Frankfurt International Airport - October 2022
Frankfurt is something of an ancestral home for my wife but having lived in New Zealand for 16 years it had been a while since we visited. Just recently in late October we made the trip and while aircraft were very much not something that was on the agenda I did manage to grab a few hours at the Terminal 2 viewing terrace.
In addition, because FRA seems to be rather bursting at the seams both our arrival and departures involved being bussed to remote stands giving some further limited opportunities for photography. This was especially limited on the arrival side because the weather was awful.
Our steed on the outbound journey from Manchester was a 28 year old Lufthansa Airbus A321-131 registered D-AIRK. Lufthansa impressively keeps its fleet looking pristine despite their age. I didn't get back to the airport for a few days but dragged my son along to the T2 viewing terrace in the morning.
Above: A view through one of the camera holes in the fence. Note how bright the sun was.
The viewing terrace is quite nice but has some serious drawbacks. Firstly it faces into the sun in the morning, which made photography a real challenge and really required sunglasses. Secondly, the security is way over the top. There is a wire mesh fence the entire way along. It does have a few camera holes cut into it but far too few. Shooting through the fence is difficult and the fence holes give a very limited angle, assuming they aren't in use by someone else.
Below: The unfinished terminal 3 in the background of the runways
Thirdly, the view is quite limited. The terrace runs along the front of T2 roughly from gate D21 to D26 (that's about four gates in reality). You can see the T2 remote gates and the end of the two parallel runways but that is about it. It is massively inferior to the old T1 viewing area of the 90s.
Below: The view to the right of the terrace doesn't get a lot better than this.
Traffic is the usual collection of modern twinjets but alleviated somewhat by Lufthansa's fleet of 747-400s/8is and A340s. United Airlines is also common with a variety of 777-200/300s and 787s. Both airlines still have quite a lot of their fleet wearing their old schemes, which adds a little variety.
Shorter haul traffic at the remote stands is quite varied and consists of a good range of European airlines plus a surprising amount of Lufthansa too. I say surprising as I expected almost all the LH traffic to use T1 gates. Various Lufthansa group airlines like Swiss and Air Dolomiti are common.
Take-off and landing shots on the runways are possible but the sun conditions and the limitations of scope caused by the fence made them a challenge.
Given the limitations of the lighting, lack of diversity of the shots and traffic plus the difficulty in photography in general I was only at the terrace for a couple of hours. The lighting did improve a little towards the end assisted by some helpful clouds!
Departure - 27/10/22
We departed the next day from Terminal 1, which I have to say internally was a right mess - way too busy with not a lot of space or places to wait and various areas of construction. Our actual gate was a remote stand, which involved another bus trip out to the T2 remote gates.
A little annoyingly the bus drive actually provided better photographic opportunities than the actual FRA tour I took.
Our aircraft back to Manchester was the Lufthansa A321 D-AISJ.
The taxi out to the runway also gave the opportunity for a few extra shots: