Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Asia, Spotting News, Taiwan | Posted on 17-01-2012
Taipei’s Taoyuan International Airport in Taiwan has opened a new observation area for watching aircraft.
Built for people to wave off family, and watch them arrive, it’s also perfect for the enthusiast with its views over one of the runways and many of the parking stands at the terminal.
The area is believed to be indoors, which makes it sheltered and air conditioned, but it’s likely to mean photography is through glass.
Have you visited? What’s the observation area like?
Taoyuan is Taipei’s international airport and handles all the flights that come to Taiwan from overseas.
The airport is very busy, with an extensive mix of airlines from Asia, North America and Europe visiting regularly. It is also one of the world’s busiest cargo airports, and many cargo airlines pass through every day. In particular, it is a hub for China Airlines Cargo and EVA Air Cargo.
There are two parallel runways and two passenger terminals at Taoyuan. Terminal 1 has recently undergone an extensive renovation project. Terminal 3 is expected to open by 2014.
For the spotter, there are a few places that have good views. These include:
1. South Crash Gate
Where a rough taxiway links Taoyuan Airport with Taoyuan Air Base, a crash gate can be found in the fence alongside runway 06/24. You can drive, or walk if blocked, along the taxiway to the gate from the main road which runs between the airport and base. When heading away from the terminal, take the first left off the motorway and follow along. From here you’ll have a good vantage point of aircraft on the runway, and it’s possible to take good photographs. Other spotters congregate here.
2. “Miracle” Cafe
On the north side of the airfield is a cafe dubbed the “Miracle” Cafe due to the face it narrowly escaped damage when an Airbus A300 crashed alongside. It has views over the northern side of the airfield, and from its rooftop you can take acceptable photographs from afternoon till sunset. The cafe is situated on the main ’15′ road running along the northern perimeter.
3. Aviation Museum
You can see aircraft on the northern runway and taxiway from the Aviation Museum, although to photograph you’ll need steps as there’s too much in the way. Nevertheless, a good spot to note what’s coming and going.
Fly Guam is a new airline set up jointly between Freedom Air and World Aviation Inc. It has recently taken delivery of its first aircraft – Boeing 737-4Y0 N238AG.
The airline’s base is Guam, and it will initially fly to Saipan and Hong Kong using this aircraft, which has an attractive logo and tail design.
It is also planned to serve Taipei and the Philippines in the near future, so keep an eye out for it when visiting these Asian airports.
Visit the airline’s website here: http://www.freedomairguam.com/
(Please click on the photo for more information)
Copyright Photo: Ivan K. Nishimura/Blue Wave Group & AirlinersGallery.com
Stefan Krause writes another report from his spotting experiences in Taiwan – this time from Taipei’s Taoyuan International Airport.
There is a mock-up control tower next to the museum at the airport. This offers probably the best views of movements, and both runways can be seen. It is closed on Mondays, however, and a good scope is needed for some aircraft.
If you have a car, a drive around the perimeter of the airport should allow you to log most aircraft on the ground.
Stefan Krause recently reported on his spotting trips to Kaohsiung airport in Taiwan. He has the following tips:
You can spot best from the walkway (covered) connecting the domestic and international terminal where you can see the domestic ramp, 1/4 of the international gates and the runway – though at a distance, and the International terminal blocks the view.
To check the parked JAL and another 1/4 of the Intl gates you have to exit ground floor (1st floor in Taiwan) and walk onto an elevated parking garage. As the JAL B747 parks in front of you it blocks the aircraft behind, one which was an Air Macau A321 which I missed on departure. Here you could also see aircraft lining up, but it is HOT (usually 30 C in KHH)
And be surprised, there is evena viewing area in the domestic terminal but don’t expect too much: you can see not even half of the domestic ramp and none of the Intl and runway is at distant and glass is very tinted making for some distortions. There are no chairs and no facilities in that “room”. The only reason to go here is to peek into the Uni Air hangar.
Finally, the inside gates of teh Intl temrinal are hard to see, you can see them from the departure level but as secutrity and passport control are right there did not flash out my binos there. (Usually Malaysian, Vietnam park here)