Went to Cologne-Bonn International today, after reading some good news on a planespotter forum. There are two observation decks, but both of them have a glass wall around the perimeter, for security reasons. Because of this, I prefer Düsseldorf, but Cologne has more interesting traffic, especially due to UPS and FedEx having their hubs here. Recently, due to some new regulations, the height of the walls was increased by more than half a meter, making it impossible to avoid shooting through the glass, which usually ruined all photos.
The good news is: The airport has actually built a little elevated platform on the observation deck, just so that planespotters and photographers in general have a clear shot at the runway! Here's a photo
of how it looks, offering enough space for about twenty people, or so I've heard. Obviously, I had to check it out myself, so off I went!
Now the platform is quite nifty indeed, but there wasn't much traffic, it was cold, barely above zero, and windy as well. The boring planes came out okay, the interesting ones were hiding behind buildings, or behind parts of the glass wall that were still in the way (when taxiing past in front of the building). The Luftwaffe operated Airbus (with aerial refueling pods) was such a glass-victim, the Luftwaffe operated Global 5000 was too far away (different runway), the USAF Globemaster was too high and so on and so forth.
But I also realize that not all of you live where I live, namely right underneath the approach path to Cologne, so you may not have seen the typical Germanwings Airbus A319s yet. As a result, I have uploaded this shot, because the livery is quite neat for my taste. Germanwings is a popular low-cost carrier, based in Cologne, and now owned by Lufthansa, flying with 32 A319s to destinations all over and around Europe.
So every time we fly to Budapest, we fly Germanwings.