This airport is the former air base RAF Laarbruch. After the RAF left, it was turned into a civil airport. After some legal battling with Düsseldorf Airport the name was changed to Airport Weeze (and has been Airport Niederrhein for a while in between). Ryanair was the first operator flying to and from Weeze on a regular basis. They eventually based some 737s here. The airport is visited by the occasional bizjet and military aircraft (transport and helicopter) and sees frequent general aviation traffic.
To avoid problems with authorities, a spotters' pass can be applied for at the NRN forum (see More Info in the panel on the right). The pass is free of charge and only requires you to share your photos on the forum. Holders of these passes are recognised as harmless enthusiasts and can approach the field up to the first fence (Flughafen Sicherheitsbereich) without being sent away.
The airport is relatively small and has 1 terminal building. The platform is left of the terminal building when approaching it by road. Disused shelter areas can be found in the corners of the airfield.
The airport is located south of Weeze and very close to the Dutch-German border. From Germany, it can be reached by travelling the A59 highway. The airport (still called Niederrhein!) is signposted from there. From the Netherlands you can travel the local road from Bergen to Arcen (N271) and exit towards 'Wellsche Hut' in Well. This will lead you to the border. From there you can follow the signs to the airport.
Around the Airport
From the restaurant of the terminal building your view on the platform, and the major part of the airport, is great for photography and reading.
The platform for the aircraft is located directly to the left of the terminal. This platform offers very nice opportunities for photography (both during the day and at night). Just follow the signs to the airport and the platform will turn up. You can park your car on the official parking lots, which are cheap compared to other airports.
3Taxiway and general aviation
Walking east from the terminal via the rental car park, you get views of the taxiway that are also good for photography. Continuing along the fence on an unpaved road, you reach the general aviation stands and hangars, also receiving the odd military plane.
From the terminal, a road leads to the west to which access is prohibited for the public, but this is hardly enforced. Following it on foot is a relatively safe bet. After passing the tower, keep right and follow the fence. This leads to a nice spot along the fence with a great view over the field. Photography with any runway use is good provided you bring steps.
Another spot along the fence that is officially off-limits, this one is next to the threshold of runway 09. This spot is also OK for take off shots when runway 27 is in use. Due to the distance you will need at least a 300 mm lens. You can reach this spot by walking (or driving) from spot 6 if you are already there, or from the terminal area via the road mentioned with spot 4.
6West side approach
The approach of runway 09 can be reached as well and again offers a good spot for photography. Officially, this spot is off-limits, but to get here anyway drive onto the Baaler Strasse between Hees and St Petrusheim. Coming form Hees, turn left after 3,5km just before the airport fence stops. You can park your car here and walk along the fence. You will find yourself between the fence and a large sand/stone quarry. Sometimes it is possible to drive just inside the airport (outer) fence but this road is not always open.
7East side approach
The approach of runway 27 is pretty good for photography and reading. To get here, turn left after you exit the airport and the approach lights will soon appear. You can park your car beside the road opposite of the airport.
8RAF Laarbruch Museum
This 'Museum for Peace and Friendship' is open from March to mid December in the afternoon, on various weekdays depending on the season. It displays an RAF Canberra outside and memorabalia and dioramas inside. See the link in the right-hand panel for more info, including exactly how to get there and enjoy free parking.
This shot taken of the platform (spot 1) shows that photography at Weeze is also possible after daylight. (Ron Kellenaers)
Good view on a USAF C-21 in the general aviation area. Taken at spot 3 by Zonan Adolfse.
|128.500||Langen Radar (Approach)|
|129.875||Langen Information (FIS)|
|164.530||Control tower & vehicles|
|OY-CHT||ATR42-300, fuselage only as fire trainer|
|WH773||Canberra PR7 at the museum|
|XZ669||Lynx AH7 as fire trainer, no rotors|
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