Luxembourg Findel Airport Spotting Guide

Luxembourg Airport is situated 6 kilometres east of the city of Letzebuerg, the capital of Europe’s 7th smallest state by size and population. Luxembourg is not only the home of many istitutions of European Union like the European Court of Auditors and the Court of Justice, but also of Luxair and Cargolux. They operate from the country’s single international and paved landing strip – called Luxembourg Findel Airport.

Despite the country is surrounded by the majors in Europe like France and Germany, Luxemburg absolutely muscles in with the big one because the airport is one of the busiest in terms of freight business in West Europe! Jumbo jets are floating in here daily, wouldn’t have believed that, huuh? The airport startet early! In the 1930s years the airstrip was primarily serving the city of Sandweiler. With only a short grass runway of 1000m, the airport was used by the Luxembourger until the Germans based a fighter unit here in 1940. Until 1944, the airport was completely under German Control, but in September 1944, the United States Army joined and took over control after having banished the Germans literally. After WWII, the airport was again in Luxembourgish hands after the Americans have returned authority back to the small state.

Nowadays, Luxemburg Airport has a brand new Terminal hall ‘A’, which was inaugurated in mid-2008, as well as a new Terminal B, which was first used for commercial passenger service in 2005 but only being able to handle 200’000 passengers a year so it is only used for aircrafts with a maximum capacity of 50 people, for instance Luxair’s regio fleet of Dashes and Embraers.

Due to its important part in the European Union, the airport has shuttles to several European capitals and metropolises e.g. Paris (AF), Vienna (OS), Zurich (LX), Copenhagen (SK), or Berlin (LH).
Cargo operations are another main pillar for LUX with Cargolux having a hub there and operating flights to all over the world with their 747 freighters. Etihad Cargo, Qatar Cargo, Atlas Air and China Airlines Cargo are frequent visitors too. Keep in mind you can´t rely on the schedule times for these cargo flights on flightradar or flightstats as they usually never on time and there are always flights that are not listed.

Written by Marlin Lehmann, Patrick Weiß & Julian Mittnacht (last update 05/2015)

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Airline Variety
Photo Locations
Weather
Airport Information    Runways 06/24
4,000m (13,127ft)
Concrete / Asphalt
Terminals Terminal hall
All flights. There are no domestic flights within the country that means that all flights are international departures.
Spotting Information Ladder A ladder is needed at almost every location as its not possible to shot through the fence.
Car Very advisable as the spots, especially on the south, are not to be reached by local public transport.
Restrooms In every publicly accessable building like restaurants or hotels.
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. Nearly every categorie of hotels are available ranging from hostels to Ibis and NH Hotels.
Season The traffic at Luxembourg Airport slightly increases during the summer season while Luxair operations a few holiday charters 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  06/24 Usually depends on the wind, there might be some minor changes during off-times. We have learned that runway 24 is in use the most due to steady winds from west.

Spot #1 – In the forest (Schëtterhaard) – 24 arrivals & departures
WHERE This spot is located in the forest Schëtterhaard south of the airport’s runway. If you travel from the airport’s terminal, drive northbound to A1 towards Trier / Grevenmacher and exit the highway after about 700m again (Exit 10 – Cargo Center). When you vacate the highway you will enter a roundabout (spot 2). Take the second exit (Rue de Senningen to Naihaischen). Follow this street for about 1km until a parking bay appears on the right hand side of the street. Park your car here and walk through the forest for about 200m as it is shown on the map above. Travelling to this spot on public transportation is not possible.
Coordinates: 49°38’00.1″N 6°14’20.9″E
WHAT Runway 24 arrivals and line-ups as well as taxiings into the cargo terminal (heat haze in the summer).
TIME From sunrise until mid-day/early afternoon
MISC. There is nothing nearby this spotting location. Please bring everythings along by yourself. A ladder is absolutely necessary and neede for all movements.
FOCAL LENGTH 70-300mm | Boeing 747-8F: 80mm | CRJ200: 210mm | Uplining Boeing 737-700: 190mm


Spot #2 – Cargo – 24 arrivals & departures
WHERE This spot is located near the Freight Centre next to highway A1. If you travel from the airport’s terminal, drive northbound to A1 towards Trier / Grevenmacher and exit the highway after about 700m again (Exit 10 – Cargo Center). When you vacate the highway you will enter a roundabout. Take the second exit (Rue de Senningen to Naihaischen). The spot will be immediately after the second exit on the right hand side of Rue de Senningen. It is an unpaved, sandy area. You can park your car immediately on site and parking here is completely legal. Travelling here by LPT is not possible.
Coordinates: 49°38’16.0″N 6°14’02.2″E
WHAT All arrivals into runway 24 as well as departures from runway 24.
TIME From mid-day/early afternoon until sunset.
MISC.
A ladder is not needed as you can shot through the crash gate. There is nothing nearby to this spotting location so bring everything that you need by yourself.
FOCAL LENGTH 18-300mm | Landing Boeing 747: 80mm | Fokker on the runway: 200mm | Taxiing Boeing 747: about 30mm


Spot #3 – Cargo Terminal
WHERE This spot is in easy walking distance from the terminal buiding but also accessable by car. When you are at the terminal, take the exit to Luxembourg City and a roundabout will appear after about 100m. Take immediately the first exit again. Keep left (Street snaps off to the right) and drive towards the NH Hotel. Continue to the end of the street where a big building will appear. Park your car here and walk onto the undeveloped land until the airport perimeter fence. Its also in a walkable disctance from the terminal.
Coordinates: 49°38’05.0″N 6°13’34.8″E 

+++THIS SPOT IS HISTORY DUE TO A NEW CONTRUCTED RAMP.
PIC HERE+++

WHAT All runway movements, taxiing airplanes in the cargo apron (there may be some obstacles parked in front – sometimes the Auxiliary Power Unit of any aircrafts parked here may disturb or flicker the picture.
TIME
MISC.
A ladder is helpful to look over the perimeter fence but as at all positions you can take photos through the fence, some pictures below were taken without are ladder. There is nothing nearby to this spotting location so bring everything that you need by yourself.
FOCAL LENGTH taxiing 747: 180mm, ERJ145: 230 mm, A320: 180mm
Spot #4 – Ibis Budget Hotel (Rue Lou Hemmer)
WHERE An Ibis Budget Hotel is located west of Terminal A (The terminal hall). Note: There are two Ibis Hotels, but you can only photograph from Ibis Budget Hotel. The other one is a standard Ibis Hotel. Coordinates: 49.633208, 6.209970
WHAT Runway 24 movements from the corridor only, there are rooms aligned to the airport which offer a good view onto the airport’s apron.
TIME From mid-day until sunset, line-ups from late morning
MISC.
Rooms aligned to the airport also offer a view on the apron. You can also enter the hotel by not being a guest but you should better avoid that, so that spotting remains tolerated by the hotel staff. Your photographs must be taken through a glazed window but the glass is not tinted. You can not fully open the window which is the case at many airport hotels or in high level buidings. You cannot travel here by local public transport. Parking in front of the hotel is free and not limited (for hotel guests only). If all spaces are occupied, there are enough parking possibilities nearby. We can recommend this hotel for clean rooms and for its low price. It is a good spotter hotel. Breakfast and food is offered but fee-based.
FOCAL LENGTH  70-400mm | Dash 8 Q400: 300mm, B747: 180mm
Spot #5 – Birelerhaff – 06/24 movements
WHERE This spot is located near the small village ‘Birelerhaff’. If you travel from the airport’s terminal, drive northbound to A1 towards Trier / Grevenmacher and exit the highway after about 700m again (Exit 10 – Cargo Center). When you vacate the highway you will enter a roundabout. Take the second exit (Rue de Senningen to Naihaischen) and follow the street course for about 2 kilometer until you enter the town of Neihaischen. Turn right onto street CR185 (Rue Principale) to Sandweiler and follow the street course for another kilometer and turn right at the intersection to remain on CR185. Follow the street for 1km until the town of Birelerhaff is on your right. Turn right towards the village and follow the street. The street will snap off to the right but drive straight ahead until the end of the street. You can park your car at the bottom of the small hill. Travelling here by LPT is not possible.
Coordinates: 49°37’27.2″N 6°12’34.0″E
WHAT Runway 24/06 departures are possible in both directions whilst 06 aircrafts usually are still on the ground. 24/06 arrivals are possible but some smaller aicrafts may leaving the runway earlier.
TIME From sunrise until mid-day.
MISC.
In Summer, the grass is sometimes not cut, causing limitations of some angles right up to the cut of the gear of departing airplanes. Heavier aircrafts might still be on the ground at this location. You need a ladder here for every kind of movement.
FOCAL LENGTH 50-300mm | Dash 8 Q400: 150mm


Spot #6 – Staff Car park – 06 arrivals & departures
WHERE This is a known spot for the locals and you have different positions there to take your photos. You reach the spot by following the airport road from the terminal westwards to the A1. After a couple of minutes turn left at the signal and drive ahead to the staff car park on an unamed road. Parking is possible outside of the parking bay next to the forest as it is for airport authorities only. It is inaccessable for cars due to a boom gate. Travelling here by LPT is not possible.
WHAT From this spot you can take all movements for runway 06 ops.
TIME From mid-day/early afternoon until sunset.
MISC.
For arrivals you don´t need a ladder when you stay where you have parked your car because you are on a higher level than the runway. For the Taxiway or touchdown shots you have to walk to the fence and need a stepladder of at least 2-3 steps.
FOCAL LENGTH Taxiway: 10mm for a 747  | Arrivals: 80mm for a 747-8



Spot #7 – Railroad track – 06 arrivals
WHERE The spot is situated within a forrest clearance and a railroad track. To get there from the airport road (spot 6) is pretty fast. Follow the signs to the Autobahn A1 and take the the third exit on the next roundabout to the N2. Drive left at the next junction and then third exit at the roundabout. There is a small parking lot. Pass this and follow the dirt road, cross the bridge over the A1 and enter the forrest. Park your car here. Now you have to walk 300 meters along a forrest road. During our visit there was a huge dirt mound blocking the road so just pass it like its marked on the map. Your spot is next to the railroad track in a small clearance.
WHAT You just see the 06 arrivals here. Keep in mind you have only 2 seconds to take your picture as the gap between the trees is very small. An alternative is to stay on the bridge but the angle there is awful.
TIME From sunrise until mid-day/early afternoon
MISC.
There is nothing nearby this spotting location. Please bring everythings along by yourself.
FOCAL LENGTH 70-300mm | Boeing 747-8F: 80mm | CRJ200: 210mm


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10 thoughts on “Luxembourg Findel Airport Spotting Guide

  1. Gregory Martin

    Spot #4 is sadly not there anymore. It was closed in order to start the construction of 4 new parking positions on the Cargo Apron Parking P7 to accommodate the rising numbers of Cargo airplanes.

      1. JulianJulian

        Here you are talking about spot #2?! I think you can still shot the arrivals from there and can´t imagine they removed the crash gate for the departures. Anyone has more infos?

        1. Gregory Martin

          Spot #2 is still open indeed.

          With the link i was more referring to the image about mid-page where you can see the layout of construction site, where you can see spot #3 will not be available anymore.

          And my apologies about Spot #4, i thought that spot #4 was referring to the so-called “Hill” near the taxiway (http://www.airplane-pictures.net/photo/854894/hb-rsc-airport-overview-airport-overview-photography-location/) because that one has been closed as well. I haven’t heard or know anyone that takes pics from the Ibis Hotel itself and looking at the pictures of spot #4 in this guide confused me a bit.

    1. JulianJulian

      Hi Gregory, I guess you mean Spot 3, the hill next to the cargo ramp. Sad news indeed and I removed it from the guide.

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