Hannover Airport (HAJ/EDDV) is located 11 km north of the Hannover city centre in Langenhagen. It can be easily reached by car from motorway A352 exit Hannover-Flughafen or by commuter train S5 from the main station. In 2015 5,4 million passengers were handled. The airport was opened in 1952 with one runway (today 09R/27R). The 2nd runway (09L/27R) was opened in 1966 and reached the today’s length in 1990. The current terminals A and B were opened in 1973, terminal C in 1998. The airport is open 24 hours, so some traffic is shifted to the night. TUIfly is based in HAJ and operates also a maintenance station here.
HAJ is currently served on regular service by Lufthansa, Germanwings/Eurowings, Aeroflot, Aegean (seasonal), Air Astana (seasonal), Air France, Belavia, British, Brussels, flybe, KLM, LOT, SAS, Swiss/Helvetic, Turkish, Vueling, Wizz. Finnair announced flights from 2019.
Seasonal charter services are offered by Air Cairo, Bulgarian Air Charter, Condor, Corendon, FlyEgypt, Germania, Laudamotion, Nouvelair, Norwegian, Olympus, Onur, Pegasus, Small Planet, Sun Express, Travel Service, TUIfly.
Daily cargo operations are TNT and FedEx.
Besides the regular visitors, there are sometimes cargo charters by a big car manufacturer from Wolfsburg, which can be handled by different cargo airlines, e.g. Cargolux, Air Cargo Global, KLM. Royal Air Force is also present at HAJ from time to time using 330 or A400. During international fairs in Hannover special charter service can be seen, but the number decreased in past years. You can check the flight schedule on https://www.hannover-airport.de/ . Some special visitors are announced on https://haj-spotter-forum.de/
HAJ has a huge number of possible spotting positions, but some of them are only useful for special occasions like night shots in winter. In this guide you will find the most important spots to visit in HAJ. The observation deck is not part of the spotter guide, as the photo opportunities are quite limited. It’s only open from 9:00 until 18:00 and most of the day you are facing the sun. The view is additionally obstructed by dirty and tinted windows.
Some parts of the airport fence are already equipped with a new and higher fence. At these areas it’s possible to take pictures between the top edge of the fence and the barbed wire by using a 3-step ladder. Unfortunately the barbed wire is extremely sharp, so the chance to hurt your hands or scratch your camera is quite high. To be safe a 5-step ladder is needed.
Written by Marcus (local spotter) and some pictures/information provided by Severin Hackenberger (regular visitor) and Maximilian Schulz (local spotter).
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|Terminal||Terminal A||Terminal B||Terminal C|
|Schengen (mainly LH, LX, SK, SN, EW, W6, KL, AF, LO, Schengen Charter)||Non Schengen (BA, SU, TK, BE, KZ, B2, W6, non-Schengen-Charter)||Closed for reconstruction until autumn 2019|
|Spotting Information||Ladder||Not necessary at some spots. If you need one: 3steps for old fence, 5 steps for new fence.|
|Car||There is a commuter train station at terminal C, also several bus stops around the airport. To have a car makes sense, because you sometimes need to rush to the other runway to get the traffic.|
|Restrooms||Only in the terminal building and some car parks.|
|Drinks/Food||Between terminal A and B McDonald’s and Edeka supermarket are located. Around the airport there are some supermarkets, fuel stations and another McDonald’s. But these are only reachable by car.|
|Hotels||Around the Airport or in the City.|
|Season||All Year. But chance for sunshine is higher in summer. November to March can get grey, cold and rainy.|
|Runway Usage||General Info||There is no clear rule; any aircraft can use both runways. The use of airband scanners is not allowed in Germany, so it’s always some kind of lottery if you are chasing a special movement. Watch out for the locals to follow them to the right runway.|
|09L/27R||More likely that heavy aircraft will use this runway. Also longer European services (Turkey, Russia, Canary Islands) can be seen here.|
|09R/27L||Most short haul traffic, but also most charters (like TUI) can be seen here. In case of 09 operations more aircrafts will depart here due to shorter taxi time. Aircrafts parked at terminal C often prefer 27L for departure.|
|09C/27C||Only for light aircraft|
|Spot #1 – P1 Parking – Taxiway F and L and Apron – Morning|
|WHERE||On the top level of car park P1 and also next to Terminal A. You can park your car in front of Terminal A or move up to the top level of the car park (charges apply). No ladder required.|
|WHAT||You can get aircrafts taxying from and to the northern runway 09L/27R. Also some parking positions on apron West are visible.|
|TIME||Only in the morning until 10:00.|
|MISC.||Toilets and Restaurants are in the Terminal.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||300 mm for A320.|
|Spot #2 – GAT 2 – Taxiway F, L and M|
|WHERE||In walking distance from terminal there is a small grass area next to the GAT 2. Due to the high fence a 5-step ladder is required. By car follow the signs to GAT or GAT 2. You can park your car 1 hour for free close to the spot.|
|WHAT||You can get aircrafts taxying from and to the northern runway 09L/27R. Also 09L take-offs are possible here.|
|TIME||From early morning until 10:00 on taxiway F and L, until 14:00 on taxiway M (to 27R), 09L take-offs from 10:00 until 17:00.|
|MISC.||Toilets, Restaurants are in the Terminal. A snack bar is around the corner (Imbiss Riehl).|
|FOCAL LENGTH||80 mm for A320 on taxiway M, 200 mm on taxiway L, 400 mm on runway 09L|
|Spot #3 – P7 Parking – Final 27R|
|WHERE||On the top level of car park P7. Due to a hangar in front of the car park only the rightmost corner offers a free view. No ladder required. You can park your car in front of car park P7 (only few places at the street are up to 1 hour for free) or move up to the top level of the car park (charges apply).|
|WHAT||You can take great shots of aircrafts in final to 27R. Also pictures of aircrafts taxying to 27R are possible, but for this you need to move to the leftmost corner of the car park.|
|TIME||From 10:00 until 17:00 for final, from 9:00 until 15:00 on taxiway.|
|MISC.||Toilets on the ground floor, restaurants in the terminal.
|FOCAL LENGTH||250 mm for A320, on taxiway 100 mm are sufficient.|
|Spot #4 – Jail – Final and Line-Up 27R|
|WHERE||At the end of Benkendorffstraße is a jail. By car follow the signs “Justizvollzugsanstalt”. You can park your car in front of the jail for free. A 3-step ladder is required (not to enter the jail, but to take pics above the airport fence). You can move along the fence to find your perfect position.|
|WHAT||Shots of aircrafts in final approach to 27R. Also pictures of aircrafts lining up for 27R are possible.|
|TIME||From 10:00 until 17:00 for final, from sunrise until 13:00 on taxiway.|
|MISC.||There’s nothing at this spot, bring with you what you need.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||200 mm for A320 in final, for taxiway it depends where you place your ladder…|
|Spot #5 – Final and Line-Up 27L|
|WHERE||These spots are at the approach path for 27L along the perimeter fence so you need a ladder. You can park your car on a dirt road close to the fence next to the Münchner Straße. There are 2 dirt roads to choose, one is westwards for the finals, the other northwards for the line up. Take your ladder and move along the fence to get the perfect position. The positions are accessible from both dirt paths and are only a few meters apart.
Here is a new fence has been placed at some areas, so with a 3-step ladder you have to walk till the end of the new fence.
|WHAT||You can take shots of aircrafts in final approach to 27L. Line up for 27L is also possible.|
|TIME||From 10:00 until 17:00 for final, from 7:00 until 17:00 for line-up, depending on your position.|
|MISC.||There’s nothing at this spot, bring with you what you need. There is a gas station north of this spot.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||180 to 220 mm for 320 in final, for taxiway it depends where you place your ladder…|
|Spot #6 – Final 27L|
|WHERE||This is a good spot for a quick picture of an approaching aircraft park next to the small levy and just walk a few meters along the forrest on a dirt road. There is no ladder required at this location but you may have some parts of the fence in your picture frame (see BMI 330 sample).|
|WHAT||You can take shots of aircrafts in final approach to 27L.|
|TIME||From 10:00 until 17:00 for final|
|MISC.||There’s nothing at this spot, bring with you what you need. There is a gas station north of this spot.|
|Spot #7 – Spotterhügel / Spotter Hill – 09R/27R|
|WHERE||At the corner Münchner Straße and Schwabenstraße you can park your car easily at the road. From there it’s a 5 minutes’ walk to get to the small hill. No ladder required.|
|WHAT||All traffic on 09R/27L and also taxying traffic on the apron (watch out for heat haze)|
|TIME||From 10:00 until 17:00.|
|MISC.||Nothing here, even no shade.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||120 mm for A320 on the runway|
|Spot #8 – Runwayhead 09R – Final and Line-Up 09R|
|WHERE||Drive to the very end of the Dorfstraße. You can park your car directly at the fence. A 3-step ladder is required. You can move along the fence to get the perfect position.|
|WHAT||You can take great shots of aircrafts in final to 09R. Line-ups on 09R are directly in front of you. Shots of landing traffic on 27L can be taken, when the aircraft is vacating via taxiway D. If you move back in the fields you can get also take-off shots on 27L.|
|TIME||From 10:00 until 17:00, 27L landings vacating on D until 19:00|
|FOCAL LENGTH||120 mm for A320 on the runway, up to 400 mm for 27L take offs.|
|Spot #9 – Line up 09R|
|WHERE||From the village of Engelbostel drive to Heidestraße / Schulenburg-Nord. Park your car on a dirt road and walk 200 meters to the fence. A 3-step ladder is required. You can move along the fence to find the perfect position|
|WHAT||You can take great shots of aircrafts in lining up to 09R.|
|TIME||From 18:00 until sunset in summer.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||250 mm for A320|
|Spot #10 – Apron West|
|WHERE||Park your car at Schulenburg Nord and take a 200 meters walk to the fence. A 5-step ladder is required. You can move along the fence to get the perfect position|
|WHAT||From here you can get aircrafts parked on apron West. In summer also taxying aircrafts to 09R are possible.|
|TIME||From 15:00 until sunset on apron, from 19:00 on taxiway. In summer also early morning shots are possible for line-up on 09R.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||200 – 400 mm for A320 dependent where the aircraft is parked, for taxiway it depends where you place your ladder (80 – 200 mm)…|
|Spot #11 – Tunnel – Taxiway F and L – Evening|
|WHERE||This spot is located above the tunnel entry along the fence. It can easily be reached by walking through the tunnel (if you come from the terminal). Directly after leaving the tunnel, turn right where the bridge railing ends and walk the small path towards the fence. There is space for 3 spotters maximum. You can park your car legally at spot #2 or at the terminal. Parking on the cargo facilities is on your own risk as this is private property!|
|WHAT||Taxiing aircrafts from and to 09L/27R, also some apron movements.|
|TIME||From late midday until sunset for taxiway F and L; apron movements depend on the angle.|
|MISC.||Small ladder is needed here, all infrastructure can be found inside the terminal (which can be reached by using the tunnel). Don’t use the spot on the cargo area. The spot is on private property. Spotters have been approached by Police and fined for unlawful entry. In case you are chasing one special aircraft, you can use the spot on the cargo facilities on your own risk. Don’t stay there for longer than a few minutes and keep a very low profile. Some cargo staff calls Police without warning.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||24 – 300mm
95mm = A320 on taxiway
|Spot #12 – Schulenburg Nord – 09L/27R|
|WHERE||This was an official spotter place years ago until the area was blocked by a barrier. Nevertheless it is still accessible, but you need to walk a few meters. You can park your car in front of the barrier at Schulenburg-Nord. A 3-step ladder is required.|
|WHAT||Shots of all movements on 09L/27R can be taken here. Also the taxiway G is right in front of you.|
|TIME||From 10:00 until 17:00.|
|MISC.||Absolutely nothing here|
|FOCAL LENGTH||250 mm for A320 on the runway, 40 mm on taxiway G|
|Spot #13 – Tonkuhle – 09L/27R|
|WHERE||From the village of Engelbostel follow Heidestraße up the right hand bend, from there move straight ahead towards the allotments. To get to the fence you can take the dirt road on the right (drive slowly, it’s a recreation area). You can park your car at the fence. This area is not officially accessible, so it might be that you will be sent away. But this happened only a few times in the past years. A 3-step ladder is required. You can move along the fence to get the perfect position|
|WHAT||Good position for aircrafts vacating on taxiway K from 27R in the evening. Shots of all movements on 09L/27R can be taken here as well.|
|TIME||From 18:00 until sunset for vacating aircrafts, from 10:00 until 17:00 on the runway or taxiway G to holding point 09L.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||180 mm for A320 on taxiway K, 250 mm on the runway|
|Spot #14 – Lärmschutzhalle – Final and Line up 09L|
|WHERE||Officially you need to park your car at the junction Resser Straße and walk 5 minutes to the spot near the noise protection hall. If you park directly at spot 13 there is a low risk to be sent away, but this happened only a few times. Due to the new fence a 5-step ladder is better. In the evening you can move along the fence to get also evening shots of aircrafts lining up on 09L.|
|WHAT||You can take great shots of aircrafts in final to 09L. Also line-ups on 09L are directly in front of you.|
|TIME||From 10:00 until 17:00, line-up until sunset.|
|MISC.||Absolutely nothing here. Ladder needed.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||150 mm for 320 on the runway, 250 mm for evening line up.|
|Spot #15 – Turning pad – RWY 09L/27R|
|WHERE||This spot is loacted at the end of “Im Wohlde” and can only be reached by car (or bike).
|WHAT||All activities on runway 09L/27R.|
|TIME||Early summer mornings or late summer evenings.|
|MISC.||Absolutely nothing here; ladder definetely needed.|
|Spot #16 – Benkendorfstraße – 27R Arrivals|
|WHERE||Park your car at the jail at positon #4 as parking is strictly forbidden on the soft shoulder of the street. Walk the Benkendorffstraße back until you reach the end of the fence. Here you can stand and take pictures without a ladder. This is the difference to spot 4.|
|WHAT||Landings on 27R only.|
|TIME||From 10:00 until 17:00|
|MISC.||Absolutely nothing here and no ladder needed.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||160mm for B737, 70mm for B747|
|Spot #17 – Viewing terrace – Parts of the apron
|WHERE||This spot is located on the airport visitor terrace, which can be entered between the terminals A and B on the departure level. The ticket store (should be named “Hannover Airport Erlebnis Shop”) can be found nearby the McDonalds in the terminal between terminal A and B – easily follow the signs, which guide you to the terrace.|
|WHAT||From here you can see parts of the southwestern apron as well as some parts of the runway, but those parts aren’t mostly good to spot.|
|TIME||During winters you’ll have backlit here all daytime, but in summer you might also use this on early mornings or late evenings. Anyway, the spot is mostly used for night shots due to the direction of its view.|
|MISC.||Everything you need can be found inside the terminal. A huge offer of parking possibilities can be found near the terminal facilities.
Terrace can be reached without security check, but is fully glazed and the glases are mostly quite dirty!
Tip: Take a jacket or a similar object and hold this one behind the camera, while taking your shots, to avoid window reflections!
Always check the airport information before visiting the terrace as it might be closed during extrem weather or bigger vacationdays. Those information, prices and opening times generally can be found HERE.
A321 on apron = 110mm