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Official Places For Spotting In USA  
User currently offlinePaco2k8 From Chile, joined Feb 2008, 3 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 7353 times:

Hi All...

I was wondering if there exist such a thing like "official places for spotting". The thing is, i would like to go to USA and make some spotting, i hear about the "holes" in miami... So the question is.. if exist some other place like this one.. were you can stay without been kicked out by the police. Im planning to go Miami, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas.

Thanks to all!!


10 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineSmAlbany From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 287 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (7 years 2 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 7318 times:

For New York, I don't know of any "official" spotting locations, however I do recommend that you visit the www.nycaviation.com site and take a look at their excellent spotting maps.

User currently offlineDlednicer From United States of America, joined May 2005, 559 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (7 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 7300 times:

Aircraft spotting in the US is regarded as "suspicious behavior" by law enforcement agencies. Very few official spotting locations exist, other than airshows and museums, where you are expected to photograph aircraft.

With that said, I know that BFI has some good semi-official spotting areas. See: BFI/SpotterGuide_BFI.pdf" target=_blank>http://www.plane-spotter.com/Airports/USA/BFI/SpotterGuide_BFI.pdf

LAS (west side) and BWI (east side) both have spotting areas that are officially sanctioned.

User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8957 posts, RR: 56
Reply 3, posted (7 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 7292 times:

There's an official spotting location at MKE, on the north side of the field.

You should also check out Spotters Wiki.

Quoting Dlednicer (Reply 2):
Aircraft spotting in the US is regarded as "suspicious behavior" by law enforcement agencies.

Yes, this is unfortunately the case.

Airport management needs to realize that their airport either has a spotting area....or their airport is a spotting area. It's their choice, really.

It's amazing to me that they are too shortsighted to realize that having a dedicated spotting area can result in less work for them than having to police the entire grounds and go after every aviation enthusiast with a camera.


Intentionally Left Blank
User currently offlineFlybaurLAX From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 640 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (7 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 7271 times:

Check out Imperial Hill for LAX. Also, the In N Out serves as a good place to spot for LAX, while enjoying a delicious double double animal style, with a lemonup.

Boilerup! Go Purdue!
User currently offline727LOVER From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 7428 posts, RR: 20
Reply 5, posted (7 years 2 months 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 7174 times:

OFFICIAL spotting areas that I know of, not makeshift ones:I have what I believe ts about the % rate of you being bothered, but a local ca be more specfic.

LGA-planeview park, runway 4 arrivals and departures
DCA-gravelly point, the inside of the historic terminal works okay too
BWI-alond Dorsey road-(its on the SOUTH side actually
IAD- well you can go into the museum and watch from the tower-for photography, outside by the street-I've done it with no problems
MIA-the holes-now I've heard of cops bothering people but after you show them the sign that reads "Photography Only Alowed In This Area"-the usualy leave
FLL- vieing park is on the west side, no more holes-east side up on the top floor of (which one?) parking deck
IAH- viewing area is on the east side
HOU-museum on west side
LAX-imperial hill
DFW-just opened a brand new viewing area on the northwest side
MKE-on the north side, but I hearing this runway is not used all that often, and the taxi shots would be difficult anyway
CLT-2 official areas, west side and east side at the museum

That's the ones that I know about.

Now the following are not OFFICIAL but they are definately good: you just have to make some phone calls:

ATL-the Rennasaince Hotel
Bothe North and South parking decks-I'm hearing that you need to make calls.
IAH-all the garages-make phone calls first-they were very polite to me
IAD-garages-make phone calls, they were very polite to me
TPA-garages or raytheon-make phone calls, police may pull up at Raytheon, but if you've made the phone calls, you'll be fine
LGA-central terminal at the top of each escalators I'd try but ONLY if you are just wacthing, not photography


I feel woozy....what did you put in that Pudding Pop?
User currently offlineDbudd From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 228 posts, RR: 19
Reply 6, posted (7 years 2 months 1 week ago) and read 7093 times:

I have never had a problem in the viewing area out here at LAS. In fact a few times while spotting in different locations around LAS I have had the police tell me that they prefer 'our type' to stay to the viewing area.

When we are standing out there with your ladders the police hardly come thru and then it's only looking for transient people who might be wanted. I tell people..you can do just about anything out here BUT do not light an open fire and leave your umbrellas at home! LOL. The constant stream of arrivals is like one every 45 seconds...we usually draw straws to see who has to leave and run to get us all lunch. That person usually misses something good!!!

Unfortunately the runway is closed right now for a few more weeks but after that a visit to LAS might just be what you are looking for..

Read this page and you'll see a little bit of what we do..


Look thru the galleries and you'll see plenty of pictures taken from the viewing area. Not many places in the world where you can stand all day and shoot a landing A/C directly side-on from a 200 ft!! (737s and a320s are at 110mm)

And in the winter we do it from 8 a.m. til dark. We never lose the light(except when Whitebird is with us!!) due to runway direction. The 25's are perfect and the winter sun tracks east to west at a low sun angle behind us!!


User currently offlineScottieprecord From UK - England, joined Jul 2004, 1363 posts, RR: 7
Reply 7, posted (7 years 2 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 7062 times:

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 3):
Airport management needs to realize that their airport either has a spotting area....or their airport is a spotting area. It's their choice, really.

Hahah so true!

For an abundance of info on IAH, you should check out houstonspotters.net.

And depending on what time of year you're thinking about coming, you might want to consider a few days at OSH for EAA Airventure: airventure.org

User currently offlineCO777 From South Africa, joined Apr 2000, 261 posts, RR: 9
Reply 8, posted (7 years 2 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 6959 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Dave, you know its always sunny when ever i am in Vegas.Like it was last time i was there.

User currently offlineLexy From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 2617 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (7 years 2 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 6954 times:

BNA has the Observation Lot off of Vultee Blvd. There are also a couple other places, but this is the main spot to go to.

Nashville, Tennessee KBNA
User currently offlineSFO2SVO From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 410 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (7 years 2 months 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 6916 times:

AUS - Family Viewing Area - see AUS/KAUS)" target=_blank>http://www.spotterswiki.com/index.ph...m_International_Airport_(AUS/KAUS)

SJC - open air terrace in old terminal C - now past security (requires ticket)

318-19-20-21 332 343 717 727 737-234578 743-4 752 763 772 D9/10 M11/8x/90 F70 RJ85 ATR72 SF340 E120 TU34/54 IL18/62/86/9
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