Paris Orly Intl. Airport Spotting Guide

Paris Orly airport is the smaller airport of the two airports serving Paris by scheduled services (Le Bourget only for Business jets). It is with 28.274.154 passengers the second busiest Airport of France. It’s a hub for Air France, Aigle Azur, HOP, OpenSkies, Corsair and Transavia France. It’s a focus city for Easyjet, Air Caribes, Royal Air Maroc, Air Algerie and Vueling.

In compare to Paris Charles the Gaulle and Le Bourget you don’t need a spotting permit in Paris Orly. The only disadvantage is when you want to change positions from Rw 06 to Rw 08 you need about 15 minutes, depends on the traffic. At all spots parking is for free possible except for the Airport Terrace.

The traffic is constantly and there is always a mix of different Airlines. As highlights you can say that Cubana operating into ORY with an IL-96-300. Royal Air Maroc and Air Algerie operating into ORY with heavies on some of their flights are operated by their longhaul fleets that are rarely seen on the rest of the main hubs in Europe. It’s easy to get nearly all of the traffic without changing spots.

Written by Patrick Weis, Bas Velders and Björn Van Brussel (Visited July 2016)

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Airline Variety
Photo Locations
Airport Information Runway 06/24 08/26 02/20
3.650m (11’975 ft) 3.320m (10’892 ft) 2.400m (7’874 ft)
Terminals Terminal Sud Terminal Ouest
A Part of the Full Service Carriers and Vueling Especially LCC, Charter Airlines and some Full Service Carriers
Spotting Information Ladder A maximum of 4 steps is enough
Car Really necessary when you want to switch postions as there is not the best public transport accesability
Restrooms Inside the terminal or on the marked Mc Donald’s and the supermarkets..
Drinks/Food Inside the terminal or as marked on the map.
Hotels All around the airport could be found.
Season Any time of the year  the traffic is more or less the same but in the winter the most of the time the weather is not that good
Runway Usage 06/24
Main Landing Runway direction is 06. If 26 is active as landing runway this is the depature runway
08/26 Main depature Runway direction is 08. If 24 is active as depature runway this is the arrival runway
02/20  usually not in Use


Spot #1 – Arrivals Runway 26
WHERE This spot is located on the sideswalk of the D118. From the airport, drive south along the N7. Then go Left on the D25E (Concorde). Go left again at the roundabout onto D118. There are ongoing constructions for a new warehouse.

You can park your car alongside the road, but spaces are limited. Another parking spot is in the Rue Lindbergh.

WHAT When they operate west-to-east, (alsmost) all arrivals will be on runway 26.
TIME Until late-afternoon.
MISC. No facilities at this spot.
FOCAL LENGTH A330-300: 100mm

B737-800: 140mm

Spot #2 – La Coulée Verte Line up Rw 08
WHERE This spot is located inside the Park La Coulée Verte. Park your car on the free car park in front of the Park in the Rue Marceau Street. Go inside at the main gate and turn left at the Mirage and walk down the paved way until it ends afther the childrens play ground. Walk up the grass hill on your right and until the wall. There are some stones that helps you to clear the view onto the runway so a ladder is not necessary.

A second possibility is to walk straight ahead at the Mirage and you’ll end up in a little “amfitheatre” where you can stand on 2 little hills (see overview pic below) for the perfect runway shots during 08 departure. Its possible that the bushes are not cut and blocks your sight.

WHAT From this spot you can get all Airfcrafts on Runway 08.
TIME From sunrise till sunset
MISC. A kiosk and toilets at the entrance of the park. Heathaze is a problem during warm days however.
FOCAL LENGTH A340-300: 70mm

A320: 120mm

Spot #3 – Touchdown Runway 06 / Takeoff Runway 24
WHERE This spot is located in the Rue de Berger. follow the road until you’re at the only roundabout in this street. Park your car on the exit that facing to the runway on the site of the street in front of the traffic barrier. Walk up the way until the fence. Then turn right and walk along the fence until you’re at the height of the tank of the company behind you. You need a ladder with at least four steps!

From the parking spot you can also take departure shots from runway 24. There is a little sandhill next to the gate so you’re high enough to see the action and you don´t need a ladder. Heathaze might be an issue on warm days.

WHAT You can take here pictures of all planes touching down on runway 06 or taking off from runway 24
TIME sunrise till 15:00
MISC. No facilities at this spot. There is a board at the gate telling that it is forbidden to trespass, so it’s at your own risk.
FOCAL LENGTH touchdown: IL-96: 135mm, A320: 200mm

take off: B747 = 130mm, B737 = 260mm

Departure shots from the parking lot:

Spot #4 – Arrivals runway 06 (south)
WHERE For Spot 4 park your car at the side of the Street Rue des Mares Juliennes. Please don’t block the road. Walk up towards and turn right onto the cyclepath until there is a small hill on the left side of the cyclepath. Climb up until your’re in the angle you like. No ladder needed at this spot.
WHAT This spot is good for all arrivals on Runway 06 during the morning hours.
TIME From sunrise till 15:00.
MISC. Nothing at this spot.
FOCAL LENGTH A330: 120mm

B757-200: 170mm

Spot #5 – Arrivals runway 06 (south)
WHERE Spot 5 is located on Street Rue des Mares Juliennes. From the parking of spot 4, drive back to the D167 until you have a clear view over the fence. Park your car on the side of the road. There are some concrete blocks on the side of the road you can use to get a better view. You could also bring a 4 step ladder with you.
WHAT This spot is good for all arrivals on Runway 06 during the morning hours.
TIME From sunrise till 15:00.
MISC. Nothing at this spot. Not a must, but it is advisable to bring a small step with you.
FOCAL LENGTH A330: 120mm

A320-200: 180mm

CRJ-1000: 210mm

Spot #6 – Arrivals runway 06 (north)
WHERE This spot is located north of runway 06. You can park your car along the roadside of the  D167 (Boulevard de l’Europe). Be aware of the traffic and cyclists.
WHAT This spot is good for all arrivals on Runway 06.
TIME Best times: Late in the afternoon and evening.
MISC. No facilities at this spot.
FOCAL LENGTH A330-300: 170mm

B737-800: 250mm

Spot #7 – Viewing deck Terminal Sud
WHERE Terminal Sud (South) has it’s own viewing deck. Follow the signs in the terminal or just go to the most upper level of the terminal.
WHAT This spot is great for viewing aircraft, but not so great for photos. First problem is the dirty glass you will be shooting though. Second problem is the viewing direction. The sun is against you almost the whole day.

Pictures can be taken from taxiing traffic on the taxiway. The runway is to far (heat-waves). It is difficult to take any pictures of traffic taxiing to/from Terminal Ouest (East), due to the glass.

TIME Best times: late in the afternoon/evening and on days with lots of clouds.
MISC. Eveything you need is in the terminal.
FOCAL LENGTH A330-200 (closest taxiway): 50mm

B737-800 (second taxiway): 120mm

Spot #8 – Voie De Edouets
WHERE This spot is located in la Voie De Edouets, a dead-end street north of runway 24.
WHAT From this spot you can easily spot planes on take off from runway 24. You have a fence in front of you but almost all planes are already high enough so it doesn’t really bother.
There are also a few big concrete blocks where you can get a little higher if you want some more view on the runway.
TIME Late afternoon/evening
MISC. You can park your car at the spot
FOCAL LENGTH A332 = 100mm
B737-800 = 160mm

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5 thoughts on “Paris Orly Intl. Airport Spotting Guide

  1. Jürgen

    Need to correct the comment from Jordi. I was there in August and Position No.1 is still accessible, or accesiible again. The new warehouse does NOT obstruct the view at No.1. So this Position is still great.
    There is some work going on between the warehouse and spot 1 and it looks to me as if there could be a parking area for the warehouse trucks or whatever. Anyway, spot 1 is still good.

  2. Jordi

    I’ve just been in Orly and the spot #1 does not exist anymore. There’s a warehouse in construction and the paved path behind the fence is gone. You could get in the construction site, but I preferred staying on the other side of the road, where you can still take fairly good photos in the air. Other than that, this guide was very helpful!

  3. Sébastien glaentzlin

    The spotting position 1 runway 26: it is forbiden to park both sides of the road.

  4. Pingback: Europe’s Best Secondary Airports - Airport Spotting Blog

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