Guide to Zurich Kloten Airport

Contributors: dan330
Updated Sunday 19th July, 2009


Latitude: N47° 27' 22"
Longitude E8° 33' 5"

Sunrise Today: 07:49
Sunset Today: 18:32

Zurich is one of if not the most spotter friendly airports I've been to. The airport authorities lay on some excellent facilities for both viewing and photography and you are very unlikely to be harrassed while there.

Although not as busy as some of Europes top airport such as Frankfurt or Heathrow, Zurich attracts some very nice movements. Thai use an MD-11 on certain flights, Korean Air an A330 and JAL use a 777-200 on their flights to Tokyo. The airport also has a very good mix of European scheduled and low cost carriers and the big 3 US airlines of United, AA and Continental operate daily 767's.

Zurich has 3 main runways that will be referred to in this guide. During my visit most movements were from the north, to the south and so runway 14 was solely used for arrivals, with most of the smaller stuff on 28 and some of the bigger long haul flights on runway 16. Early morning arrivals used 34 on both days of our visit which may be a regular occurance.

Zurich offers some excellent viewing facilities and some great photographic opportunities. As our visit was very short will only really managed to explore 2 of these areas but there were certainly more around the perimeter, particularly a spot at the end of runways 16 / 14 which we didn't visit.

Others we did find were:

Radio Frequencies Radio Frequencies

Approach: 118.0 & 119.7
ATIS: 128.525
Departure: 125.95
Ground: 121.9, 118.1 & 119.7
Tower: 118.1, 119.7 & 120.225

Tower: 122.1

Zurich Kloten Airport Weather

All times on the weather descriptions are local

Observed at 02:00 - (12 days ago)


Dew Point: °C
Runways with a headwind: Unable to determine, wind is clam


A sample of the upcoming movements for Zurich Kloten.

We do not current have any movements for Zurich Kloten Airport.

Photo Spot Spot A - Official Viewing Area - Top of Terminal

The official viewing area is a good area for photography in the morning. The area over looks runway 16 / 34 and a few of the remote piers with the likes of SAA A340, Thai 744 / MD-11 and Singapore Airlines 747's parked only a few feet away.

Although some very nice shots are possible of some of the heavies departing runway 16 (or arriving 34), the cross runway of 10 / 28 which is used most for the smaller aircraft especially is a very long way away and shots aren't as good even with a very long zoom lens. As spots go for the morning though before the sun moves around for spot 2 this would probably be the best spot.

The area requires a security check to get in and contains a small restaurant as well as the Buch-Air shop.

Sat Nav Co-ordinates
(Some locations may not be next to a road but the sat nav should get you pretty close using these co-ordinates)

Latitude: N47° 27' 5" (N47° 27.089')
Longitude: E8° 33' 24" (E8° 33.401')


Photo 42360
Focal Length: 80mm
Photo 42139
Focal Length: 200mm
Photo 41644
Focal Length: 240mm
Photo 41607
Focal Length: 163mm

View more photos taken at this location

Photo Spot Spot B - Heliport Grill Area

The Heliport Grill area is probably the best area around the airport to get a good view of the action and allows you to photograph departures on both runways (16 / 28). Runway 16 / 34 is the closest to you and offers some excellent shots, the aircraft being in a slightly more head on kind of direction. Runway 28 / 10 is also easy to photograph from and with a 300mm you should be fine even with the small stuff. Most aircraft that use this runway being Embraers, 737's or A32x's also depart at just the right time allowing you to get some very nice take-off shots.

The sun is better here the later in the day you can go, runway 28 departures are OK from about 1200, 16 departures maybe a little later when the sun has moved a bit.

Sat Nav Co-ordinates
(Some locations may not be next to a road but the sat nav should get you pretty close using these co-ordinates)

Latitude: N47° 27' 12" (N47° 27.206')
Longitude: E8° 32' 53" (E8° 32.889')


Photo 41643
Focal Length: 80mm
Photo 41629
Photo 30832
Photo 30824

View more photos taken at this location

Photo Spot Spot C - Runway 14/16 Threshold

Spot added by Northern Boy - Head NW on motorway 51 you will see the airport on your left, exit at juncion for Bulach Sud. straight over Roundabout and on to T junction. Turn right on Oberglattrestrasse first parking on left just after tree Marked by sign post. Good for the morning you can see the other spot from here but then carry on towards Oberglatt about 400 m again on the left.

Sat Nav Co-ordinates
(Some locations may not be next to a road but the sat nav should get you pretty close using these co-ordinates)

Latitude: N47° 29' 4" (N47° 29.074')
Longitude: E8° 31' 42" (E8° 31.704')


Photo 41290
Focal Length: 260mm
Photo 41280
Focal Length: 135mm
Photo 41201
Focal Length: 200mm
Photo 26366
Focal Length: 190mm

View more photos taken at this location

Comments Comments About This Airport / Guide

Posted by: Sandpatch Sweden
Friday 3rd August, 2012 at 21:55 GMT
A great spot is just south of the threshold of rwy 34. There is a restaurant called rwy 34 there. Around lunch time all heavies depart about 50 m above your head
Posted by: Matss Poland
Wednesday 18th May, 2011 at 21:52 GMT
Hi there, does anybody know where could I park the car while taking photos at ZRH? Maybe there's a place where it is able to leave car without being charged?
Posted by: Mike United Kingdom
Wednesday 27th January, 2010 at 14:01 GMT
NOTE: this terrace is closed from November 2008 for a period of two years due to reconstuction works. The airport has opened new observation deck located on the satellite terminal E, reachable by bus transfer from the security checkpoint at the entrance to the pier B terrace.
Posted by: Dave United Kingdom
Saturday 12th December, 2009 at 09:15 GMT
Will be visiting Zurich mid January. Does anyone know if the official viewing area is open again?
Any updated info greatly appreciated.
Posted by: Dave 40612 United Kingdom
Wednesday 26th August, 2009 at 17:00 GMT
There was once an excellent site which posted movements for ZRH I think it was <>? has the url changed, does anyone know? If so what is it now?
Posted by: NORTHERN BOY United Kingdom
Friday 17th July, 2009 at 17:24 GMT
The spot at the end of 16/14 are to major carparks with fast food and ice cream stalls where you can get approach and touch down shots, you can get each side of the runways so the sun isn't a problem, I can load couple of shots if people want.
Posted by: Pascal Switzerland
Friday 13th February, 2009 at 15:41 GMT
The Official Viewing Area has been closed due to work on Terminal B.
Instead you can take the bus to the Visitors Area on Terminal E which is in the middle of the Airport. There you will face the sun during most of the day.

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