This series of articles looks at the individual spotting locations at Frankfurt International – one of Europe’s busiest, largest, and most interesting airports.
Frankfurt is one of a number of big European airports (and many in Germany) which offer official places for spotters and enthusiasts to watch and photograph aircraft on the ground and using the runways.
The spotting locations at Frankfurt that we’ll look at are:
- Terminal 2 Terrace
- Motorway / Zeppelinheim / Berlin Airlift Memorial
- Runway 18
- New Runway 07L/25R Runway
Terminal 2 Terrace
In this article, we’ll look at the viewing terrace situated atop Terminal 2 and overlooking the eastern end of the airport.
It is outdoors, with little shelter, so wear appropriate clothing.
What Can You See?
This terrace is on top of the terminal covering part of its length, and looks out over the jetbridge gates below, and the remote gates opposite.
Typically the remote gates can be used by any airline, but are mostly those at Terminal 2.
In front of this are the eastern ends of runways 25L and 25C, which are often used for arrivals. The newer runway 25R is behind you and out of sight, as is runway 18, and much of Terminal 1.
In the distance opposite is the site of the new Terminal 3, which is often used for remote parking by cargo aircraft.
There are holes in the fence to allow photographers to poke their camera lenses through, which is handy. However, these can become crowded and you might miss a good opportunity if someone gets there first.
Photography of aircraft at the gates in front of you is easy, and normally requires less than a 300mm lens.
Aircraft using runways 25L and C will need a longer lens to do justice – at least 300mm.
You’re also photographing into the sun for most of the day, so it’s not ideal.
The terrace on Terminal 2 is easy to get to.
Once inside the terminal, head upstairs to the food court (which also has windows – useful for bad weather spotting).
Head to the Besucherterrasse entrance, where you enter through a security check. There used to be an entrance fee, but it is now free to use the terrace.
Please note, the terrace is usually closed in the winter, from 31 October to late March. However, this year it will be open over the December to January period.
What You’ll See at Frankfurt Airport
Frankfurt is a major hub airport in central Europe.
It is the main operating base for Lufthansa, plus its regional and cargo partners.
You’ll also find other German carriers in abundance, like Condor and TUIfly Deutschland.
As you would expect, Frankfurt is well linked by most European scheduled carriers, as well as major airlines from Asia, Africa, North and South America, and the Middle East.
Cargo airlines are quite prevalent at night, and there are a number of biz jet movements most days.
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With details of where to spot at over 500 airports around the world, in many cases include maps and lots of information on what you’ll see, this is an indispensable piece of your spotting kit.
Perfect for planning your spotting trips, or using as a reference guide while on the go.