hkg82 From Hong Kong, joined Apr 2002, 1245 posts, RR: 1 Posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 4730 times:
I would just like to find out more information about spotting and plane photos in Moscow’s three airports (SVO, DME & VKO). There are many nice photos from Russia and particularly the aforementioned airports in Moscow.
Having been there twice, 2010 & 2012, both with Aeroprints.com (sales agent for Rusadventure). I can say spotting there is no real problem. Just be sensible.
At DME you can watch planes from the large windows in the terminal, this also provides a nice (distant) view of the storage dump. Me and another spotter kept a low profile and had no problem. Another group of spotters went all-in flashing their cameras and scanners: they were taken in by police but a few hours later they were out again without problems.
Another option at DME is the parking area to the left of the terminal (when facing the terminal). The planes fly over low enough when taking of from 32R. I would guess it is also good for landings on 14L, but I did not get to see that so it is possible the fence will be in the way. http://schipholspotter.com/600400/foto-100907-dme.htm
At SVO you can observe the planes from one of the terminal restaurants. The restaurant was closed when I was there, but it was late in the evening so that was expected. The pictures from the rest of the group were nice though.
VKO is very good as well. You can easily walk from the terminal into the final approach of runway 24. You are in the middle of nowhere and when I was there, in a group of 4, we only saw 3 other people during the whole day. All of them airport employees. For half the day there was a police roadblock just a hundred metres away from us. The police must have seen us, but they did not care. So it seems this place is legit. http://schipholspotter.com/600400/foto-100906-vko.htm
The museum at Monino also HAS to be on your to-do list! Getting there can be a bit tricky, but it is well worth it.
As I see many requests like yours, you might would like to leave you question also there. Some local spotters might will be able to help.
Basically - I'd see no reason to spend money for orginized tour, especially is just need SVO, DME and VKO (I'd also recommend you LED). It is more or less fine to do photography around airports in Russia. However it is always a small risk to be asked by police or aviation security - on 10 spottings with no problem in 1 you can meet unfriendly security. It still happens. Photography is legal but not everybody from security know that. To have a discussion with police especially if you don't know Russian might be not a good idea. But I have not heard anybody was taken to police station for spotiing for the last few years.
So it is better to go with somebody. Nowdays there are a lot of guys are practicing aviation photography so I hope you'll be able to find somebody to accompany you at least during the first days.
Quoting petertenthije (Reply 1): At SVO you can observe the planes from one of the terminal restaurants.
Sad news. Restaurant was moved to the 4th floor from 5th and now the view is limited in compare with previous years.