I can confirm it is "open for business" as you put it. There is an official viewing area on the west side off perimeter road behind the Animal Control - though the photo holes are a thing of the past, you can still shoot thru the fence. I was there on 12/29 and 12/30 and did just that - and got hundreds of shots. In all, my trip (flights, FLL
, and MIA
) yielded 214 seperate aircraft not counting doubles and some bad shots. I have uploaded 3 shots so far from this spot, all of them will take several weeks.
It is hard to shoot arrivals from the viewing Area because they are kind of far away and you'd have to get the plane before it descends below the fence line.
At one point a Broward Co Sheriff Deputy car came around and parked at the end, facing me, and I thought I was busted for sure but he just sat there for at least a half hour and then drove off. And during that time I approached the fence a few times with camera in hand. If you are adventurous you could walk down to Perimeter Rd. and shoot an arrival but I would think you'd be more likely to get stopped. I shot one plane like that, an Air Transat A300.
Also good is the Parking Deck (the "Hibiscus" garage). Short term parking is only on level 1 and 2, so park there ($1 per half hour) and take the elevator to the roof. Walk to the west end of the roof and the entire corner has been designated an "Aircraft Viewing Area" with signs and places to sit. From here you can see departures from 9L
, good touchdown shots on 27R, and some ramp action including the International Terminal. That is where I got the parked shot of G-OOOX. I did not get any touchdowns because traffic was eastbound those days. No sign of any Police up there.
300mm lens is fine. As for 27R approach, you could probably shoot some as they cross the threshold from the garage but I dont know any other area. Between those two areas though, you can get tons of pics.