Topic Author
Posts: 232
Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 6:37 pm

Spotting In IST And Milan Greater Area Airports

Mon Jun 24, 2013 8:59 pm

Hello all,
I am flying tomorrow to Milan via Istanbul with Turkish Airlines. I will have a lot of time to spend between flights at IST, and will stay in Milan and Bergamo for a week.

Can anyone help me out here on spotting questions:
1. Is there a terrace in IST? if not, are the terminal windows clear enough?
2. What are my options in MXP/BGY/LIN for good spotting? can I get close to the runways?
3. Are scanners legal in Turkey and/or Italy?


Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 4:28 pm

RE: Spotting In IST And Milan Greater Area Airports

Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:52 am

In Italy the scanners are illegal.
You can take photos,but it's better to stay away from the fence(high).

Here you can find some info about MXP spotting point:
Info about flight (T2= easyjet, Cargo and T1 other airlines):

Info about runway in use, photos and special flight expected (
June and July:
Even days
- landings 35L, departures 35R till 2.30pm
- landings 35R, departures 35L from 2.30pm
Odd days
- landings 35R, departures 35L till 2.30pm
- landings 35L, departures 35R from 2.30pm

The best place for morning shot is:
45.616184,8.743319 (there is a small hill and parking)

The best place for afternoon landing rwy 35R is: (road without asphalt)

The best place for afternoon landings rwy 35L is: (near the gate, there is a small area where you can park,stay there)

The best place for afternoon take off from rwy 35L is:

Hope you take some nice photos.
Fabrizio C.

[Edited 2013-06-27 01:54:30]
Posts: 4722
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 3:30 am

RE: Spotting In IST And Milan Greater Area Airports

Thu Jun 27, 2013 2:19 pm

At IST get a taxi to a place called the Fly Inn, at Florya. Taxis are very cheap so shouldn't break the bank. Head up to the top floor and there's a terrace overlooking the runway, from which you can shoot a 737 at about 80mm. It's an excellent place and you won't get any hassle (just a security check as you enter the mall). Photography is good from 1330 until sunset.

Topic Author
Posts: 232
Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 6:37 pm

RE: Spotting In IST And Milan Greater Area Airports

Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:20 pm

Thanks for the info.
Since my flight back, July 2nd, is really early in the morning I have decided to take a hotel in the area of MXP. Which of the following hotel could provide the best spotting experience?
1. Crowne Hotel Plaza Milan Malpensa Airport
2. Holiday Inn Express Milan
3. Hotel Ristorante Cervo
4. Guest House Residence
5. Idea Hotel Milano Malpensa
6. First Hotel Malpensa

Checking in Google Earth, it looks as if the 5th option is the best. It is located near the aprons and looking at runway 17R and the adjacent taxiways.

Another thing. Google Earth shows that a big car park is located just next to the runway 17R and its taxiways.
1. Is it a good spotting point?
2. will the Polizia harass me if I stand there taking pics?
3. Which time of day will be perfect in terms of sun position and/or airport operations?

Thanks so much,

Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 4:28 pm

RE: Spotting In IST And Milan Greater Area Airports

Fri Jul 05, 2013 7:52 am

Sorry for the delay but I in those days I was abroad.

Maybe for your next time:

The best hotel is the choice number 2.

Yes that car park is good for taking photo, It was my last position showed, Take off rwy 35L ( or full size a/c). You can park at the road border and see the aircrafts taking off rwy 35L or taxi (just a few from the fence/net,It isn't easy... from 35R direct to terminal 1.

Sorry again

Fabrizio C.

[Edited 2013-07-05 00:56:41]

[Edited 2013-07-05 00:58:12]
Posts: 926
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2001 2:04 pm

RE: Spotting In IST And Milan Greater Area Airports

Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:30 pm

Hi An225,

By chance I just arrived from a spotting trip which included, among others, MXP and IST.

My impressions:


When 35R is used for landings a good start is the parking place/playground located on the east side. Photos from sunset until around 1030/1130LT depending on how strick you are with light conditions. From 1130LT to around 1500LT there is no option, the sun will change sides and remember that at 1430LT they switch runways, ie. 35R will now be used for take-offs and 35L for landings. In this case you can go to the Strada Provinciale 14 spotting point, close to a crash gate. From there you can make nice approach photos until sunset.

When the day starts with 35L in use for landings you can go either to Strada Provinciale 14 and choose a place to stay or, like I did, go to Via Gaggio, which is a small gravel road further south. I prefered this location as it is easier to park the car. As 35L is used for landings, you can also opt to make only departure (line-up) photos during the morning on the spot I mentioned for 35R above. Please keep in mind that 35L arrivals will be far away even for digital cameras with crop factor. Again, I found the light good at the Via Gaggio spot good until around 1100LT.

During the afternoon, when they change the runways again, you can go again to Via Gaggio for 35R arrivals, just park the car further down. This place is good as it offers a lot of shade, so it is cooler than staying in the open at SP14. If you would like to do some departure photos, there is a spot close to the Holiday Inn Express Milano Malpensa, near to the Alitalia Flight Operations parking area, where you can do some decent take-off shots. Keep in mind that some lamp posts can be in the way, specially with heavy departures.

During my stay I used the Ascot Lodging Hotel, in Cardano al Campo. It is very simple but nice hotel, good enought for a spotting trip rest, but this is a matter of personnal taste.


During my visit the runway use was: 05 for landings, 35L/R for departures.

During the morning hours the place to be is the IBB Florya park. Actually I did not spot from the park itself but from a walkway along the seaside. No bothering at all and you can start around 0700LT until 1130/1200LT.
From 1200LT until 1430LT more or less, the sun is changing sides and you can go for a lunch or visit the aviation museum close to the airport south perimetre fence. During the afternoons (1500LT until sunset) I used only the FlyInn viewing area. This is in fact a smokers area (the only available for the mall) so if you are a non-smoker (like me) beware. The area itself divided in two.. the right side is a general use area, free to all, with some tables and chairs. The left area is reserved for the customers of a cafe and this area has nicier chairs and also not so many smokers   They have no objections to photographers at all, just ask for a tea or coffee from time to time (you may also try one of the cakes they have, all are very nice).

The "bad" news is that you will see a huge ammount of Turkish Airlines, Atlasjet and Onur Air aircraft, maybe 80% of the daily traffic. The good news is that the other 20% are made of many ex-CIS airlines, Middle Eastern and the occasional odd-ball. I only saw MNG Cargo arrivals during the morning, they have three or four arrivals within 40 minutes, between the never ending flow of THY.

Feel free to ask anything...
"ad astra per aspera"

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