LUX Spot 1
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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 aircraft 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 Patrick Weiß, Achim Walther, Nick, Eric Bley & Julian Mittnacht. Last update: September 2023 (Spot 11 added)
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| (33 votes, average: 4.27 out of 5)
|06/24||4,000m (13,127ft) Concrete / Asphalt|
|Terminals||All flights. There are no domestic flights within the country that means that all flights are international departures.|
|Ladder||No longer needed at most postions as the airport authorities installed photo holes. See description for each spot.|
|Car/Public Transport||Very advisable as the spots, especially on the south, are not to be reached so easy and quick by public transport but it is possible anyway. Timetable of the bus can be found here.|
|Restrooms||Nothing directly at the spotting locations except 4 and 10.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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 in the forrest. 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 possible if you take the bus 361 from the terminal and go out of the bus at “Cargocenter”. Then walk for 10 minutes the same road as described above and as soon as the airport fence breaks off to the right just follow it and one reaches the spots. No need to walk to the parking lot.
|WHAT||Runway 24 arrivals and line-ups as well as taxiings into the cargo terminal (heat haze in the summer). If you prefer sky shots of 24 arrivals walk back to the road from the fence (see last sample photo).|
|TIME||From sunrise until mid-day/early afternoon|
|MISC.||There are installed photo holes in the fence and a ladder is no longer needed! Holes can be find approximate 300m to the left from the entrance as well as one around 100m to the right. All in all you’ll be able tof ind 5 holes here. There is nothing nearby this spotting location. Please bring everythings along by yourself.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||70-300mm | Boeing 747-8F: 80mm | CRJ200: 210mm | Uplining Boeing 737-700: 190mm|
The height of the new holes:
|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 at the crash gate. Parking is not allowed directly at this location and security will send you away if you do so. We recommend to park next to spot 8 and walk back along the road.|
|WHAT||All arrivals into runway 24 as well as departures from runway 24, but the view on the runway is limited, due to a second fence. Taxiway photos are no longer possible.|
|TIME||From mid-day/early afternoon until sunset.|
|MISC||There is nothing nearby to this spotting location so bring everything that you need by yourself. No ladder needed as the lens fits easily through the gate.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||18-300mm | Landing Boeing 747: 80mm | Fokker on the runway: 200mm|
|WHERE||You can get to the spot by using the airport Road. When you come to the junction with traffic lights (Rue des Trèves / Rue de Neudorf) drive the ramp towards the parking lot. The location is hidden in the rear left corner of the big parking lot. After going through the hedge you’ll find four photo holes in the fence (on two hights).|
|WHAT||Good for traffic on 24 and taxiway traffic. In the summer grass might be too high and will|
|TIME||From the afternoon to the last light in the summer months.|
|MISC.||Some free parking slots available. Be aware of reserved ones (e.g. Police). Use the address (6a Rue de Tréves) and not the marker in Google Maps. Otherwise the route will go over the airport grounds. In Summer, the grass is sometimes not cut, causing limitations of some angles right up to the cut of the gear of the airplanes (see samples below).|
|FOCAL LENGTH||18mm for B747 on Taxi, 100mm for B737 on Turn & >200mm für Dash8 at Start|
Photos of the location:
|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.|
|WHAT||Runway 24 movements from the corridor of the 5th floor only. There are rooms (best one is 525) 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.||Your photographs must be taken through a glazed and tinted window. 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|
|WHERE||This spot is located directly at the fence, 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 but the farmer is not happy about that and may call the police. So we recommend to park next to some houses down the road and walk the 5 minutes to the location (see map). Once at the fence you can position yourself wherever you want with a ladder.
Public transport is possible by bus 411. Alight at bus stop “Sandweiler, Hiel” and follow “Rue Belle-Vue” northwards.
|WHAT||Runway 24/06 departures are possible in both directions whilst 06 aircraft 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 (see last plane photo). Heavier aircraft 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; 748 = 40mm|
|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 at the entry next to the farmers field (don`t block it) or curbside along the road if you stay next to your car. You can now walk to the parking lot to the photo holes at the fence or you stay where you have parked your car (arrivals only).|
|WHAT||From this spot you can take all movements for runway 06 ops. For taxiway photos go down to the installed photoholes, for arrivals you can stay at the road.|
|TIME||From early afternoon for taxiway shots until sunset. 06 arrivals are possible only in the late afternoon/evening during the summer months.|
|MISC.||Nothing nearby but enough shadow on hot summer months.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||Taxiway: 10mm for a 747 | Arrivals: 80mm for a 747-8|
|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 where you can park. Now you have to walk over the railroad bridge and 300 meters along a forrest road. There is a gate which you can pass on the side. 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 not the best (see last sample photo).|
|TIME||From sunrise until mid-day/early afternoon|
|MISC.||There is nothing nearby this spotting location. Please bring everythings along by yourself. Police is patroling regulary and looking for tickets. If you dont have a parking ticket, you will get a fine (24 euros). Pay days are from Monday to Friday (1 Euro for 5 Hours). Pay machine is at the beginning of the lot on the left side.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||70-300mm | Boeing 747-8F: 80mm | CRJ200: 210mm|
|WHERE||There is one more spot just over the crash gate. A car is needed but you can also take the bus 361 at the terminal and go out of the bus at “Cargocenter”. If you come by car, instead of leaving the roundabout at the second exit, you exit it at the 4th direction Sennibgerberg, and then immediately after the bridge you drive right where you will find a little street, follow it and after around 30 meters you’ll find a little path. Just go up where you will find a little platform.|
Update July 2023: Due to the big trees only take offs from 06 are possible. 24 arrivals can’t be spotted anymore.
|TIME||From the afternoon to the last light in the summer months.|
|MISC.||The Platform is also only for 4-5 people. There are no amenities nearby.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||748=100mm; CRJ=220mm|
|WHERE||This spot is located right next to the Cargolux Maintenance Facility. By car it is possible to drive to it. Use same direction as to #5 parking until you reach the crash gate and park your car there withouth blocking it. Be aware, it is a restricted road but we never had any trouble. Public transport is possible by bus 194. Alight at bus stop “Sandweiler, Hiel” and follow “Rue de la Chapelle” until the crash gate.
Update July 2023: Now there is a new construction site. Luxair is building a new hangar. It shouldn’t take more than until December. Since the photo hole is missing, we recommend standing next to the gate which leads to the Cargolux hangar for shots like this:
24 Departures only for heavies and heavy single aisle aircraft take offs. No ladder needs here.
|TIME||Landings and departures 06, sunrise until noon. Departures 24, noon until 15h. Be aware of heat haze from this position!
Parked a/c best from sunrise until 15h, but on late evening you still can have nice pictures then (see sample below).
|MISC.||There is nothing nearby this spotting location. Please bring everythings along by yourself.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||Alitalia A330 at 277mm. Cargolux at 93mm.|
|WHERE||The Comptoir du Bon Pays Restaurant is located on the first floor of the airport, offering a nice view of the runway. It is landside and no boarding pass is needed|
|WHAT||Every movement on the rwy, twy and part of P1|
|TIME||Sun facing you almost all day. From the afternoon to the last light in the summer months.|
|MISC.||Everything needed is available in the terminal.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||738 = 120mm|
|WHERE||Right outside of the terminal, on parking lot G, there are two photo holes in the fence where you can shot from.|
|WHAT||Every movement on the rwy, twy and part of the apron.|
|TIME||Sun facing you almost all day. From the afternoon to the last light in the summer months. Maybe some side shots possible in the morning hours.|
|MISC.||Everything needed is available in the terminal. Possible that vegetation blocks the view partially.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||738 = 120mm|