The holiday island of Malta has a single airport which handles plenty of airline and other traffic, making it an interesting place to visit for the aviation enthusiast.
Located at Luqa near the capital Valletta, Malta’s main airport is home to Air Malta and is a hub for various low cost airlines including Ryanair (and its new Malta Air spin-off). During the summer months it is busy with holiday flights from across Europe. At other times you will see regular flights from Italy and North African countries.
Thankfully the airport provides for spotters with a few official locations, which we’ll explain below.
The airport has two runways, 05/23 and 13/31.
The passenger terminal and cargo terminal are on the north-eastern side of runway 13/31.
To the north are aprons and hangars used by Lufthansa Technik, which has a sizeable maintenance facility on the north-western side of the airport, which sees a number of interesting aircraft come and go. Flight training and corporate aircraft use an apron at the northern corner of the airport.
1. Terminal Viewing Terrace
On the third floor of the terminal is an official viewing area, situated near a restaurant. It is free to use, and offers good views across the parking apron and main 13/31 runway. Photography is through clear glass. It is accessed via elevator next to the security check.
2. Spotters Platform
From the terminal it is possible to drive or walk to the spotters’ platform on the opposite side of the main runway. Simply head through the tunnel under the airport, then turn left at the roundabout on the other side. You’ll soon find the raised platform on your left which is the place where many classic photographs of aircraft at Malta are taken from. Parking is available.
3. Western Apron
The apron on the west of the field is used by overnight aircraft and for storage. The road (Triq Ta’ Ħal Farruġ) running past here has some places to pull up and park, and also holes cut in the fence for spotters to use. From this spot you can see traffic using Lufthansa Technik and also GA and biz aircraft that use runway 05/23.
Around the airfield you will also find a number of wrecks and relics of airliners, including Boeing 720 and BAC 1-11 aircraft.
With thanks to John Bilcliffe who provided information and photographs for this article.
You can follow John and his aviation photography on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/johnbilcliffe