Liège Bierset Airport Spotting Guide

Liège Airport is situated in the community of Grâce-Hollogne which is 9km west of the city of Liège. It is a small provincial airport serving the east of Belgium and offering a few destinations for business travellers to Europes mega cities and for the vacationers to Mediterranian beaches and the sea! But since late April, the airport has some new long-haul destinations again! But not only the passenger flights are interesting, but Liege also has to offer a huge freight timetable is Europe’s 8th largest freight-airport? That’s not the only stunning fact about this tiny but mighty airport!In terms of passenger movements, Liege is surely a little bit more silent than his brothers Brussels, Amsterdam and Luxembourg. But since late-April 2015, i-Fly and Orenair operates several charters to China bringing thousands of tourists to Europe using the A330 and 772! It is the perfect location for travellers from Xi’an, Shenyang, Tianjin, Moscow Vnukovo, Nanjing, Wuhan, Kunming, Urumqi and a few more to conquer the European cultural sights or the megacities nearby e.g. Brussels, Frankfurt, Amsterdam or Paris. The freight airlines kinda had the same idea. Due to its perfect location in this ‘golden triangle’ between Amsterdam, Paris and Frankfurt, many cargo airlines have decided to serve Liege as their hub. Currently, 65 percent of air freight in Europe is being dispatched onto these airports. Regular Cargo visitors are Icelandair Cargo (757), Ethopian Cargo (777), Bluebird Cargo (737), TNT (747,777,757,737) and Royal Jordanian Cargo (A310).

Written by Marlin Lehmann and Jan Seba (Last Visit May 2014, Last Update March 2016)

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Airport Informations    Runways 05R/23L 05L/23R
3.700 m (12.139 ft) 2.340 m (7.677 ft)
Terminals Terminal Hall
Used for all flights
Spotting Informations  Ladder Recommended, as you can use a ladder at every spot, But you can usually take photos without one, however rather limited, please read the instructions for every particular location for further information.
Car Very advisable. Spots are not to be reached by local public transport but by foot, bike and car.
Restrooms In every publicly accessable building like restaurants or hotels and inside of the terminal building.
Drinks/Food There are a few restaurants and shops nearby every spotting location offering supply of food and drinks.
Hotels There are many hotels nearby the airport as well as in neighbouring towns. There is a Park Inn By Radisson directly at the airport
Season The traffic at Liege Airport slightly increases during the summer season while Jetairfly and other charters operates a few holiday charters as well as iFly charters are only operated during the summer season but the regular flights within Europe are steadily the same throughout the year. Also the freight sector does not show any significant changes during the year.
Runway Usage  05R/23L Generally the only active runway and it is used in all direction for arrivals and departures.
05L/23R Only known to be used by light airplanes.

Spot #1 – Parking lot – RWY 05 Arrivals/Departures & TWY Movements off RWY 23
WHERE Spot 1 is located on a big parking lot which seems to be unused. When coming from the city or from any other destination and you are travelling on E25 towards Bruxelles, exit the highway at Exit 4 ‘Flémalle’. Once you have exited the highway, immediately take the first turnout to the right. Follow this road until you enter the roundabout. Take the roundabout’s terminals fourth exit to exactly come back onto the road you have come from due to a prohibition of turning right to the parking lot after the highway exit. Follow the road for another 1.2km until you can turn left onto the parking lot (an unused area, there are no particular parking spaces but simply a gravel surface where you can also park your vehicle. When coming from the terminals, simply follow Rue de l’Aéroport southwestwards for about 2.3km. The parking lot will then appear on your right. You can place your ladder anywhere along the fence, but for the taxiway shots you should take the northern corner.

Update March 2016: We have received information about parking difficulties at this spot. We learned that parked vehicles are strictly being checked by security so we advice you to make sure and double-check if parking is permitted at the parking lot mentioned above.

WHAT Movements on the runway when 05 is in use (not shown in the example shots) and aircraft using the adjacent taxiway, which is primarily used for vacating RWY 23. Departures from 23 will usually be too high at this location, but it can be used for some headon liftoff shots. (see Ethiopian MD11)
TIME From sunrise until mid-day for runway movements and until the evening for vacatings on the taxiway.
MISCELLANEOUS A ladder is required here. There is nothing nearby, bring everything by yourself.
FOCAL LENGTH 80mm for a vacating A319 and exactly 70mm for an A320. A MD11 on the runway at 90° about 70mm. 70-300mm lens is required here.
Spot #2 – Cargo Apron
WHERE The cargo apron is located right next to the Rue de l’Aéroport and you can stop your car here quickly and take some shots over the fence. Don’t stay/park too long here.
WHAT You can take pictures of parked cargo aircraft. There are usually a couple of aircraft which can be photographed quite nicely. Sadly, there is one major downside to this location: A really high ladder is required, as there is a double fence which will strongly impact you pictures.We recommend at least 7 steps (the more the better) to get good shots. See example shots below, which were taken from the 7th step. Aircraft parked in the front are problematic and you will always have the fence in your shot, but aircraft further back are possible to get clean shots of.
TIME From sunrise to mid-day in summer.
MISCELLANEOUS Very high ladder is absolutely necessary. Don’t stay here too long.
FOCAL LENGTH Depending on the parking stand between 18-200mm.
Spot #3 – Near Park Inn Hotel – All RWY 23L and Taxiway Movements
WHERE This is probably Liege’s most famous location: It is located northwest of a Park Inn Hotel. You can only reach this spot by foot. Parking on the hotel’s parking bay is fee-based (as of AUG2012). There are also some areas along the main road which can be used for parking free of charge. It is difficult to explain how you get to Spot 2 but the walking route is marked yellow in the map. From the main road you can also used the paved way if you do not want to climb over the hills on the marked route.
WHAT All arrivals into runway 23L as well as taxying airplanes to runway 23L and the following departure of course. You can also look onto the Eastern Freight Apron where Bluebird Cargo jets are usually parked up. Photos are possible limitedly and will most likely have obstructions in the front (see example shot).
TIME From sunrise to mid-day in summer.
MISCELLANEOUS A ladder is required here. There is absolutely nothing nearby, so bring everything along what you may need.
FOCAL LENGTH 70mm for an A320 on the taxiway and 150mm on the runway. A B772 is approximately 90mm on the runway. 100mm for the parked Bluebird Cargo.
Spot #4 – Dead End Road – All RWY 23L and Taxiway Movements
WHERE This locations is easy to find when you start at spot #2. Just follow the Rue de l’Aéroport until the round-about and take the last exit which leads directly to the airport fence. It is a dead-end and there isn’t really any official parking space here, but if you only come here for one quick shot you should be fine leaving the car on the side of the road. Take your ladder with you and climb onto the hill next to the street.
WHAT This spot doesn’t have many advantages over #2. The only one is that it can be reached a lot quicker (can be useful if you changed locations) and gives a cleaner shot for heavies. Otherwise we recommend using spot #2 if you plan to stay longer.
TIME From sunrise to mid-day in summer.
MISCELLANEOUS A ladder is required here. There is absolutely nothing nearby, so bring everything along what you may need.
FOCAL LENGTH Almost the same as with spot #2, see there.
Spot #5 – From the Hill (Bierset) – RWY 23L Arrivals
WHERE There is a green area in the town of Bierset where a hill offers a nice view onto the runway. When coming from Spot 1 and Spot 2, drive Rue de l’Aeroport northbound – you will pass the Park Inn Hotel and remain on Rue de l’Aeroport until you enter the roundabout. Take the second exit to join Rue Valise for 500m. After 500m, the next roundabout appears from which you must exit at the third exit to join Chaussée de Liege. Follow this Chaussee for 1.4km and park your car in the first street of the right hand side.
WHAT Only flight arrivals into Liege Airport when coming into 23L and line-up’s *** Line-up’s are possible only, if the hill is still existing. Please check the MISC box for a info about this spot.
TIME From early afternoon until sunset in summer months.
MISCELLANEOUS Please note that this spot may not exist anymore as it is described here. The grass hill is believed to have removed but you can still photograph arrivals from the street as the depicted Thomas Cook Belgium Airbus. We will update the guide when further information about the spot is available.
FOCAL LENGTH 70-300mm; smaller planes e.g. Cessna planes are not to be photographed with 300mm
Spot #6 – Cargo Terminal West
WHERE (You can take photographs from the Cargo Terminal West of Liege Airport which you will reach when you take Rue de l’Aeroport southbound all the way parallel to the runway until the roundabout shortly before the entry onto A4 to Bruxelles. Take immediately the first exit of the roundabout (Rue du Bihet) and follow the street for about 1.6 km. Please note that the street runs through the town of Fontaine which means that you always have to remain on the ‘large’ road towards the freight area. The road is called differently starting with Rue du Bihet to Rue Lambert Tombeur to Rue de Communes until it is called Rue du Ferdou. After those 1.6km from the roundabout, turn right into Rue Saint Exupéry. If you just came for a quick stop and shoot, you can also use the parking lot.***)

***Update March 2016: We have learned that spot 6 East is unavailable since autumn 2015 unless you bring an extremely high ladder but this may result in troubles with local security staff.

WHAT Heavy departures from runway 23L and aircraft parking on the freight west apron (only head-on shots are possible)
TIME Parked aircraft from mid-day until sunset (varies from angle) and departing airplanes from late afternoon in summer.
MISCELLANEOUS Pictures of the eastern part of this location have to be taken through the fence (Avient) whilst you can photograph from a small hill at the western spot.
FOCAL LENGTH 18-300mm

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6 thoughts on “Liège Bierset Airport Spotting Guide

  1. ef

    Spot #6 – Cargo Terminal West (Eastern Spot) is unavailable (or only with a verry big ladder) since the end of 2015.
    There construction works at spot #1 (impossible to shot aircraft on S2 from the fence corner), and be careful with parking location, security seems to be stresses…

    1. MarlinMarlin Post author

      Hi Mylos!

      Thanks for your comment, we very appreciate that you share that with us! Have you had a great trip to Liége?

      Best Regards
      Marlin – spotterguide.net

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