Budapest Ferenc Liszt Airport Spotting Guide

The Budapest Liszt Ferenc Airport (BUD/LHBP) is the biggest Airport in Hungary and located 15km south-east of the downtown. The airport was opened in 1950 and named after the hungarian composer Liszt Ferenc in 2011. In 2016 11.441.999 Passangers visited BUD.

The Airport was the Hub of the hungarian national carrier Malév, but in 2012 they went bankrupt. Today the Airfield is being used by LCC Airlines and some europaen Airlines which connect Budapest to other important Cities in Europe. At the moment (July 2017) there are 3 non-european Airlines flying to BUD regularly. Air China offers Flights from/to Bejing via Minsk a few times a week (A330), Qatar Airways connects Budapest with Doha twice a day (A320/321) and Emirates serves Dubai once a day (B777). LOT announced to start with flights from Budapest to New York and Chicago from Summer 2018 with their B788 Dreamliner. Cargolux, UPS, FedEx, Qatar Airways Cargo and RAF Avia can often been seen at the most important Airport in Hungary, too.

Written by Severin Hackenberger (regular visitor) and Levente Greczula (local spotter – added Spot #7).

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Airline Variety
Photo Locations
Weather
Airport Information Runways 13R/31L 13L/31R
3010m × 45m 3707m × 45m
concrete  concrete
 Terminals 1 2A 2B
closed active active
 – Sky Team and Star Alliance Flights and almost all “Schengen-flights” One World Flights, “Non-Schengen-flights” and Low-Cost-Carrier (e. g. FR, W6, DY)
Spotting Information Ladder Not needed, if you use the mentioned spots (1-6) in this guide.
Car Necessary.
Restrooms Available in the terminals and the mentioned restaurants (or gas stations).
Drinks/Food Available only at spot 3, appart from that you can visit the mentioned restaurants (or gas stations).
Hotels A few around the airport. A brand new Ibis hotel is being build right now (July 2017) and to be opened in 2018. It is being build between Terminal 2A and 2B.
Season In summer there are some extra flights, but there aren’t enough to determine main- or off-season.
Runway Usage  13R/31L If it’s 31 Usage, 31L is for departures and if it’s 13 Usage, 13R is for arrivals. Most of the civil traffic follows this rule, Cargos and private Jets not always.

This runway was refreshed in spring 2017.

 13L/31R If it’s 31 Usage, 31R is for arrivals and if it’s 13 Usage, 13L is for departures. Most of the civil traffic follows this rule, Cargos and private Jets not always.

Spot #1 – Cargohill – Arrivals/Departures 13R and Departures 31L
WHERE This spot can be reached with public transport from Köbanya Kispest Metrostation. Take the Airport Bus 200E and disembark at the 3rd stop called “Szemeretelep vasutallomas”. Then, cross under the overhead highway towards Igló street, and it’s ~5 minutes walk straight to the hill, just follow the road as it turns right all the way next to Hungarocontrol’s building.

If you want to drive there by car from the terminal, just take the Ferihegy highway into city direction. Be sure to take the lower level (drive right) just a few houndred meter after you passed the old Terminal 1 on your right. After around 500m you have to turn right into the Igló ut and follow this road until you didn’t get to a control gate. Just park your car on the right and climb up the dome.

WHAT Arrivals and Departures on RWY 13R and Departures on RWY 31L, but most of them are already pretty high.
TIME In the summer from 11am till sunset and in the winter month from around 9am till sunset.
MISC. No ladder needed and no restrooms. For little drinks/snacks you can visit the gas sattion which is next to the Ferihegy highway into city direction (from here).
FOCAL LENGTH  30 – 300mm

(W6) A321 = 145mm / (U2) A320 = 220mm / ERJ170 = 236mm / (QR) A321 = 210mm / B737 = 295mm / (QS) A320 = 235mm

Spot #2 – Forrest – Arrivals 13L
WHERE This spot is quiet far away from the terminal and can´t be reached with public transport. If you want to drive there by car from the terminal, just take the Ferihegy highway into city direction. Be sure to take the lower level (drive right) just a few houndred meter after you passed the old Terminal 1 on your right. After around 2km you should see a gas station on your right. turn right just after the Petrol gas station onto the Csévéző ut. Follow this road for about 1,5km until you can see the Lőrinci út on your left. After 800m you have to turn right into the Bocskai István ut and after 650m you can park the car and search for your favourite spot and perspective you like the most!
WHAT Arrivals on RWY 13L only.
TIME In the summer from 11am till sunset and in the winter month from around 9am till sunset.
MISC. No ladder needed and no restrooms near to this spot. For little drinks/snacks you can visit the gas sattion which is next to the crossing of Ferihegy highway and Csévéző ut.
FOCAL LENGTH 70 – 300mm

ERJ170 = 135mm / (E4) B737 = 195mm / A320 = 180mm / A321 = 175mm / (LS) B737 = 190mm / CRJ900 = 210mm

Spot #3 – Visitor terrace – Almost all activities
WHERE The visitor terrace is landside on the top of BUD Terminal 2A. Just follow the signs inside the terminal(s) and you will get to the small terrace which is fully glazed.
WHAT All Departures and Arrivals can be seen from here. Just actions which are near to the technic hangars can’t be seen from here, due to the terminal 2B.
TIME Depends on what you want to take a picture of! The RWY 13L/31R has light from 11am till sunset (in the summer) and in the winter month from around 9am till sunset. On the other RWY 13R/31L you will have light from sunrise until 11am in the summer and in the winter months from sunrise until 8am.
MISC. Food/Drinks can be found inside the terminals and restrooms as well.
FOCAL LENGTH 100 – 300mm

ATR72 = 250 / Avro = 265mm / A320 = 270mm

#4 – Spotterdome – 13L/31R arrivals and departures
WHERE Follow the M4, heading Szolnok, until you have the possibilty to exit for Vecses/Ecser, so exit the M4 there. Turn left onto the Uj Ecseri ut and follow this road for about 500m – then turn right onto the road “400”. After about 2km turn right again onto Ecseri ut.Follow this road and park your car after you crossed the M4. Now just walk for a few minutes following the signs towards the location along the dirt road.
WHAT Departures, if the planes take the last taxiway to enter the runway, and arrivals on runway 31R
TIME Light from 11am till sunset (in the summer) and in the winter months from around 9am till sunset.
MISC. There is nothing nearby, so bring with you what you need. The “Spotterdome” is well known by the general public, so it can be a bit crowded in the weekends.
FOCAL LENGTH 18 – 300mm

B767 (->) = 50mm / B767 (<-) = 175mm / A321 = 170mm / (NO) B737 = 230mm / (E4) B737 = 260mm / CS100 = 220mm

Spot #5 – Fieldarrivals – Arrivals on RWY31R from ~10am
WHERE Follow the M4, heading Szolnok, until you have the possibilty to exit for Vecses/Ecser, so exit the M4 there. Turn right onto the Uj Ecseri ut and follow this road for about 800m – then exit the roundabout at the 3rd exit onto a dirty pathroad. After you passed some trees to your right and left you have to turn left and just 10m after the first crossing right again. Now follow this path until you want and just park your car there. It depens on the perspective you like the most!
WHAT Arrivals on runway 31R only.
TIME Light from 11am till sunset (in the summer) and in the winter months from around 9am till sunset.
MISC. There is nothing nearby, so bring with you what you need.
If its rainy it can be dangerous to drive on the path, because your car may get stuck. If so, just park your car next to the roundabout and walk to the spot(s).
FOCAL LENGTH 100 – 250mm

ATR72 = 190 / B737 = 195mm / (U2) A320 = 190mm / A321 = 160mm / B747 = 125mm / (QR) A320 = 200mm

Spot #6 – Fieldarrivals – Morning arrivals RWY31R
WHERE Follow the M4, heading Szolnok, until you have the possibilty to exit for Vecses/Ecser, so exit the M4 there. Turn right onto the Uj Ecseri ut and follow this road for about 800m – then exit the roundabout at the 3rd exit onto a dirty pathroad. Follow this path until you get to the arrival lights, then turn right, drive until you want and just park your car there. It depens on the perspective you like the most!
WHAT Arrivals on runway 31R only.
TIME Light from sunrise till 11am (in the summer) and in the winter months from sunrise till 9am.
MISC. There is nothing nearby, so bring with you what you need.
If its rainy it can be dangerous to drive on the path, because your car may get stuck. If so, just park your car next to the roundabout and walk to the spot(s).
FOCAL LENGTH 100 – 250mm

A320 = 180mm / A321 = 195mm / B737 = 160mm

Spot #7 – Fishing pond – Morning arrivals 13R & 31L morning departures
WHERE If coming from the city, drive on Bélatelepi út and turn right before the 90° curve. Take the dirt road. You may park your car next to the dirt road. Walk along the perimeter fence until you find the spot you like.

The spot is accessible by public transport, too: take bus 98 from Kőbánya-Kispest metro station and disembark at Orgoványi utca stop.

WHAT 13R morning arrivals and morning departures 31L.
TIME Light from sunrise till 11am (in the summer) and in the winter months from sunrise till 9am.
MISC. There is nothing nearby, so bring what you need. A ladder is quite useful here because the perimeter fence is relatively tall. However, you can make it without a ladder since there is a hummock, or you can shoot through the fence. If doing so, make sure that you do not touch the fence. This activates the alarm system of the airport security team. Also, please note that part of this spot is located on private property. The owner of the farm is friendly with the spotters, so please do not litter or do any harm. If you are visiting in the summer season, please do not smoke at the spot, or make sure that you blow out the cigarette stub because it may cause a fire. Heat haze can cause problems, especially on hot summer days.
FOCAL LENGTH 100 – 400mm

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3 thoughts on “Budapest Ferenc Liszt Airport Spotting Guide

  1. Zoltan Peter Pasztor

    Hi,

    Just a small notice, LOT announced starts fly from summer 2018.

    Regards,

    Zoltan Peter Pasztor

  2. Thomas Gajdos

    As a local resident, this LHBP guide is quite good. However, Spot #1 (Cargohill) can be reached by public transportation. Take the Airport Bus (200E) from Kobanya Kispest Metro Station, and disembark at the 3rd stop called “Szemeretelep vasutallomas”. Then, cross under the overhead highway towards Igló street, and it’s ~5 minutes walk straight to the hill, just follow the road as it turns right all the way next to Hungarocontrol’s building.

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