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Facilities/spots Currently Open For Spotters  
User currently offlineDa fwog From United Kingdom, joined Aug 1999, 867 posts, RR: 7
Posted (14 years 8 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 4083 times:

I'm starting this thread in the hope that those of you with confirmed information (and not just rumours) can post details of what areas previously used by photographers/spotters are currently accessible at your local airports, and what areas are currently closed. Having searched the web in the last 24 hours or so for details from various airport spotting websites, it seems nobody has updated any of their info. in the light of this week's tragic events.

I hope nobody will see this as insensitive or be offended by this request - above all, our thoughts are with the victims and their families. However, life goes on, and I for one believe that we should continue to pursue our hobby, while giving the proper consideration to whatever security measures might be in force, and not give in to terrorism by giving up doing that which we love.

51 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlinePUnmuth@VIE From Austria, joined Aug 2000, 4164 posts, RR: 52
Reply 1, posted (14 years 8 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 3497 times:

As we have no designated spotting areas here in Vienna I can only tell you that there was no problem with spotting around the airport the last 2 days. I was only asked by the police to show my ID, and that was all. They even asked if i was able to get some good pictures. The helicopters where very nervous when the flight to Tel Aviv (I think) left yesterday. There were 2 on site flying around very nervous but nothing mor obvious was different.

User currently offlineFlpuck6 From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 2123 posts, RR: 27
Reply 2, posted (14 years 8 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 3431 times:

From a quick check on the official Massport Logan Airport site http://www.massport.com/logan/default.asp, it informs us that all parking garages are open. So it makes me wonder if one could go to the top of Parking garage B for some photo ops? If anyone from the area heads out there, perhaps they'll be so kind as to inform.

Bonjour Chef!
User currently offline1stspotter From Netherlands, joined Jun 1999, 526 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (14 years 8 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 3425 times:


closed in Europe are:
Schiphol observation deck
Frankfurt observation deck
Heathrow Queens building

Spotting in the USA looks like impossible to me for the next couple of months. Not only the police will be very nervous, all the American public will report anyone looking a bit weird at or close to an airport to the police.


User currently offlineEBOS From Belgium, joined Jul 2001, 520 posts, RR: 43
Reply 4, posted (14 years 8 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 3420 times:

Nothing has changed in OST since September 11. All previously areas are still accessible. I noticed anyting special about security measures so far this week.
In general there is a good understanding between airport inspection and local spotters. Recently weirdos jumped over the fence and each time they were reported to the inspection by local spotters (one guy was walking with his dog on the runway...!). So let's work together instead of annoying each other...


An-225 stalker: 1 x LUX, 1 x EIN, 1 x DXB, 2 x SHJ, 3 x CGN
User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 17
Reply 5, posted (14 years 8 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 3402 times:

At AMS (Schiphol) the areas at rwys 06 and 22/27 are open. Deck might be closed, haven't been there since before last tuesday.
Slightly increased police pressence, driving now sometimes in armoured vehicles instead of regular copcar (probably because there are not enough regular cars to go around).

I wish I were flying
User currently offlineSonic99 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (14 years 8 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 3389 times:


Spotting opportunities in Montreal have remained essentially unchanged besides the two days the airport was closed Sept 11, and 12. It was quite difficult to get around the perimeter, there was nothing much to photograph anyways, except for diverted planes bound for the US that were moved to quite remote corners of the airport (if one could get close enough). When I took this picture of grounded Air Canada aircraft there were two police officers with me at the time (both were actually quite fascinated at the number of aircraft "stuffed" in a small area):

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Stephan Curkowskyj

There are no dedicated spotting areas at YUL to begin with. Furthermore, security arrangements in Montreal - that have been in place for a long time - will not allow non-ticketed public to enter gate areas for any reason! Only places that remain for spotting are the ones that have been used by YUL spotters for a long time now (Felix, Henry, Pierre, myself...) - i.e. the perimeter of the airport. Makes for challenging photography  Smile


User currently onlineFly-K From Germany, joined May 2000, 3204 posts, RR: 48
Reply 7, posted (14 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 3344 times:
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I can confirm that the two obs deck at T1 and T2 in FRA are closed, but the platform at runway 18 is still accessible. Security drives by once in a while, but not much different to the normal situation.


Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been...
User currently offlineSukhoi From Sweden, joined exactly 10 years ago today! , 384 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (14 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 3332 times:

The LGW viewing deck is open as normal and hasnt been closed at all.



User currently offlineDSMav8r From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 579 posts, RR: 6
Reply 9, posted (14 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 3324 times:

I sincerely hope that other U.S. spotters won't press their luck in the upcoming days and weeks. I fear by doing so, we may give security/police an even more negative opinion of spotters and photographers. If we ever hope to regain the wonderful opportunities to photograph at our airports, we need to back off and let the security and police personnel do their jobs. They have their hands full and the last thing they need is people poking around perimeter fences and parking garages. Your actions reflect on all of us who are photographers/spotters, remember that!

Be patient, things will go back to normal.

Aric Thalman
Omaha, NE

To most people, the sky is the limit. To those who love aviation, the sky is home
User currently offlineDispatcher From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 254 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (14 years 8 months 3 weeks ago) and read 3321 times:

The Southern Airpark at Indianapolis International is open. It did have cones blocking it off all week but they are gone today and there were approximately 8 cars there watching the traffic.

User currently offlineChris28_17 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 1439 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (14 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 3305 times:


hey, you live in indy?? i've been wondering for some time how IND spotting is, i live up here in FWA.... let me know man!!



User currently offlineSunilgupta From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 791 posts, RR: 13
Reply 12, posted (14 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 3315 times:

IAD and BWI are pretty much business as usual. I went to IAD today and told an officer that I’ll be photographing and he said “ok”. I did not check if the obs deck under the tower was open, but since access to the obs deck is past the security checkpoint I can’t check it until I fly somewhere (probably next week). A friend went to BWI and had no problems. Of course DCA is still closed but I drove past the off-airport observation spot and it was open.

Aric, I agree with what you say in general, but it seems to me that things around the airports are pretty normal now. It’s the folks in the terminals and at the checkpoints that have their hands full and now we have no reason to go there!


User currently offlineDSMav8r From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 579 posts, RR: 6
Reply 13, posted (14 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 3285 times:

I was just assuming (after what I saw during the Gulf War and TWA 800), that things would remain pretty hairy for awhile. Every officer and traveler is going to looking for anything that might be unusual, which photography is to the vast majority.  Smile It is great to see a number of viewparks open again, especially the IND one, which is one of the best around.

Aric Thalman
Omaha, NE

To most people, the sky is the limit. To those who love aviation, the sky is home
User currently offlineMDL_777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 267 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (14 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 3278 times:

I drove by the Airport Overlook at Charlotte Douglas International Airport last night, and the gates were shut. It's usually open until 10:30 PM. I figured it might be still closed, so I was not surprised to see it closed. I'm going to drive by it tomorrow and see if it's open. Hopefully, they'll reopen it soon when things get more and more back to normal. I'm going to give it some time, and if it hasn't been reopened in say two weeks, then I might call the airport and find out if they have any plans to reopen it. I hope they do, because it provides a great vantage point.

User currently offlineJoe pries From United States of America, joined May 2000, 1957 posts, RR: 51
Reply 15, posted (14 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 3302 times:

K, im very very relieved that rwy 18 spot is still open- i dont really shoot much from the decks anyway- its rwy 18 that is the jewel spot of FRA and i cant wait to shoot there again


User currently offlineBO__einG From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 2771 posts, RR: 16
Reply 16, posted (14 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3261 times:

Here in Calgary, Things are starting to shape up again.. Still some clog ups with US destinations arrivals/departs..
One spot I know of which is Vital when it comes to shooting when Runway 16 is in use was closed.. Blocked off.

Im not sure about the state of it now . It could be opened ..
Other spots were closed.. I was at my airport for 4 days during the diversions with all the flights.. Since Calgary doesnt receive 777s or 747s or MD11s of Alitalia, It was imperative that I go out and see all these cuz guess what, its all Air Canada here now so Borring.
I was not interfered with security by any chance! 1 or 2 trucks drove by me looking at me but they did nto say anything so it seems pretty cool here, but i do noticed beefed up security cuz Im seeing new security cars.. BLUE TRUCKS! Ive never seen those before.


Follow @kimbo_snaps on Instagram or bokimon- on Flickr to see more pics of me and my travels.
User currently offlineBoeing757fan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (14 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3249 times:

The observation areas at KTVC (Traverse City) and GRR (Grand Rapids) both n Michigan have been closed since Wednesday.

User currently offlinePropfreak From Switzerland, joined Mar 2000, 157 posts, RR: 7
Reply 18, posted (14 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3252 times:

hi all
the obeservation deck at ZRH is open. also the other spots around the airport (approach / intersection 28/16 (heligrill) don't seem to be a problem.

User currently offlineRindt From Germany, joined May 2000, 930 posts, RR: 11
Reply 19, posted (14 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 3254 times:

All is calm on the western front... I have been shooting at the beloved "AVIS" lot, and elsewhere with absolutely no problems what-so-ever here at YVR. I hope it stays that way...


What other people think of you is none of your business!
User currently offlineBogi From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (14 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3231 times:

Both obeservation decks (Terminal and train Station) at DUS are closed

Freundliche Grüße / Best Regards / Atentos saludos / Meilleures salutations

Michael Bogensperger
Airliners from Europe and all around the World at

User currently offlinePetertenthije From Netherlands, joined Jul 2001, 3562 posts, RR: 10
Reply 21, posted (14 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 3240 times:

The official observation deck at Schiphol is closed. You can stil stand alongside the runways/aprons.

User currently offlineAUS_Spotter From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 286 posts, RR: 3
Reply 22, posted (14 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 3221 times:

The viewing area at AUS is still open and I was able to get to other unofficial spots I've used in the past with no problem. Aviation Police didn't seem too worried about me standing around with my camera.

Jason - Austin, TX

User currently offlineDa fwog From United Kingdom, joined Aug 1999, 867 posts, RR: 7
Reply 23, posted (14 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 3203 times:

I've been to check out MAN today. The viewing areas are open, but I got an unwanted visit from the Police when I wandered off to one of my usual spots off airport. However, it did give me the opportunity to clear up what "the situation" is with them. So for those of you who are interested:

As long as you stay on the public footpaths (of which there are many surrounding rwy 24L/06R) you should be ok. Stray off these and you are likely to get a visit and be asked to move. (In my case, I was in a field that has one public footpath running along one side, and another running up the other side - but my crime was to be in the middle - and too close to the rwy lights as far as they were concerned). If you are in one spot for a long time, you may still get a visit from security and/or the Police to check on what you are doing - they are paying close attention to people around the perimeter at the moment. If you park your car somewhere off airport, DON'T park next to the security fence, and DON'T park anywhere there are yellow lines/parking restrictions in force, even on the grass verges. The police ARE making regular patrols around the perimeter and along the various roads and lanes near the airport, and they are checking on any cars they find parked there.

I felt the need to apologise to these two coppers for them having to come out and check on me, but two nicer and more understanding blokes I could not have wished for. The response to my apology was "Look, no problem. You're just pursuing your interest, and we're just doing our job".

User currently offlineKaiTakFan From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 1589 posts, RR: 6
Reply 24, posted (14 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 3180 times:

How about LAX's south complex for rotation shots off of two five right? that is my main concern. that would be the worst not to have that spot! best place to watch all those international 747's depart!

25 Post contains links and images CPH-R : I guess that 'Flyvergrillen' at CPH is still open for shots like these: Click for large versionPhoto © Scandpix I'll be heading outthere later (w
26 Yorkie : Although the Queens Building at London Heathrow is shut, the visitor centre near 27R re-opened yesterday. Dry place with Cafe, bookshop, nostalgia exh
27 KingWide : The ILS is being upgraded on 27R [I think the work completes in about a week] so until it's done 27L will be the landing runway. When the work is done
28 Bogi : the observation deck at Duesseldorf International (DUS, EDDL), Germany, on the terminal B is open again. New is a security check at the entrance. Stil
29 Post contains images EGGD : The Obersvation deck at Heathrow Terminal 2 Queens building is open, how i know? I was there over the weekend Happy spotting Dan
30 Petertenthije : The observation deck at Schiphol SHOULD be reopened at the 5th of october.
31 Post contains images Jwenting : Good news. Means I can spend some time there on the 7th before flying out for two weeks of R&R in southern Espana
32 CPH-R : Any words as to Frankfurt? I was thinking of going downthere a saturday for some spotting, but I need to know if it's open or closed.
33 Bodobodo : According to a friend who just returned from FRA on Saturday (Sept.29th) the observation areas were still closed. Felix
34 Siriwatthana : Bodobodo said it ! As cause of the terroratacks in the USA and for security reasons the visitorsterraces at the airport of Frankfurt are closed .For m
35 Ryefly : Charlotte Douglas (CLT) airport over view is still closed. I took a ride by there today to see the sad site of the gates closed still.
36 Lj : The opening of the observation deck at AMS has been delayed. Thus it's still closed. BTW Does anybody know if spotting is possible at Nice? Regards La
37 Post contains links and images LGW : I am not sure if the obs deck at LGW was ever closed due to the US attacks, I guess they where, not sure I was up at LGW on Friday morning and the vie
38 Qantas744 : Seeing as the deck at AMS was closed on Sunday and we are now seeing Allied forces attacking Afghanistan,I guess that it will remain closed for some t
39 OO-VEG : Qantas 744: If you can't get to the terrace on AMS and you are by public transport you can always go to the Buitenveldertbaan spot. It can be reached
40 USAir1489 : Someone told me of a place I can pull over to watch arrivals coming into PHL. It's off I-95 South before the exits for the airport and the off-airport
41 Qantas744 : OO-VEG Thanks for the assistance,sadly I didn't get it in time.The weather was rubbish anyway so I spent alot of time in the terminals as you point ou
42 Luftaom : The spotting tower at Dresden was closed last Friday.
43 Scotty : Edinburgh & Glasgow Int - no official viewing areas but the usual areas remain accessible - just be sensible as usual. Aberdeen - official viweing are
44 Yorkie : Instead of my annual US trip, I've just been to some of the UK airports and had no hassle anywhere including since the bombing started. Hadn't been to
45 Post contains images Aer Lingus : Dublin - No change in security. As per usual cops dont care if you double park on the main raod Rumour has it someone actually jumped the fence a mont
46 N757AT : Only ticketed passengers are allowed in the concourses at Charleston (CHS). Arthur road area has been closed since 1998. The window next to security a
47 LGB Photos : The deck at LGB is closed but you can still shoot at the Devry Lot. Lax you can still shoot from Big Cargo, but you need to be descrete about it. SNA
48 CO777 : The viewing lot at SFO is now closed. They closed it last tuesday. That is sad. Jason Whitebird
49 Cfalk : I went through FRA yesterday. The Obs. deck is still closed. Charles
50 Post contains images Tappan : Sad also in BOS....Terminal "B" closed. If you walk around the airport with 2 cameras and lenses strapped to yourself with no bag you get stopped 5 ti
51 Flpuck6 : Mark et al- This is SO disconcerting! And I only got to hit BOS once this past summer! I find all this ironic because people who enjoy WATCHING planes
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