanted to have some Covid-19-related topics on Flyctory.com this weekend, like my posting of the impact of the pandemic on Flyctory.com and myself as well as an interview with Lauren Jenkins, I took some time and hiked along the airport to do some pictures of the situation. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the planes currently parked feel to be around 14R/32L, which is right between the cargo terminal and the barracks of the German Air Force, so that you don’t have a direct view. There is some information, but it is majorly a Pictured Story with larger size pictures and less text. As the Wahner Heide, in which the airport is located, is simply a lovely natural reserve, I also put in some pictures of my walks on the end of this posting.
Cologne/Bonn Airport on a Map
Cologne/Bonn airport is located Southeast of the city of Cologne. Most of the airport is located in Cologne city limits (in the Southern borough of Porz), while the very Southern top belongs to the city of Troisdorf. I majorly used three areas / spots to take these pictures: The majority of the pictures have been taken around the North tip of the longest runway, 14L/32R. I took quite some pictures around the Northeast end of the quite frequently used crosswind 06/24. Very few pictures have been taken around the Scheuermühlenteich, near the Southwest tip of 06/24 and close to the Luftwaffe barracks. Unfortunately, this area is significantly lower than the airport and thus just has limited use for planespotting. I marked the three spots on the map below.
Impressions of Cologne Bonn Airport
From the North tip of the airport area, you have quite a good view over the area in front of the Terminals. At Terminal 2 (currently, as passenger flights are serviced from Terminal 1). The parking positions are used by Ryanair and Corendon. Some other planes are painted in the Braathens Regional Airline colors, but are in fact operated by the new German Airways.
From the east positions, you have a better look on the cargo terminal. Unfortunately, the majority of civil planes parked is behind that terminal. From that positions, I could also spot very few starts and landings like a plane by the German Luftwaffe, who is serving governmental flights, and FedEx – Cologne is Germany’s third largest cargo airport.
Waking a bit more towards the tip of the 06/24 runway showed up two Lufthansa Airbus on the termporary stands. You may approach them quite closely, but the view is rather bad – you can spot them much better from the opposite side of the runway.
The area around Scheuermühlenteich is beautiful for recreation, but unfortunately a bit limited in view. You do have some view on some military parking positions, which includes military planes as well as the ones the ones of the Flugbereitschaft, i.e. the ones used for governmental reasons.
Some Impressions of Wahner Heide
As said in the introduction, the area around the airport is a lovely natural reserve, the Wahner Heide (“Wahn Heath”). However, parts of the area have been used as military training area, so that you should not leave the marked hiking routes. Some parts of the forest areas, i.e. at the Southeast of the airport, are still having a that high concentration of old ammunition that they are strictly banned for public access.
The Scheuermühlenteich area is quite small and located between two limited access areas, the military barracks / military airport and the German Aviation & Aerospace Association DLR, but the area is beautiful.
In case you are interested, I have two of the hikes I took for the pictures on the German hiking (planner) platform komoot.de: