I recently had the chance to visit Porto Airport in northern Portugal. Whilst at the airport on the return journey, I checked out the opportunities for spotting from within and around the terminal. Here’s what I found.
Outside the terminal the roadway curves up to the departures area on the first floor. At either end, you can get a limited view of the airfield and see aircraft distant on the runway. You will miss most of what is parked at the terminal, however.
Before heading through to departures, there are no views of aircraft from within the terminal.
Once you have reached the departures area, Porto’s modern glass terminal is ideal for viewing the aircraft on the ground. Walking the length of the departures area reveals all aircraft parked at the gates, which are mainly parked nose in or on remote stands a short distance away.
From the northern end of the building you have a view along the cargo ramp. Aircraft parked on the opposite side of the runway, such as the DHL Boeing 757 on my visit, are a little too distant to easily read off.
Anything that moves on the runway is easily visible from the departures area.
Porto’s traffic is made up primarily of TAP Portugal, Portugalia, and Ryanair aircraft. A number of European scheduled and low cost airlines also fly to the airport. On my visit, cargo movements included the DHL 757, a Swiftair ATR, and an Air France Cargo 747-400.
The airport has a single runway, and a large modern terminal with jet bridges, and a lower floor area for walking to aircraft which is used by Ryanair.