SiouxATC
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Best US Terminals For Spotting

Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:18 pm

I am looking at taking some day trips using my flight benefits. I was hoping to get some suggestions on what airport terminals might be best for spotting in the United States? Any info will be appreciated. I would prefer to stay post security and not have to rent a car.

Thanks.
 
thomasphoto60
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RE: Best US Terminals For Spotting

Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:57 pm

Houston's 3 main airports (IAH, HOU and EFD) are very spotter friendly...within reason. See the link below for additional info.

http://www.houstonspotters.net/


DFW and DAL are also very spotter friendly
.

[Edited 2011-12-12 15:58:55]
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n901wa
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RE: Best US Terminals For Spotting

Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:00 am

I love HNL, with the open walkways. Also if you got time go to LAX, and eat at the Proud Bird next to the window  
 
flymia
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RE: Best US Terminals For Spotting

Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:01 am

MIA's north terminal has some pretty good locations. Especially in the sky-train stations. Huge windows overlooking ramp and runway areas.
"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
 
bhmdiversion
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RE: Best US Terminals For Spotting

Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:05 am

PHL is a good one as well.
 
e38
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RE: Best US Terminals For Spotting

Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:04 am

SiouxATC, based on your user profile, if you are a student at UND, an airport fairly close to Grand Forks with a great view of flight operations is the observation deck above Concourse D at Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (MSP).
You won't get a tremendous amount of variety in terms of different airlines--mostly Delta and Delta Connection of course--but you get a great view of takeoffs and landings on Runway 12L/30R as well as terminal operations on Concourses A, B, C, D, and the north side of E. It is inside of security and most of the time there are not too many people up there (the entrance to the observation deck is not particularly well marked and many folks don't know it is there. After all, how many airports still have "observation decks?")

If you take a look at the photo section of Airliners.net--MSP airport--you will see some good examples of the view from the MSP Concourse D observation deck.

Also, there is a good viewing area at Washington National Airport (DCA). You have to go to the original--historic--terminal building (which is between Terminals A and B--in the old days the Eastern Air Lines ticket counter was in this area). Now it is a large waiting area with a series of photos on one of the walls depicting the historical development of DCA. The observation deck that runs along the outside of this waiting area is closed, but the view of landings and takeoffs on Runway 1/19 from the windows in this part of the terminal is excellent. This area is "outside" of security.

e38
 
NWADC9
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RE: Best US Terminals For Spotting

Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:09 am

Quoting e38 (Reply 5):
Also, there is a good viewing area at Washington National Airport (DCA). You have to go to the original--historic--terminal building (which is between Terminals A and B--in the old days the Eastern Air Lines ticket counter was in this area). Now it is a large waiting area with a series of photos on one of the walls depicting the historical development of DCA. The observation deck that runs along the outside of this waiting area is closed, but the view of landings and takeoffs on Runway 1/19 from the windows in this part of the terminal is excellent. This area is "outside" of security.

Another spot is also in Terminal A near the jetBlue ticket counter and baggage claim. Similar view, only with rocking chairs. A roadtrip to DC is not complete for me without a Metrorail ride to DCA for some planespotting!
Flying an aeroplane with only a single propeller to keep you in the air. Can you imagine that? -Capt. Picard
 
PI4EVER
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RE: Best US Terminals For Spotting

Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:25 pm

Come to TPA. Nice weather just about anytime and great spotting from the Short Term Parking Deck, Level 9.
Access to elevators in the main terminal without having to go outside/leave the terminal building. Grab some food and beverage and dine "al fresco" while enjoying open sweeping views of the airport and surrounding Tampa Bay area.
Join my nephew and I for lunch today. We're headed out to Christmas shop for Mom and Dad, and lunch will be a Subway sandwich on parking deck 9 with a forecast of sunny skies, light breezes and 80*F.
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blink182
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RE: Best US Terminals For Spotting

Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:28 am

Quoting n901wa (Reply 2):
I love HNL, with the open walkways.

HNL is really as good as it gets. Lots of US widebodies with some large narrowbodies, a few Asian widebodies, lots of HA aircraft. While the terminals themselves are closed to the elements, the walkways are open air and very close to the action, which means no window glare for photography. There are usually a lot of tourists taking photos, so there's hardly a stigma attached. You also can get some runway views too depending which ones are in use.

On the total opposite end of the US, the part of terminal C at EWR that handles most of CO's mainline domestic arrivals and departures affords a quieter, albeit nice place to spot runway traffic. Aircraft tend to taxi quite close to this area. Unfortunately, I've found the windows to be a bit dirty in the past, but if you're just looking for a place to pass the time, I highly recommend.
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flymia
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RE: Best US Terminals For Spotting

Wed Dec 14, 2011 6:05 am

Quoting e38 (Reply 5):
Also, there is a good viewing area at Washington National Airport (DCA). You have to go to the original--historic--terminal building (which is between Terminals A and B--in the old days the Eastern Air Lines ticket counter was in this area). Now it is a large waiting area with a series of photos on one of the walls depicting the historical development of DCA. The observation deck that runs along the outside of this waiting area is closed, but the view of landings and takeoffs on Runway 1/19 from the windows in this part of the terminal is excellent. This area is "outside" of security.

Yes! That is a great spot. Whenever I had extra time before a flight, or only had carry on bags after landing at DCA I would always take a walk there. It is also nice and quiet unless an 737 or 757 is taking off right infront of the large windows.

Quoting NWADC9 (Reply 6):
Another spot is also in Terminal A near the jetBlue ticket counter and baggage claim. Similar view, only with rocking chairs. A roadtrip to DC is not complete for me without a Metrorail ride to DCA for some planespotting!

This is another good spot. The whole entire main terminal has good views of ramp action also. (outside of security) And of course you can't forget gravelly point. A park right by DCA with great action with either planes taking off right above you or landing. A very short walk from the terminal right along the permeter fence.
"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)

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