Spotting guide to 5 French regional airports

Away from the regular spotter haunts at Paris and Toulouse, what else does France’s regional airports have to offer? Here’s an insight into some of the best…

 

Chateauroux
Although it doesn’t have many scheduled services, this airport in central France is a hub of airliner storage/scrapping, and is also a place to catch French airlines performing line training. The airport is 250km from Paris, and it’s possible to spot from the roads around the terminal area.

Perpignan
Another airport known for storage and maintenance is Perpignan, close to the border with Spain. It has scheduled services from Air France, Aer Lingus, Flybe, Iberia and Ryanair. It’s possible to see aircraft from the access roads leading to the airport.

Bordeaux
Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport  in south-west France is quite sizeable, and handles over 4 million passengers a year. It has a mix of full service, charter and low-cost operators, plus military and experimental aircraft (including the Zero-G Airbus A300).

Spotting is possible from the terminal area and surrounding roads.

Nantes
In the Brest Peninsula, Nantes is an airport which handles over 3 million passengers per year, with a number of regional and commuter services. Spotting is possible from the perimeter of the airport, and around the terminal.

Strasbourg
On the border with Germany, Strasbourg has seen a lot of business traffic related to the city’s role in the European Union. It is a busy little hub, with Air France and Ryanair providing a lot of traffic. To spot, head to Entzheim on the south side of the runway, where you can reach the fence and watch runway action.

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