Mostly Harmless – The Zurich Airport Observation Deck
“Life, The Universe and Everything”
EDITORS NOTE – PICTURE HEAVY – LOTS OF PLANES!
- In the beginning I begun to write this trip report. This made a lot of people very angry, and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
- First action of being 42 – Coach 210, British Airways Galleries South
- BA710 London to Zürich in Club Europe
- A brief wander into Zürich featuring the Canon 50mm F1.2
- Mostly Harmless – The Zürich Airport Observation Deck
- The Aspire Lounge, Zürich Airport (B/D Dock)
- BA717 Zürich to London in Club Europe
- The Race, The Coach, The Cold
- Six by Nine? Forty Two?
I arrived back at the airport, and headed over to Check In Area 2, and headed to wards the departure area, following the signs for the viewing terrace.
And it’s pretty easy to find. Just follow the signs.
The viewing area has a basic entry package (which was only on offer that day) of CHF5 to enter. If you have a valid arriving or departing boarding pass – access to the viewing deck is free of charge – which is nice.
There’s also a shop there that’s deadly. How deadly? There was a 1/100 Swiss C Series CS100 that was calling to me for the best part of CHF100 (and a 777 for CHF129).
On certain days there are also various tours, and in the summer – access to the International E dock spotting area. This being winter and a Saturday, there were no ramp tours, and no access to E dock – which isn’t that bad if you have a 100-400mm lens. If you have a 70-200 though… bring a crop body camera with you.
The area is well thought out – with some seating, a play area, and clear line of sight to the taxiways and runways. Which if you’re going to take pictures – is really important.
Three runways were in use – an arrivals runway, a cross runway that runs diagonal to E Dock, and a runway being used for long haul departures.
But enough of the fluff. Let’s get onto the photos.
As usual, these are shot with my Canon 100-400 f4 L Series lens, attached to a Canon 6D. If you don’t know what it is, have a read here. In simple terms, it’s the lens I go to shoot pictures of planes with.
There was plenty of action on Runway 10/28 – with most of the European and short-haul departures heading off on it.
On Runway 16/34, the heavies were lining up for departure out of Zürich. You don’t need a big lens to get great shots out of these departures.
Views into the arriving runway from the B/D Dock observation point aren’t great to be honest unless you have a very long lens, and patience. It does pay off as you can see with this Qatar Airways Airbus A350 coming in on Runway 32/14
Qatar Airways A350 arriving, British Airways Airbus A320 pushing back.
But for the beauty shots, 34/16 were giving some of the bes results of the day.
In terms of age ranges, there were all sorts up on the deck. And even a snowman.
There’s also a cafe there – good for getting hot drinks on cold days (or sitting down editing pictures in the camera after freezing ones backside off outside)
Eventually, cold and the willingness to charge my electronics were close to winning the day. After a good 3 hours on the deck, I called it quits and headed for the exit.
And back into the warm.
Overall: Airports of the world – take a look at your visitors facilities and how you could improve them from this model. It was easy to access, a reasonable charge (or free), and had lots of great amenities (a children’s play area, a toilet and a cafe), as well as a lot of clear line of sight to aircraft.
Even in these security conscious days, facilities like this are possible – and work well when implemented correctly.
And Zürich Airport did this well.
Next: The Aspire Lounge.
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