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Airports With Observation Terraces.  
User currently offlinePs76 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 4206 times:


Thought I'd try to ask for people's knowledge about airports in the World with observation terraces or good opportunites for the spotter when visiting. I live in London so was more interested in places in Europe I might be able to visit for cheap but really anywhere in the World is good. Here in Europe so far I know London Gatwick and Heathrow used to have viewing galleries but they both closed years ago although Heathrow has the visitors centre. Besides that Shannon has a viewing gallery (though not too many planes), I heard Munich has a viewing gallery, Dublin has planes visible from airside though no official gallery, Frankfurt Hahn has a viewing terrace (though not too many planes), Friedrichafen has a viewing terrace, Nice has a cafe with quite good views of the runway.

That's pretty much all from me. But any suggestions as to airports known with good apron/runway views or viewing galleries are welcome.

Many thanks,


19 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineSignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3094 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 4201 times:

Amsterdam has a larger openair viewing gallery landside, on the terminal roof.
Norwich has a landside cafe with good views onto the apron (not huge amounts of traffic though!)
Durban (South Africa) has a small viewing gallery upstairs, but the airport will be demolished this year for the new one - not sure if that will have a gallery.


Flights booked: NWI-AMS-JNB-DUR, JNB-AMS-NWI
User currently offlineSevernaya From Russia, joined Jan 2009, 1465 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 4197 times:

DUS also has some decent spotting possibilities, especially the one at the railway station is nice.

Всяк глядит, да не всяк видит.
User currently offlineRogerbcn From Andorra, joined Sep 2006, 1211 posts, RR: 19
Reply 3, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 4192 times:


HAM has one of the best, you can have a snack or lunch outside, in summer  Wink, and watch the planes come and go.

If you are lucky enough you can see some of the Airbuses, even A380s, doing a turnaround when being tested from the Airbus factory nearby.



"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Travelling is Living)
User currently offlineSectflyer From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 359 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 4188 times:

Its small, but there is a good one at HPN.

User currently offlineRichcandy From France, joined Aug 2001, 850 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 4183 times:

AKL has an airside viewing gallery.

BFS had a landside viewing gallery but I am not sure if its still open.

BHD has a cafe on the first floor with good views (ok not a viewing gallery as such). From what I can remember this is now airside (used to be landside before recent building work)

User currently offlineAirtrainer From Belgium, joined Aug 2003, 1564 posts, RR: 11
Reply 6, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 4170 times:

Hi Pierre, you can also consider ZRH, it's really nice for spotting. Just have a look at the related threads in the non-aviation section (search for ZRH meet) to find more info / photos...

Life is short : eat dessert first !
User currently offlineBraniff747SP From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 3176 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 4151 times:

LAX, ontop of the Encounter restoraunt, the "UFO thingy"

The 747 will always be the TRUE queen of the skies!
User currently offlineYXD172 From Canada, joined Feb 2008, 453 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 4137 times:

There's a great one at FNC that runs along the terminal's roof. Half is airside, half is landside, and I think both sides have cafes open in the summer. All the aircraft are ground-boarded, and the runway is at most 250m away. Not the busiest airport, but a good variety of traffic and a great backdrop for photos.

Radial engines don't leak oil, they are just marking their territory!
User currently offlineGrozzy From Australia, joined Oct 2007, 167 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 4107 times:

SYD international has a decent terrace landside above a bar. View is restricted a bit due to extensions, but you have a good view of the northern part of the main runway across to the domestic terminals.

User currently offlineRsrik From India, joined Oct 2008, 183 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 4039 times:

People seem to be talking of airports around the world... so I will pitch in with my observations: NRT and Haneda both have large observation decks. HND especially is awesome because the surrouding port, the bay, ships, the skyline, the perpendicular runway activity etc. Great backdrop! It also aids the spotting experience that there is a lot of wind, and almost every aircraft is a Heavy! NRT, on the other hand offers impressive views, but not an impressive backdrop.
Here's a clip of the HND observation deck:

User currently offlineAirbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4402 posts, RR: 48
Reply 11, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 4020 times:

RTM has a good viewing deck overviewing the whole apron and you can also picture the runway with some bigger lens.

"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineSAAB900 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2007, 492 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 4017 times:

MAN has a great viewing area,the Aviation Viewing Park although its a short bus ride/drive from the terminals! Actually at the airport the top level of the multi storey car park gives a good view if you can't make it to the Viewing park!
FRA has a good observation deck at T2 & I believe they still do ramp tours! Unfortunately the better T1 deck has been closed for a couple of years now & nobody knows if it will reopen!
Most German airports seem to have a viewing area/observation deck at the terminals,TXL, CGN,DRS,HAJ,LEJ,NUE,STR the list goes on!
PRG has a small terrace between the piers but a better view can be had from the top of the multi storey car park behind the terminal!
BUD has a viewing terrace at both T1 & T2!
WAW also has a good viewing terrace.
MXP doesn't have a official viewing area but most spotters gather behind the Benetton shop(near McDonalds) in T2 which gives great views over much of T2 both runways & I think a bit of T1? Although the police here can sometimes be a bit of a pain in the a*se!


User currently offlineP3Orion From United States of America, joined May 2006, 551 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 4010 times:

Albany Intl' in upstate NY has a nice viewing area. It overlooks the RWY 1/19-10/28 intersection. There is an art gallery that is also on the same level. ATC is piped in so you can listen to ALB Approach, Tower, Ground and Clearance.

I will have a Manhattan.
User currently offlinePGNCS From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 3080 posts, RR: 48
Reply 14, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3941 times:

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 11):
RTM has a good viewing deck overviewing the whole apron and you can also picture the runway with some bigger lens.

Not only that, but Rotterdam as a destination is one of the most underrated in the world. Great people and amazing architecture. The Erasmusbrug ("Erasmus Bridge") is my favorite bridge in the entire world; what a beauty! Can't wait to come back, although I normally fly into AMS and take the train to RTM as it's much easier to get to from the US (and requires no connections from my home airport of MSP).

User currently offlineFiscal From Australia, joined Oct 2009, 338 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 3923 times:

PER (Intl) has a small but enclosed viewing floor - no airconditioning though, and a very nice BBQ area next to the apron with kids play equipment etc - nice and close to the first air bridge.

User currently offlinePs76 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 3914 times:


Just to say many thanks for the suggestions so far etc. Should definitely keep me busy with a list of places to go, and even if I'm not going somewhere just to watch planes, it's nice if they have a viewing gallery when waiting for a connection etc.

Many thanks,


User currently offlineRAFVC10 From Spain, joined Sep 2005, 1980 posts, RR: 6
Reply 17, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 19 hours ago) and read 3896 times:
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Fuerteventura has a great terrace once you are awaiting to board your plane, at the right of the main terminal and near to FresCo restaurant.

The views are amazing and in summer season is open an ice cream store.



El dia que los gilipollas vuelen, no podremos ver la luz del sol!
User currently offlineTobias2702 From Germany, joined Sep 2008, 737 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (6 years 4 months 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 3863 times:

TXL has a nice visitor platform (the whole rooftop of Terminal A). Especially good for taking pics of planes pulling into gate, but also side view on the runways. SXF features a visitor terrace, too, but since the northern runway was closed, there aren't so good views anymore.

Note that they are closed in bad weather. Opening ours can be optained from the airport webpage.


PA, AF, UK, BA, AB, DL, LH, FR, BD, A3, EZY, DY //// A319/320/346, B733/735/73G/738/744/763, AT4, 146, CR2, DH4
User currently offlineVhqpa From Australia, joined Jul 2005, 1607 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (6 years 4 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 3858 times:

CHC has a very good open air landside viewing area over the Domestic Pier however close range photo ops are limited to NZ/DJ/JQ 737/320 and NZLink BEH/DH3/AT7.


"There you go ladies and gentleman we're through Mach 1 the speed of sound no bumps no bangs... CONCORDE"
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