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DTM / EDLW-Spotting / Spotting in Dortmund (updated March 2009)
AVIATION TOP 100 - www.avitop.com

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How to find
- "Catering" - Traffic - Frequencies - Spotting

Intro & short summary of DTM

Dortmund is an ambitious and modern international airport in the east part of the Rhein-Ruhr-Area ("Ruhrgebiet"). It had above 2.3 million passengers in 2008 and more than 38.000 flight movements which turns Dortmund into the third biggest airport in NRW.

In summer 2009 there are more than 40 destinations to aproach from DTM. 

From 2004 to 2008 DTM was an EasyJet Base which included 4 aircrafts. From 2008/09 on, this has been significantly reduced - in summer 2009 only 5 destinations will be approached.

Wizz Air from Hungary is now flying to 10 destinations in Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine.

Since 2006 there's a new maintenance line of Nayak Aircraft Services at Dortmund, which generates some additional flights of (so far) ATRs (Dolomiti, Alitalia), BAe's, Hawker and even DC-3 to the airport.

On the other site Air Berlin has reduced its flights in Dortmund over the last years and also LH / exEW reduced their dedication here - in fact LH replaced their services with their subsidiary Germanwings.

The airport data can for example be found on this site

Some airport overviews: 

How to find the airport - map and overview

This is a rough overview map to help you to find the Airport of Dortmund:

map overview

If you come from Essen/Duesseldorf/Duisburg you have to use the A40 in direction Dortmund.

If you come from direction Hannover/Kassel take the A44/B1 from junction Dortmund/Unna in direction Bochum/Essen.

From Cologne/Wuppertal you can choose the A45/B1 or the A1/A44/B1 (same from direction Bremen) to the Airport.

The airport is now signposted very well and should be easy to find. For a more detailed overview please use this or this map.  (both maps Regionalverband Ruhrgebiet, Essen). You can also use these two maps for a comparison with the aerial views of the positions described below.

If you decide to travel by train, please use the bus shuttle from Dortmund Central Station (Hbf.) to the Airport. Here's a schedule (pdf). It costs 5,50 and takes 22 minutes to travel.

The other possibility is to leave the train at Holzwickede and get a shuttle bus from there to the Airport (more here). It takes only 5-8 minutes and leaves every 20 minutes between 5:00 and 22:30. It costs you 1,50.

Another possibility is the U47 from Central Station to Aplerbeck and then the bus 440. (see www.dsw.de/ )

Regionalverband Ruhrgebiet, Essen
aerial overview This is a complete aerial overview of DTM.

The airport is situated in the east part of Dortmund near the road B1/A44. In the south of it is the town of Holzwickede, in the northwest Dortmund-Asseln, in the northeast Dortmund-Wickede.
Picture Regionalverband Ruhrgebiet, Essen


In the terminal building you'll find a small shop and a self service restaurant in the departure level, a normal restaurant in the upper (observation-deck-) level and a bar on the arrival floor.

South of the airport (direction Holzwickede) there's a McDonalds Restaurant (McDrive, see aerial views down on this site: "McD") and if you drive towards Unna, you'll find a kiosk not too far away from position 1.


What can you expect? Traffic

It can be very lazy sometimes in DTM... Avoid Saturday and Sunday, except you know what you want to see! Best traffic days are monday and friday. You could see the following planes depending on the valid flight plan.

- some Air Berlin (mostly 738, 1 based)
- some EasyJet (A319, may be rarely a B733)
- Wizz Air (A320)(very nice c/s !)
- Germanwings (A319)
- Sun Express (B738)
- Bulgarian Air Charter (MD-82/83)
- Nouvelair (A321)
- Turkuaz Airlines (A320)
- Blue Wings (A320)
- Sky Airlines (B738, B734)
- AtlasJet (mostly A320)
- Sun Express (B738)
- Germania (B733 on a regular base beginning summer '08)


- some traffic to the NAYAK Aircraft Services base (ATR-42, Hawker, BAE 146, ATR-72, even a DC-3 has been there)
- may be an helicopter (MD-900, EC155 (based @ DTM), BK117(based @ DTM), Bell 222 of Police or HSD - or just for refueling)
- some private (GA) traffic (Cessna Citation, Cessna172Socata, Falcon usw.)
- rarely a freighter (AN-12, AN24/AN-26, AN-74, Electra, DC-6, F-27, Metro, ATR-42) mostly delivering parts for OPEL Bochum
there is also an old AN-2 based in DTM for roundtrips.

Sometimes there are visitors at DTM. You may see Hamburg International, Thomas CookOnur Air (A320, A321), Welcome Air, Pegasus (B734 or 738) or Ju-52 for round trips. From time to time there are visitors bringing football clubs for a match against the team of BvB (Borussia Dortmund) or diversions from FMO or PAD (especially in autumn / wintertime).

Unfortunately the LGW with their famous Do-228 isn't flying @ DTM anymore - they belong to Air Berlin now, flying Dash...

Some nice links:
For info about planned flights please visit www.spottingforum.de (postings in german) or the page of the airport http://www.airport-dortmund.de/ (no private or cargo flights are announced!). For some other infos about spotting in DTM you might use www.dtm-spot.de of Sascha. 



Tower: 134,175
Ground: 121,825
ATIS: 125,125

Please notice: Radioscanner are allowed in Germany, but listening to non-public transmissions is officially forbidden. So be careful and wear earphones - hide the scanner if possible.


Spotting Positions
Zoom =camera requirements, ladder =ladder use, light=light conditions, - =disadvantages of point, P & P$ = Parking/parking with fee, McD =McDonalds)

A - East part 

aerial east part

1a-d These are several positions are along the "Zeche-Norm-Str." 

They are useful if RWY24 is in use for landing. 

You may take nice pics with the VOR for example. When take off on 06 is in use, planes are too high in the sky already. 

By car turn right before reaching the airport (-> Asseln/Wickede) if you come from Unna or left after passing by the airport. You can reach this points in about 20-25 minutes walking from terminal building.

Zoom No min. zoom needed, but high flexibility 50-400 would be fine.

ladder Not necessary except around position d

light You can vary your position along the street as you like and the light conditions allow. For departures sun isn't a great problem until afternoon. For approaches early morning hours lightning is less optimal.

- On the street there's a lot of traffic - so be careful. Sometimes trucks can keep you from a good picture...In parts (b&c) you have to walk across or along acres - please use paths without damaging the farmers cereals! And watch the ground (wet?).


Picture Regionalverband Ruhrgebiet, Essen

B - Central part

aerial center part
2 & 2b have changed very much as there are new parking positions (pic) now and the employee-parking lot has been mislaid. Next to the tower there's also the new airport fire station.

Anyway: With a four step ladder spotting may still be possible along the fence in direction Unna (06).

Here you can see all planes taxiing by for take off if RWY24 is in use. If 06 is in use you can also see them taxiing to the terminal after the landing. Often you'll have movable equipment in your way!

Zoom Min. 70mm (for parked aircrafts less is better!)

ladder A ladder is necessary.(old pic

- It's not a good position for take off because the landing gears aren't visible and planes are rarely rotating in front of you.

3 is the aiports observation deck on the top level of the airport terminal. Entry is free, but there is (minimal tinted) glass in front. You may step on two silver electricity pillars on the left and right side of the deck to get above it. Nice apron pictures, taxi-pictures and even runway photos are possible from here!

Zoom Min. 50mm, runway min. 150mm

ladder A max. 4 step ladder is useful to get above the window glass. Don't use higher ones there! (Security!) 
- Through windows

! Please don't climb on the handrail! You may be punished by the staff of the restaurant or the security! Nice apron pics and pics of the runway. (pic)

4 was a point near an airbridge. You had to walk there from the arrival level. It was left of the main terminal building in direction car-park 3 through a gate (small lens) or beneath the fence (pic).  
Position is no longer available!

Zoom Max. 50mm

Not necessary, shots above fence with ladder not welcome!

is a nice possibility to take some shots of parked planes (guests, overnight stops sometimes) on pos. 0-2. Especially pushbacks are nice to photograph. But you may have a gangway or some lamp posts in your way. (pic)
Since the terminal enlargement in 2008 photographing is a little reduced there, but still possible.

Zoom Min. 50mm, depends on the position you want. After pushback you'll need min. 70mm depending on the plane.

ladder Not necessary, may be used to get above a gangway etc.

is a little problem. You have to climb on a concrete wall to take a pic above the fence. Only for sportive and tall (>1,80m) people! (pic)

Zoom Min. 70mm, depends on the position you want.

Is fine here to get on the wall, 2 step is enough.

is in the stairway of P3. You have to take the pic through the windows of it. Position for "emergency" (heavy rain...)

- Through windows

lightConcerning light conditions all positions 2-5 are good from morning to middle afternoon (in winter late afternoon).

aerial center near
both pictures Regionalverband Ruhrgebiet, Essen

C - West part

aerial west part1
6 is near the old terminal (General aviation today) on the parking garage P5. You can drive up the garage until you have a view above the old terminal towards the runway. OK (not good) for landing on 06 and nice for 24-departures (planes already up in the sky).  If you vary your position on the garage a little, you can see aircrafts lining up on 06 through a gap between the trees.
You can reach 6 and 6b by turning right (seen from the terminal) to the General Aviation Terminal (GAT). Afoot it will take you about 15 minutes walking from the main building.

Zoom Min. 150mm, 300mm for 06 line up.

ladderA small ladder could be helpful.

lightSame conditions as 2-5

There are some trees and the roof of the old terminal buildings in your pictures perhaps

6b is only interesting if you like helicopters. You can see the apron of the Police and HSD helicopters from here. How to reach 6b is described in pos. 6.

Zoom Min. 50mm, with small lense through fence

ladder It's better not to use one, I guess...

lightMorning to midday light is better, because the gate is facing SW.

! Remember: Police-helicopters. So don't stay here too long. 

Picture Regionalverband Ruhrgebiet, Essen
aerial west part2 7-7a are good to take photos of landing planes on 06. Smaller ones may be high in the sky at this point. For start on 24 this positions are useless. You can reach point 7 by driving past the old terminal (GAT today), not turning right to the GAT, then short before an Opel car dealer you have to turn right . After 100m you will see the airport fence. You can park your car short before the fence. Then go back to a small road turning right to reach the points 7-8. From the terminal afoot it will take you around 20 minutes.

Zoom Min. 50mm

ladder Is not necessary here

lightSame conditions as 2-5

- Street forbidden for cars, you have to park near the main street

8a-b here you can see the planes at line-up 06 or leaving 24 after landing (above 30t MTOW). You can reach the point as described at point 7.

Zoom Min. 150mm

ladder May be useful (min. three steps)

lightYou can vary the positions (8a morning-midday, 8b late afternoon)

- You have to walk across acres the last meters - please use paths without damaging the farmers cereals! And watch the ground (wet?).

9 you have to drive along pos. 1 (Zeche-Norm-Str.) and then the "Osterschleppweg" until you'll see a 90 curve right. There you must turn left and after 50 meters you will find a gate. Park your car here or turn right into a small country-road. Left of this way the fence of the airport can be seen. Walk towards it and take pictures of planes taxiing after landing on 24 (if they take the last taxiway) while approaching 06 and before start on 06. 

Zoom Min. 100mm - better 150mm

ladder Is necessary (more than 3 steps woul be good!)

lightSun is good early morning and late afternoon in the summer

- You have to walk across acres the last meters - please use paths without damaging the farmers cereals! And watch the ground (wet?).
Picture Regionalverband Ruhrgebiet, Essen

If you have any questions/corrections/additions (e.g. the used zoom, concerning positions, planes etc.) please contact me via the adress in the left frame( front page ) of this site.

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