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 2018 6 million passengers were handled, but this number was not reached after Covid-19 again. The airport was opened in 1952 with one runway (today 09R/27L). 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, Aegean (seasonal), Air Baltic, Air France (Hop), Air Serbia, Austrian, British, KLM, SAS, Swiss/Helvetic, Turkish, Volotea (seasonal) and Vueling. Some carriers left HAJ in the past years, e.g. LOT, Wizz, Finnair, Condor, Brussels, TAP, Iberia, Aer Lingus, Aeroflot, Belavia.
Seasonal charter services are offered by Air Cairo, Corendon, European Air Charter, Eurowings, Freebird, Mavi Gök, Montenegro Airlines, Nouvelair, Pegasus, Southwind, Sun Express, TUIfly. Several charter carriers are using sub-charter from HAJ, but these aircrafts are mainly all-white (also know as HAJ special coulours).
Daily cargo operations are Prime Air (Amazon), ASL, TNT, FedEx and Zimex.
Besides the regular visitors, there are rare cargo charters by a big car manufacturer from Wolfsburg, which can be handled by different cargo airlines, e.g. Cargolux, Air Cargo Global, KLM. 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://www.haj-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 also part of the spotter guide, but the photo opportunities are quite limited. You’ll find more information at spot #20.
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 razor-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). Last update: April 2023
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Mainly Schengen (LH, LX, SK, EW, KL, AF, Schengen charter)
Not necessary at some spots. If you need one: 3 steps for old fence, 5 steps for new fence. Rather always have one in your car/with you.
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. A new parking system is currently installed around the terminals (activation soon to expect in spring/summer 2023). Your licence plate will be scanned when entering the terminal area and you need to pay at the parking ticket machine by entering your licence plate. Only 10 minutes are free of charge. Fine for exceeding the allowed time slot is from 35 EUR.
Only in the terminal building and some car parks.
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.
Around the Airport or in the City.
All Year. But chance for sunshine is higher in summer. November to March can get grey, cold and rainy. Also less charter flights during the winter season.
There is no clear rule; any aircraft can use any runway. 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.
More likely that heavy aircraft will use this runway. Also longer European services (Turkey, Russia, Canary Islands) can be seen here.
Only for light aircraft.
Most short haul traffic, but also most charters (like TUI) can be seen here. In case of 09 operations more aircraft will depart here due to shorter taxi time. Aircrafts parked at terminal C often prefer 27L for departure.
On the top level of car park P1 and P2 and also on the street level 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.
You can get aircrafts taxying from and to the northern runway 09L/27R. Most common spot is the top level of P1. But also top level of P2 (example Turkish 321, LOT E70) or the street level in front of terminal A (example Brussels SU9) offer good views. Also some parking positions on apron West are visible. In winter nice shots on Deicing Pad DP1 are possible.
Only in the morning until 10:00. Also good for night shots of parked aircrafts on some positions on the western apron.
Toilets and Restaurants are in the Terminal. The spot can be used from multiple areas.
In walking distance from the 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.
You can get aircrafts taxying from and to the northern runway 09L/27R. Also departures on 09L are possible here – runway itsself cannot be seen!
From early morning until 10:00 on taxiway F and L, until 14:00 on taxiway M (to 27R), 27R/09L take-offs from 10:00 until 17:00, but due to the distance to the runway heat haze might be an issue.
On the top of the fence now razor-barbed wire is installed. A 5-step-ladder is now mandatory to get your lens through the razors. Toilets, Restaurants are in the Terminal. A snack bar is around the corner (Imbiss Riehl).
Update June 2022: Construction works are blocking the view to taxiways F and L. Currently unobstructed pictures are only possible on runway 09L/27R and partly on taxiway M
50 mm for A320 on taxiway M, 120 mm on taxiway L, 280 mm on runway 27R/09L
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).
You can take great shots of aircrafts in final to 27R. Also pictures of aircraft taxying to 27R are possible, but for this you need to move to the leftmost corner of the car park.
From 10:00 until 17:00 for final, from 9:00 until 15:00 on taxiway.
Toilets on the ground floor, restaurants in the terminal.
Update April 2023: The spot is currently closed and cannot be accessed!
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.
Shots of aircraft in final approach to 27R. Also pictures of aircraft lining up for 27R on taxiways M and N are possible.
From 10:00 until 17:00 for final, from sunrise until 13:00 on taxiway.
There’s nothing at this spot, bring with you what you need. Don’t leave your car alone. Spotters reported cars might be towed away in case you are not present close to your vehicle.
120 mm for A320 in final, for taxiway it depends where you place your ladder…
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. Don’t be afraid of crowds of spotters as you can see on the picture below. This pic was taken when Air Force 1 arrived…
This spot is loacted at the end of “Im Wohlde” and can only be reached by car (or bike). Then just park your car at the roadside and position yourself along the fence in front. Take care not to fall into the small moat running along the fence at most parts here.
This spot is loacted at the end of an unnamed road leading to apron gate 1J in the northwest and can only be reached by car (or bike). You need to park your car at the roadside somewhere else as one is not allowed to drive up to the gate here officially. However, at the end just position yourself along the fence in front.
All heavy 27R and 09L movements. Small stuff will be too high or won’t taxi back here.
Early summer mornings or late summer evenings.
Absolutely nothing here; ladder definetely needed. Heat haze is an issue, but normally not in the morning hours when this spot is perfect. However, the grass may sometimes be too high in order to be able to see the gear/runway.
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 the spot there is a low risk to be sent away, but this happened only a few times. In the evening you can move along the fence to get also evening shots of aircraft lining up on 09L.
You can take great shots of aircraft in final to 09L. Also line-ups on 09L are directly in front of you. By moving along the fence you can choose your preferred position.
From 10:00 until 17:00, line-up until sunset.
Absolutely nothing here. Ladder needed. Due to the new fence a 5-step ladder is better.
100 mm for 320 on the runway, 150 mm for evening line up.
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. You can move along the fence to get the perfect position
Good position for aircraft vacating on taxiway K from 27R in the evening (Swiss A220, TUI 788). Shots of all movements on 09L/27R (Condor 321, Turkish 330, TUI 738 Haribo) can be taken here as well as taxiing traffic to runway 09L on taxiway G (Lauda 320). Heat haze can be an issue for runway shots.
From 17:00 until sunset for vacating aircraft on taxiway K, from 10:00 until 17:00 on the runway or taxiway G to holding point 09L.
Absolutely nothing here. A 3-step ladder is required.
120 mm for A320 on taxiway K, 200 mm on the runway
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.
Shots of all movements on 09L/27R can be taken here. Also the taxiway G is right in front of you.
From 10:00 until 17:00.
Absolutely nothing here. A 3-step ladder is required.
This spot is located above the tunnel entry along the fence. You can park your car legally at spot #2 or at the terminal. 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 (see the picture below). On the left side of the fence next to the tree the private property of the cargo facilities can be seen. Parking or spotting on the cargo facilities is on your own risk as this is private property!
Taxiing aircraft from and to 09L/27R, also some apron movements.
From late midday until sunset for taxiway F and L; apron movements depending on the angle later in the afternoon.
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.
Drive to the very end of the Dorfstraße. You can park your car directly at the fence. You can move along the fence to get the perfect position.
Line-ups on 09R are directly in front of you. You can take also great shots of aircraft in final to 09R. Move to the left along the fence for line-ups in the later afternoon (Wizz 320). Shots of landing traffic on 27L can be taken, when the aircraft is vacating via taxiway D (TUI 738 RIU). Walk along the fence to the right for rotating shots of 27L take-offs (Aeroflot). If you move back in the fields you can get also take-off shots on 27L (TUI 738 Magic Life).
From 10:00 until 17:00 on the runway, late afternoon line-ups and 27L landings vacating on D until 19:00
Nothing here. A 3-step ladder is required.
80 mm for A320 on the runway, up to 300 mm for 27L take offs.
This spot can be used as an alternative for the previous spot. For local spotters it is also known as “Mittelweg”. Advantage is that you can move along the fence and search the place you like. You can either move to the touch down point of 27L or chase for take-offs on 09R. Park at Münchner Straße and head for the airport fence on a green area between the industrial sites of Wabco and Weatherford. At the fence you will find an old and abandoned crash gate. Stay here for all movements on 09R/27R (TK 321). Or move further to the east to choose your preferred position for touch-downs on 27L (Hapag 738). You can also move away from the fence to get take-off shots on 09R (Swiss 777).
All movements on 09R/27L. Also movements on taxiway A and along the terminals can be seen here, but heat haze might obstruct your pictures.
From 10:00 until 17:00.
Nothing here, even no shade. So bring whatever you might need during your spotting session. A small ladder is necessary at the fence.
80 mm for A320 on the runway if you stay at the fence
This is a good spot for a quick picture of an approaching aircraft. Park at Kemptener Straße and just walk a few meters along the fence of Dachser Logistics. On the grass next to the employees parking nice shots are possible. 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).
You can take shots of aircraft in final approach to 27L.
From 10:00 until 17:00 for final
There’s nothing at this spot, bring with you what you need.
These spots are at the approach path for 27L along the perimeter fence so you need a ladder. The area close to the fence is now blocked by a barrier, so you need to park your car at Münchner Straße or at Kemptener Straße. Take your ladder and move along the fence to get the perfect position.
You can take shots of aircraft in final approach to 27L. Line up for 27L is also possible.
From 10:00 until 17:00 for final, from 7:00 until 17:00 for line-up, depending on your position.
There’s nothing at this spot, bring with you what you need. There is a gas station north of this spot. Due to construction works access might be limited from time to time.
The new fence has been installed at some areas, so with a 3-step ladder you have to walk till the end of the new fence.
120 mm for 320 in final, for taxiway it depends where you place your ladder…
This spot is located on the airport visitor terrace, which can be entered between the terminals A and B on the departure level. To enter the terrace you need to buy a ticket upfront (3,50 EUR) and includes also access to the aviation exhibition “Welt der Luftfahrt”, which is mainly for kids. 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.
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. In winter the terrace is good for night shots, during daylight it is only useful on cloudy days.
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. Access is limited due to the opening hours of the terrace (currently 10:00 – 18:00). Sometimes the terrace might be opened longer due to special events.
Everything you need can be found inside the terminal. A huge offer of parking possibilities can be found near the terminal facilities (charges apply).
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 bank holidays. Updated information, prices and opening times generally can be found HERE.