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Best Spotter Airports  
User currently offlinePlaneawesome From Canada, joined Sep 2000, 103 posts, RR: 0
Posted (15 years 8 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 2681 times:

In my opinion, the 2 best airports that welcome spotters are Frankfort Germany and Winnipeg Canada.

In Frankfort, there is a dedicated outdoor observation deck that allows you to smell the avgas and have your eardrums blown out by jet engines. When I was there I was surrounded by around 20 Germans outfitted with binoculors, scanners, zoom lens cameras etc..There was an unending array of exotic airliners of every type and origin. It was so good that I actually missed my flight. The only downside was the ridiculous prices for everything.

In Winnipeg there is a dedicated indoor observation room. It has a great view along with live tower radio dialogue.
Unfortunately the quantity and variety of aircraft is not nearly as vast as in Frankfort.

Does anybody have any other favorites ?

18 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineKiwi Dave From New Zealand, joined Aug 2000, 895 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (15 years 8 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 2454 times:

Christchurch is the best as there is a deck out in the open to view all the planes

User currently offlinePeterH From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 2439 times:

Miami is a great spotter airport.

User currently offlinePlaneawesome From Canada, joined Sep 2000, 103 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 2434 times:

I agree that Miami has a great variety of aircraft (one of the best in the world) but I found that the aprons are very spread out. I don't recall any special purpose observation areas in the terminal either. I may be visiting there again in the next few weeks. Does anybody know where the best view from the terminal can be found ?

User currently offlineN766AS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 2419 times:

I wish KSEA had a good spot... When I was down in portland, I checked out PDX and it has some nice spots. BFI doesn't really, except for the control tower... which i have been up in- its pretty cool. Hopefully I will be able to get in the KSEA ATCT when it is finished.

User currently offlineElal106 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 975 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 2418 times:

hey i have a question
could u please email me?



User currently offlineCol1962 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2404 times:

One of, if not the best, spotters airports is Manchester (MAN)

The airport provides a dedicated spotters park near the end of the main runway. This area has parking facilities for 100's of cars.

For photography there are raised mounds so that the airport fence doesn't get in the way, thus there's a clear view of the runway and taxiing areas.

This is currently a temporary area whilst the new runway is being built, it is in fact the second area that has been provided, the original had to be moved because of the new runway.

There is also a shop provided by the local aviation society that stocks all kinds of memento's, photo's books etc.

Unfortunately the ramp areas can't be seen but this is more than made up for by the view of the runway, aircraft land or lift off right in front of you.

User currently offlineFirefly_cyhz From Canada, joined Jul 2000, 168 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 2395 times:

I haven't really been able to spot at many large airports but the best I have ever been to is deffinately Amsterdam. I rented a bike a biked all around the airport and there are many spots right up close to the runway.

User currently offlineAirCanadaSFO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 2378 times:

MEX has a little bench on the other side of one of the thrust walls, it's kinda like the dugout on little league fields with fencing in front so you can't go out on the tarmac, but other than actually going down on the ramp at work, that is the best down-on-the-runway-and-feel-the-warm-exhaust experience I've had.


User currently offlineRedngold From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 6907 posts, RR: 40
Reply 9, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 2378 times:

CLE has a spectator deck with a full view of the Rwys 5L/5R/23L/23R. Unfortunately it's still pretty far away from them. You can't see all of Rwy 10/28. Rwy 18/36 is somewhat blocked, too, but it's currently closed.
Until the airport expansion project begins (and it's apparently imminent) there's an unprotected mound just inside the gate to the 100th Bomb Group Restaurant. You can get a good view of final approach traffic for Rwys 23L/23R, or departing traffic (though it's usually up at 500-1000 ft.) on Rwys 5L/5R.

DTW has some pretty good places to spot but none of them are sheltered. You can park on top of the Parking Deck and see the C and R runways (sorry I can't remember the headings from the southwest). The L runway view is completely blocked. Or you can park at the Green Lot for a closer ground-level view of the same. When I was there I didn't find a good place to watch Rwy 9R/27L but you can see the approach end of it from the Parking Deck.
The only place I found to see the L runway (referred to above) would be from the International Arrivals building... but the planes are already up in the air by the time they're in front of you. Remember that DTW's current terminals are at the north end of the airport. The new Midfield terminal will be... well, midfield.

I don't know if this qualifies these as "best" airports, but they're at least halfway decent.


Up, up and away!
User currently offlineN766AS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 2372 times:

I e-mailed you... did you give me the correct address? You can contact me at zach770@hotmail.com

User currently offlineWestjet#1 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 2363 times:

YYC has two main spots at the end of 2 of the runways. both spots are very popular with all the folks who live in calgary. i walk by the one spot on my way to work and i've seen as many as thirty cars there at one time... i was shocked. i too would stop there but working on the ramp i have the best veiw of all.. there are many days that i wish i had a camera..some day i will. .


User currently offline9V-SQA From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (15 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 2343 times:

Singapore Changi has an outdoor smoking area at Terminal 2 (one of the best smoking area around). You will be facing the planes that are "parked" for boarding and alighting. That is the closest one can get to the planes without being separated with a glass panel.

Unfortunately, NO ONE is to park their vehicles near the runway as it is a retricted area. Guards are on patrol all the time to make sure no one parks at the gates near the runway. "For safety and security reasons.", they tell you. That is why Changi is one of the safest airports in the world.

User currently offlineChris28_17 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 1439 posts, RR: 9
Reply 13, posted (15 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 2350 times:

Just a quick question, does MSP still have the observation deck avail to the public?? i havent been there since i was 12, so needless to say its been a while since ive been to MSP... but i have never heard about it on this website..



User currently offlineE_Cantu From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 24 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (15 years 8 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 2333 times:

LAX!!!!!!! My uncle takes me out there everytime I visit. There is a spot not 70 feet from the runway, and you can see the planes taxi, land, take off(DC-9's are the best as far as noise goes! They'll rip your ears off! 757s are barely audible, they're quiet). The place isn't restricted either. It's on the domestic side, and the Railroad tracks are to your back(trains come by every once in a while, too!). That's all I know about the location besides it's next to a hangar.

Anyone who lives near LAX should give it a try!

User currently offlineBoggs22 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (15 years 8 months 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 2331 times:

That's cool! I live by LAX and SNA(John Wayne Airport) and there is no observation decks there that i know of. I love just watching them.

User currently offlineHias From Germany, joined Sep 2000, 349 posts, RR: 11
Reply 16, posted (15 years 8 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 2310 times:

Hi there,

in my opinion the best spotter airports are Miami and Paris-Charles de Gaulle.
There are holes in the fences at both airports so you can easily take pictures.
Certainly there are many small airports where you can spot very good, but I think these two airports can be considered very good when you regard their size

User currently offlineMRDC-10MD-11 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 95 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (15 years 8 months 13 hours ago) and read 2291 times:


User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11200 posts, RR: 57
Reply 18, posted (15 years 8 months 10 hours ago) and read 2297 times:

Zurich (ZRH), Geneva (GVA) and Amsterdam (AMS) are the best airports I've been to for spotting. Denver (DEN) is good also if you have a good camera good zoom. The runways at the airport are about 2 miles away from the Terminal and Concourses!

Kind regards,

"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
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