Leipzig has gradually gained importance as a regional airport. It sees charter traffic and is a sizeable cargo airport by European standards. DHL has its new European hub here and there is an additional large cargo ramp as well.
After a massive reconstruction effort, the dual east-west runways now run parallel with the terminal and highway 14 in between. South of the southern runway, huge cargo ramps and ditto hangars have been erected.
The airport is located between Halle and Leipzig, just east of the crossing of highways A9 and A14. It also has its own railway station. On the recently reconstructed south side, the village of Schkeuditz hugs the airfield perimeter. It can be reached from the S8 perimeter road and the B6 through road. Schkeuditz also has a railway station which might be more convenient if you are after the cargo planes only.
Around the Airport
Just southeast of the terminal is a small village called Kursdorf. On the westernmost part of it, you can catch a glimpse of the GAT ramp from a crash gate. The best shots are possible in the early morning or late afternoon. To the south, the rest of Kursdorf is protected against noise pollution by an enormous wall. That is a pity because it is directly right opposite the largest cargo ramp! The old tower has a viewing area which costs €2, but this has backlight conditions and is not advisable.
2Freirodaer Strasse / power station
Proceed through Kursdorf, keeping the 'Atlantic Wall' to your right. This road will run towards where the taxiway passes over the highway. From here, you can also read some cargo aircraft on the other side of runway 26L. There is a power station from which you can take photographs of the traffic on the taxiway to the northern runway in the afternoon. Early evening shots of the taxiway running north of the southern runway are also possible. About 120mm is required from this good spot.
From spot 2, backtrack and make a right towards the Flughafen Allee before reaching Kursdorf. Go right but do not enter the highway, go right instead, onto the S8. The highway intersection is higher, which gives great opportunities to catch runway 26L traffic lining up (morning) or landing (after 6 p.m.) you will need about 230mm. Poling off some serials of distant cargo aircraft on the other side of the runway is possible as well.
4East side approach 26L
Follow the main road clockwise around the airfield. From the Radefelder Allee, take the road right that runs back to the airfield. You are now parallel to and south of the approach to runway 26L. It takes 70mm. Go further towards the airfield, the road bends left and right towards a fuel depot ("DHL Tanklager"). After 500m, turn right into a unpaved track and follow this until the end. On that spot, you can also photograph the landing aircraft.
5East side approach 26L - further southeast
As an alternative to spot 4, do not take the road west that leads back to airport when coming from spot 3 but go straight on the Radefelder Allee instead. Left of this road you will be somewhat further away than at spot 4, it takes about 170mm here and you will have a shallower angle.
6Fuel depot east side view
After passing the fuel depot mentioned at spot 4, proceed to the gate of the cargo railway station. From the roundabout, you will be able to read some of the cargo aircraft parked on the easternmost side of the large DHL ramp.
7South side - main DHL cargo ramp
Go back to the S8 and follow this south, again clockwise around the airport. You will reach the B6, make a right, the Neue Hallesche Strasse. Just after the connection with the southbound S8, you can go right towards the large hangars. From one of the north eastern stubs of the roundabout you can see a part of the DHL ramp. Walk to the fence, shots through it are possible.
Proceed into the northern part of Schkeuditz, which is the third exit of the roundabout. Work your way north to the fence and stop to read aircraft on the main cargo ramp every now and then. From the soccer field in Schkeuditz-Nord, you can take photographs through the fence from aircraft taking off on 26L.
9South side - staircase office building
This spot is more to the west of spot 9. From a staircase of an office building you will be high enough to photograph aircraft on the adjacent taxiways (60mm) as well as runway 08R landing / 26L take-off (200mm). However, new de-icing facilities here now block your view.
10Southwest cargo ramp
There is another ramp more to the west. Continue along the northern outskirts on the Heinrich von Stephan Strasse. Go south (left) onto the Kursdorfer Strasse and left again on the Berlinerstrasse and follow that southbound, back towards the B6. Do not turn onto the B6, but go right just before that on the Industriestrasse. This bends northward again, follow it until it makes a sharp left turn. From this street, past the large hangar, you can read everything on the western cargo ramp. Large freighters are parked here and shots through the fence are possible, a great spot again!
11West side approach
Follow the Industriestrasse past the lorry parking lot. It bends left to the S8a. Go right on the S8a and after the bend you will be under the approach to runway 08R. Views of the south western ramp can be had from here as well.
12West side ramp and taxiway - near fuel depot
Follow the S8A clockwise around the airport. Before the taxiway crosses the road, go right towards the fuel depot. Between the fuel depot and the noise abatement area you can see the western ramp. You are near the taxiway to runway 08R/26L as well and with help of a ladder, it only takes 45mm to photograph taxiing aircraft in the afternoon light. Because of the second bridge here, the fence has been relocated more to the north and the possibilities at this point are more limited now.
13Crash gate ramp view
Proceed towards the terminal, but go right in between the parking lots. There is a gate with a view of the ramp; shots through the fence are possible. Morning light is required and moderate magnification (70 to 200mm).
The new terminal bridges the A14 highway. On the northern side of the terminal and highway, you are very close to the taxiway leading to the threshold of runway 08L. To get here continue on the S8a, get onto the Flughafen Allee, not the Terminal Ring. After you underpass the terminal, take the fourth exit at the roundabout, tracking back in the direction you came. Make a right directly after that. This road, believe it or not, overpasses the railway and highway underneath the terminal. This is actually a parking deck. With a long lens, 300mm, you can take photographs of aircraft using the taxiway to and from 08L/26R until noon. Alternatively, stay on the S8a Flughafen Allee, go straight at the roundabout. The road will lead to the ramp for the A14 but simply go over the highway and go left at the cross road after that. This is the Towerstrasse again. Follow this back towards the terminal and enter it from this side, you will be in the same spot.
15North side highway ramp
The alternative route to spot 14 is also needed for spot 15. After crossing the highway, the ramp bends left and you will have views of the eastern taxiway that runs to and from 08L/26R. With morning light and about 150mm, you can take taxi shots with the tower as backdrop until noon.
16Taxiway to 26R
Another view of the taxiway is possible from a crash gate. Go back on the Towerstrasse towards the A14/S8a connection. At the cross road, make a left and left again at the next. This is will probably be the Wellerstrasse, although on some maps this is called Gleseiner strasse. Anyway, follow it straight to the fence. You can view taxiways to and along 26R as well as the runway itself. Photography through the gate is possible with as little as 40mm for taxiing aircraft and 180mm for the runway, but a ladder is advantageous. Moving to the east will place you in a very good position for the taxiway (60mm) and runway 26R (200mm); a ladder is compulsory here.
17Northeast side approach 26R
Track back to the main S8 road again. Go left to Freiroda. Follow this through the village, it is called Hauptstrasse there. After exiting the village, go left on the S1. Or, even better, enter the small road running between the S1 and the airfield. The latter will be easier with regard to parking your car as the S1 is a busy road. Depending on the time of day, move north or stay south of the approach. The aircraft are still a bit high; on the plus side the early morning rising sun shots are possible north of the approach (70mm).
18North side view of 26R
Continue north on the S1. After the perimeter fence ends, you can make a left. This road bends back to the airport and follows the northern perimeter. There is an open spot near the easternmost intersection of 26R. It requires a ladder and 150mm, you will have the sun in your face aswell.
19North side viewing park 08L/26R
In fact, there are several spots on the north side of 08L/26R. Just before you reach the village of Glesein there is a viewing area. It will cost you 50 cents and there is backlight. It requires 200mm.
20North side view of 08L
Yet another spot north of 08L/26R can be reached by heading further west on the Nockwitzer Weg. Go left into the next paved road, called An der Kleingärten. Again, there is an alternative entry. By now you are quite near the 08L threshold, so if you come from the southwest side (spots 7 and 8), take the B6 and cross the A9 highway. Just before you reach Groskügel, go right onto the Gewerbegebiet Groskügel (Industrial park). This will be the Kastaniënallee. Make a right at the T-junction onto the K2146. Cross the railroad track, through the hamlet of Beuditz, and onto the K7433. Cross yet another railroad, the A14 road, through Werlitzsch and over the A9. Immediately after that, go straight on the small road when the K7433 bends right after the bridge over the highway. You are now near the line up for 08L. You will need a ladder and about 150mm. You are looking into against the light at this spot.
DHL A300 on final approach (spot 5, Marcus Liebig)
Gigantic An-225 leaving one of Europe's largest cargo hubs (spot 2, Marcus Liebig)
|119.700 / 121.100||Tower|
|125.800 / 262.750||Munich info|
|124.175 / 132.300||Munich radar|
|Leipzig-Halle Flughafen||Official website of the airport with lots of practical information.|
|Ansbach AAF - Katterbach kaserne   subscribers only|
|Berlin - Schönefeld   subscribers only|
|Berlin - Tegel   subscribers only|
|Braunschweig-Wolfsburg   subscribers only|
|Bremen - Neuenlanderfeld   subscribers only|
|Büchel   subscribers only|
|Celle   subscribers only|
|Coleman Barracks   subscribers only|
|Diepholz   subscribers only|
|Donauwörth   subscribers only|
|Dresden-Klotzsche   subscribers only|
|Düsseldorf - Mönchengladbach   subscribers only|
|Frankfurt - Hahn   subscribers only|
|Frankfurt - Main|
|Geilenkirchen   subscribers only|
|Hamburg - Finkenwerder   subscribers only|
|Hamburg - Fuhlsbüttel   subscribers only|
|Hannover - Langenhagen   subscribers only|
|Hohn   subscribers only|
|Holzdorf   subscribers only|
|Illesheim AAF - Storck Barracks   subscribers only|
|Ingolstadt - Manching   subscribers only|
|Jever   subscribers only|
|Kiel - Holtenau|
|Landsberg   subscribers only|
|Landstuhl   subscribers only|
|Lechfeld   subscribers only|
|Mendig - CLOSED   subscribers only|
|München-Franz Josef Strauss   subscribers only|
|Neuburg   subscribers only|
|Nordholz   subscribers only|
|Nörvenich   subscribers only|
|Nürnberg   subscribers only|
|Rheine - Bentlage   subscribers only|
|Rostock - Laage   subscribers only|
|Saarbrücken (Ensheim)   subscribers only|
|Schleswig (Jagel)   subscribers only|
|Spangdahlem   subscribers only|
|Stuttgart   subscribers only|
|Wiesbaden AAF   subscribers only|
|Wittmundhafen   subscribers only|
|Wunstorf   subscribers only|