There are not too many airports in the vicinity of my home airport where you could go for food and which are reachable within approximately one hour of flight time. Nevertheless, there are a few around and one of them is Bitburg airport.
Bitburg airport used to be a United States air force base being home for various aircraft types like the F-86, F-100, F-102, F-4 and eventually the F-15 until it was closed in 1994. Since then Bitburg air base was no longer an airbase but a civil airport, mostly for general aviation.
Today, there are still no commercial flights but only some local based aircraft and airplanes from skydiving clubs flying around. Bitburg airport is approximately 20 minutes of flighttime away from Luxembourg and therefore it is a good option to go do some training for touch and go's or other procedures during PPL training.
Right below the massive tower of Bitburg airport, there is a little restaurant called "Am Tower". This bistro offers its guests to have lunch or other delicious food outside on their terrace, which is placed right onto the tarmac of the parking area, literally a few feet away from the there parked aircraft.
Let me show you some impressions of this very calm but huge airport by starting with an aerial overview over the area with its 3056m long and 45m wide runway, looking into a south-westerly direction.
The very long runway, pointing into a magnetic 050 degree, and a 230 degree heading from the other side, makes it possible for many different aircraft to land on.
Parking right next to the outside terrace area of the restaurant is possible if traffic permits. You literally cannot get any closer to an airport restaurant with your aircraft!
The impressive control tower still looks mighty after all those years of service, overlooking this former US airbase.
The restaurant staff is very friendly and caring. Landing fees differ between aircraft categories. The average price for a light single engine aircraft is 8 EUR.
Once you found a cozy place and sat down, this is the view you get. As there are most of the time some other pilots around, you very easily get involved into some nice aviation conversations while enjoying your meal or coffee and watch the local traffic taxi or fly by.
Most probably the most famous thing there is the warm apple pie with vanilla ice cream and some delicious fresh whipped cream. It just tastes amazingly good together with a cup of coffee. A lot of different ice cream creations are available aswell for those who prefer colder deserts.
On top of that, also very delicious self made lunch menues are available for a price of 7,50 EUR. The munue changes daily and it tastes amazingly good. Therefore not only pilots and airport staff come along during lunchtime, but also many other people know this place as a little secret for delicious food.
Another additional advantage is the huge apron, which gives some good possibilities to shoot the parked aircraft there. Most aircraft around the field can be seen during lunchtime, whenever some good weather conditions prevail.
Bitburg airport is also home of a skydiving club called "Firebird Skydiving". They operate a Cessna C182Q (D-EXIB) and fly mutiple drops a day. The club's premises can be seen on the left in the photograph below.
Bitburg airport is always worth a visit and a perfect location for training flights, as there is usually not that much traffic around. The long runway is perfect for multiple touch and go's or engine failure procedures. The food prices and landing fees are very reasonable and the airport is still in a more or less good condition, except for some taxiway areas and the paint markings on the runway.
Being so close to my home airport Luxembourg, it is definitely one of my favourite airports in the region here to go to.