Topic Author
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Best Spotter Airports

Sat Sep 02, 2000 6:51 am

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 ?
Kiwi dave
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RE: Best Spotter Airports

Sat Sep 02, 2000 9:35 am

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

RE: Best Spotter Airports

Sun Sep 03, 2000 5:01 am

Miami is a great spotter airport.
Topic Author
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RE: Best Spotter Airports

Sun Sep 03, 2000 7:46 am

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 ?

RE: Best Spotter Airports

Mon Sep 04, 2000 10:17 am

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.
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RE: N766AS

Mon Sep 04, 2000 10:59 am

hey i have a question
could u please email me?


RE: Best Spotter Airports

Mon Sep 04, 2000 8:58 pm

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.
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RE: Best Spotter Airports

Mon Sep 04, 2000 9:41 pm

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.

RE: Best Spotter Airports

Wed Sep 06, 2000 8:45 am

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.

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RE: Best Spotter Airports

Thu Sep 07, 2000 7:24 am

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!

RE: Elal106

Thu Sep 07, 2000 8:24 am

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

RE: Best Spotter Airports

Thu Sep 07, 2000 3:02 pm

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. .


RE: Best Spotter Airports

Thu Sep 21, 2000 12:02 am

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.
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Thu Sep 21, 2000 1:33 am

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..


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RE: Best Spotter Airports

Sat Sep 23, 2000 5:26 am

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!

RE: Best Spotter Airports

Sat Sep 23, 2000 12:40 pm

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.
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Tue Sep 26, 2000 2:37 pm

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
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RE: Best Spotter Airports

Sat Sep 30, 2000 6:27 am

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RE: Best Spotter Airports

Sat Sep 30, 2000 9:27 am

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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