Situated in the southern part of The Netherlands, Maastricht-Aachen Airport (or Beek as it is called locally), is a nice airport with a variety of traffic including quite a lot of cargo flights. Among the latter are scheduled services by Cargolux, Royal Jordanian and Turkish Airlines. Additionally, the GPA paint shop and the Schreiner maintenance hangar are always good for some exotic birds. The airfield also houses a good amount of GA aircraft and visitors for Maas and Samco.
The airfield has a north-south runway. The terminal and cargo are on the west side. Maintenance and flying schools are on the east side.
Highway A2 runs directly along the western perimeter giving easy access by car. There is a regular bus service to and from the train stations in Maastricht and Sittard, and an Interliner (fast bus) service via Maastricht to Aachen.
Around the Airport
1Along the terminal road
For this spot, start from the exit of the A2. Drive parallel to the highway to the cargo area. From this area, the planes can be photographed with best light in the early morning or late afternoon/evening. At Cargo, you can climb up red emergency stairs next to the customs building to photograph cargo aircraft over the fence.
Drive further to the terminal and park your car at the Mercury Hotel. Now it is possible to enter the terrace. From the terrace, you can take pictures of good quality. A Boeing 737 needs about 70 mm. Light at the terrace is at its best after four o'clock, when the sun is in your back. However, small steps are needed to get over the fence.
3Next to the apron
Another possibility is a small road that leads into a field, and ends at an emergency exit of the airport. Drive well past the terminal (in the direction of the small town of Ulestraten) and take a -very small- entrance to the left. Cars are not allowed to stop here anymore and violators will be fined rather quickly.
4North side approach
If runway 21 is in use, you can park your car at the side of the road when you come off highway A2. Best lens here is 75-300 mm. Another possibility is to enter the Australielaan, a side road to a business area, and park there.
5South side - threshold runway 03
When runway 03 is in use, continue past spot 3 after leaving the terminal and take the first major road to the left (immediately after the dome of the Terminal Approach Radar). You are now driving around the threshold of runway 03. There is a spot right at the fence. Bring your steps and you will be able to take perfect pictures. An Airbus A300 needs about 70 mm, a Boeing 707 about 100 mm. Every aircraft from the size of a Boeing 737 will use this point. The light here is perfect from sunrise in the morning until two o'clock in the afternoon.
One of the Embraer 145 jets of KLM exel, a subsidiary that does not exist anymore. (Arjen Sleeuwenhoek)
A picture taken from the business park. (Koen Leuvering)
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