Spotting - Milano Linate (LIN/LIML)
Milano Linate - Aeroporto Enrico Forlanini
IATA code: LIN
ICAO code: LIML
Airport website: www.milanolinate.eu
INTRODUCTIONThe airport of Linate, named after Enrico Forlanini, is the second airport of Milan. Although its official name is “Aeroporto Enrico Forlanini” (name of an Italian aviation pioneer and scientist, born in Milan), the airport is better known and usually called as the small adjacent town: Linate (part of the Peschiera Borromeo city).
Because of its city-airport function, Linate has only flights to national and some European destinations. There are few low-cost flights too. Furthermore, also thanks to its proximity to Milan city centre, Linate is the first airport in Italy (and fourth in Europe) for business and executive aviation. The airport is regularly visited by every kind of business-jet: from the smaller Cessna Citation series to the massive Boeing BBJ and Airbus A319CJ, besides the aircrafts manufactured by Bombardier, Dassault, Canadair, Embraer, Gulfstream, Learjet, Piaggio, Beechcraft/Raytheon.
Linate has only one passenger terminal at North, and an area for the general aviation at West. The airport has two runways: the main runway 18/36 (2440 meters long) and the much shorter 17/35 (600m), used only by small general aviation aircrafts and sometimes by helicopters. The runways were named respectively 36R/18L and 36L/18R until 2007, then their names were changed to the current ones. The runways are commonly used in north direction (so runway 36 and 35) and, although southbound departures are possible, these are very seldom. For departures, aircrafts reach runway 36 after taxiing on the taxiway T that runs parallel to the runway and links the runway with the passenger terminal area (north apron). Aircrafts coming from the general aviation area (west apron) go through taxiway N that brings to the north apron, then continue as the other planes on taxiway T in order to reach runway 36. After landing, line passenger planes vacate runway 36 through taxiway G that goes directly into north apron. Most of the business-jets instead use to vacate runway via taxiway K that goes to the west general aviation apron.
HOW TO GET THERE
To reach the Linate airport terminal by car, just follow the signage indicating the way to the airport. From the “tangenziale est” of Milan (A51 highway or east ring-road/beltway), take the “Linate / Viale Enrico Forlanini” exit. It is also possible to reach the terminal by public transport, with ATM bus line 73 or 73X (information on atm-mi.it) or with direct buses that leave from Milan Central Station.
To reach the spotting-points, exit from the east beltway at the “Via Mecenate” exit and then follow the signage to Linate (the town, not the airport!). Once arrived in Linate town it is possible to continue to Canzo through Milano road (via Milano), turning right at the first traffic circle in Linate (piazza della Concordia, Concordia square). The road (via Milano) goes southward for about 2km, parallel to the runway 36. Then, after passing an old farmhouse to the right, the road turns left until a small traffic circle that is placed exactly south of runway 36 and below flights’ glide-path. Go straight at this traffic circle and continue for 500-600 meters, then take the first to the left (entering Tobagi street) after the first buildings of the industrial zone. Go on straight until the street ends at an intersection, after about 1,5km. At this intersection turn left into “via 4 Novembre” street and continue on this road that arrives in the Canzo cemetery parking lot. There is no public transport to the spotting-point, except for those located in Linate town. ATM (Milan transportation company) interurban line 66 can be used to reach Linate and Peschiera Borromeo towns starting from Milan (Porta Vittoria station).
Perhaps the most “famous” and best known spotting-point of Linate, where every Sunday a lot of people and families gather to watch airplanes. It is located east of runway 36, and it is possible to park the car in the parking of the near Canzo cemetery (see the indications above). From the parking, one can continue by foot southward on the footpath that goes along the airport fence. Unfortunately in this area the fence is too high to use a ladder, so the photography is possible only through the fence meshes. Nevertheless, continuing walking in south direction, after a brick-walled building, a long wall (made of soil) and a left-turn of the footpath, there is an area where one can climb on the top of the wall or on the near and larger embankment. From these elevated positions, aircrafts can be photographed without the fence in the middle. From this spotting-point and along the path, all the southern part of the airport is visible. One can take pictures to aircrafts while they are taxiing on the T taxiway (very close to the fence) or to approaches, landings, line-ups and take-offs on runway 36. This point is optimal at morning, from dawn to 11-12 a.m., however during hot summer days, approaching noon, the lighting get worse and “hot runway” effect causes heavy distortion to the photos.
GPS coordinates: 45°26'28"N, 9°16'52.00"E
Aerial view of spotting-point 1 at Canzo and a picture of the footpath between the airport fence and the wall:
2-3) Bicycle path near runway 36
These two spotting-points are located on a bicycle path, south-west of runway 36, near an old farmhouse. They can be reached from "via Milano" (Milano road) that links Linate town with the industrial zone of Peschiera Borromeo town. Unfortunately here, unlike in other points, there is no parking so the car can be parked only near the fields, where possible. Cars can be parked in the empty space behind the old farmhouse, paying attention to do not hamper the access to the earthen road that goes to the farmhouse (see pictures below). Spotting-point 2 is situated where the bicycle path turns sharply of 90 degreees, south of runway 36. In this area the airport fence is a row of tall and thick poles made of radiotransparent material. Until 2010 there was a wooden fence which was quite low, and a small ladder could be used to photograph easily. The lighting conditions here are great throughout the afternoon until sunset, and from this spotting-point almost the whole airport is visible. To take pictures to final approaches and landings it is convenient to move some meters away from the path's turn in order to have a better lighting from the sun. From this point it is also possible to take pictures to taxiing aircrafts and line-ups on runway 36, especially when the weather is extremely clear and the Alps mountains are visible from Milan.
GPS coordinates: 45°25'53.35"N, 9°16'40.00"E
Continuing further on the bicycle path in north direction, there is a place facing the runway 36 entrance point (spotting-point 3). From this point it is possible to see aircrafts that are lining-up for take-off, or landings and final approaches from a greater distance with respect to the spotting-point 2.
GPS coordinates: 45°26'4"N, 9°16'26"E
Aerial view of spotting-points 2 e 3, and bicycle path at spotting-point 2
|Aerial view of spotting-points.
2 and 3.
|Spotting-point 2 with the old wooden fence
4) Linate town
Spotting-point 4 is located in the town of Linate, at the end of Archimede street (via Archimede) near an emergency gate of the airport fence. It is possible to park the car directly on the sides of Archimede street, or somewhere in Linate town. From this point, one can have a great view over runway 36 from west and can photograph planes on the runway: landings, rotations, take-offs. Also aircrafts taxiing on taxiway T are visible, though they are more distant. Unfortunately in this area the fence is very high and is an obstacle for taking photos.
GPS coordinates: 45°26'41.00"N, 9°16'29.50"E
Aerial view of spotting-point 4:
5) Linate town north
An alternative spotting-point, with several drawbacks but good for taking photos to business-jets is located in the northern part of Linate near taxiway K. This point can be reached by going across Linate town towards the street “Viale dell’aviazione” that goes to the general aviation terminal. As soon as this road exits from Linate town, it makes a sharp left turn of 90 degrees to the left, in front of the airport fence. This is the spotting-point 5, and also along this road there is a bicycle path. Cars can be parked in the near parking in Linate, before the road’s turn. From this spotting-point, one can have a view over the northern zone of the airport. However, due to the high fence (photos can be taken only through the fence’s mesh), a wall and other obstacles, this point is good only to photograph business-jets that are vacating runway 36 and taxiing on taxiway K towards the general aviation apron. Sometimes also helicopters approaching the west apron can be seen from here, because they usually fly over the street before landing.
GPS coordinates: 45°26'57"N, 9°16'20"E
Aerial view of spotting-point 5:
Spotting point 1 (Canzo):
Spotting point 2 (south of runway 36, from the bicycle-path):
Spotting point 3 (near runway 36):
Spotting point 4 (Linate town):
Spotting point 5 (Linate town north, taxiway K):
(Maps and aerial/satellite pictures from: Google Maps, Google Earth, Microsoft Virtual Earth)