Rijeka is Croatia's largest port and its main airport is the gateway to the popular Dalmatian islands. One of those islands, Krk, houses the airport, which can be found about 25kms south of town. Krk is connected to the mainland by a toll bridge. The airport sees many charters and is sometimes used to support the military mission in neighbouring Bosnia. It is not to be mixed up with Grobnik, Rijeka's general aviation airport. Beware, aircraft spotting and photography are not generally understood as a hobby in Croatia.
Rijeka has a single 14/32 runway which is surrounded by woods, providing a beaufitul backdrop, but hindering views from outside the perimeter. Both runway ends still have alert barns, a reminder of its military (reserve) past. The terminal is situated to the east side of the runway. The area around the 32 threshold is inaccesible for spotting.
Travelling highway A7 south of Rijeka to or from Zuta Lokva or Zadar, the airport is clearly signposted. The signs will lead you to the 1 mile toll bridge to the island of Krk, which will cost you about 4 euros (you do not have to pay when leaving the island). About 3km after arriving on the island you will be guided left to the airport, which is situated east of the village of Omisalj.
We start our tour around the airport at the terminal area. On both sides of the terminal good views of the aircraft parked on the main apron can be obtained. Photography is best in the morning hours. The preserved aircraft can be found here as well.
214 Approach east side
From the terminal, head back to road 102, the main road connecting Krk Island with the shore. As the road is flanked by trees an open space has to be found to allow for decent views of aircraft approaching runway 14. Just before the intersection, in the curve, you can stop on the side of the road and watch the aircraft approaching over the trees, crossing the road. Photography from here is best in the morning here.
314 Approach overview
A more distant but interesting view of approach 14 is what spot 3 has to offer. From the terminal area, cross main road 102 and head to the north shore of Krk Island. Less than 1km from the threshold you can watch the aircraft approaching the island over the sea. Photography is possible from here as well, provided the aircraft are not too high and at its best in the late afternoon.
4West side runway 14/32
Going south on road 102 the exit for Omisalj will appear on your right. Just before this exit, a small dirt road on your left gives access to a crash gate. From here, you can pole off the aircraft parked near the termina. Views of the runway are possible here as well. The road into Omisalje is elevated above the tree tops and gives an overview of the terminal area. Aircraft climbing steep in take off can be photographed from here as well, at best in the late afternoon.
Two aircraft are preserved near Rijeka's terminal, one is this F-84G. (Arnold ten Pas)
|10676||F-84G, preserved near terminal, at spot 1|
|10252||T-33A, preserved near terminal, at spot 1|
|Rijeka airport||Official site of Rijeka airport|