daver3188
Topic Author
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Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2011 8:34 pm

Spotting Within Walking Distance @ Different Airports

Sun Aug 18, 2013 7:50 pm

I was just wondering if there are any airports out there that still either have observation decks on site or have spotting areas that are within walking distance? I work for an airline so getting there isn't a problem but I am not willing to pay for a rental car. (I know I am cheap) Any help would be great. Thank you in advance.
 
andrew50
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Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 9:16 pm

Spotting Within Walking Distance @ Different Airports

Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:04 pm

IAH, all the parking garages offer good views, if they are on an east flow you can get some nice landing shots on 8R from A/B level 7. You will get plenty of taxi shots on A/B level 7 parking north and south. Also E parking roof level offers good opportunities north and south. The garages are all connected by a train system too. Parking C is good for night photography.
 
727LOVER
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Spotting Within Walking Distance @ Different Airports

Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:45 pm

TPA has several garages that should be fine if you get prior permission.

DCA has Gravelly Point......that is only about a 10 minute walk from the terminal. Also old section, about where the old tower was, there is a gallery uptsairs where you can sit and watch/photograph

FLL-on top of the Hibiscus garage

ATL-North and South garages....and the East garage for the East Terminal....you'll need focal length for North & East except for widebodies.

BOS- Term B.....well, flat ou,t you need permission....second,I haven't been there in a loooong time, I thought I heard the view was more obstructed than before.

Quoting daver3188 (Thread starter):
(I know I am cheap)

If you're willing to take a cab, I'd recommend:

DFW's Founder's Plaza.....I believe there are restrooms.....which is one reason I am not recomending BWI's Dorsey Rd area....although there is an observation area upstairs in the terminal, it's not that great IMHO.

FLL- runway obs area....I cant remember if there is a restroom out there.

CLT-great obs area on the west side....restrooms....I believe so.

IAD-the museum



Hope this helps

ISomeone else may be able to help you out with DTW & MSP

Although ORD does have a garage, I think it's pretty useless and that is one airport, you will definately need a ride.
I feel woozy....what did you put in that Pudding Pop?
 
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Moose135
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Spotting Within Walking Distance @ Different Airports

Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:00 am

Quoting 727LOVER (Reply 2):
CLT-great obs area on the west side....restrooms....I believe so.

Definitely a cab ride - it's almost a 2 mile walk from the terminal. They have a porta-potty on site.
KC-135 - Passing gas and taking names!
 
nssd70
Posts: 193
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Spotting Within Walking Distance @ Different Airports

Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:53 am

MSP either parking garage will work,and it is free to ride the light rail between the two terminals.

Doug
 
KPWMSpotter
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RE: Spotting Within Walking Distance @ Different Airports

Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:14 pm

Quoting daver3188 (Thread starter):

I was just wondering if there are any airports out there that still either have observation decks on site or have spotting areas that are within walking distance?

I assume your question is limited to the United States? If you're travelling abroad: ZRH, DUS, MUC, FRA, KIX, etc, etc. Especially in Germany, but elsewhere throughout Europe and Asia there are lots of airports which provide dedicated spotting or observation decks in or near to the terminal.

In the US:

DCA - Gravelly Point is hard to beat. Go in the afternoon. There's a Metro station attached to the airport, so you can see the city too.

PHX - Lots of good places on the parking garages. Go in the winter unless you enjoy hanging out in an oven.

IAD - Not much spotting within walking distance, but the bus to the Udvar-Hazy museum is 25 Cents each way. The museum is great, and you can watch arrivals at IAD from the parking lot.

BOS - Terminal B Parking garage requires prior permission, but you can also take the T (fare is something like $1.75 these days) up to Orient Heights and walk over to Constitution Beach where you can view traffic landing and departing on the 22's.

FLL - The terminal top (Hibiscus) garage is an accepted spotting location. Like PHX, winter is probably best.

LGA - Plane View Park is within walking distance (or a quick bus ride) from the terminal.

MSP - Parking garages work pretty well.

DTW - Again, parking garages offer decent views.

I would caution against ATL, the airport's policy on spotting from the parking decks seems to change with each day of the week. If you'd like some better spotting in the Atlanta area, take MARTA up to the Chamblee station and walk (or bus) about a mile to PDK's spotting area at the base of the control tower (assuming you like GA and Biz-Jets).

If you can swing a cheap rental car, I would strongly suggest MIA (and maybe add in a trip to OPF and FLL). MIA's two spotting areas are hard to get to via public transit, but they're some of the best in the US overall.
I reject your reality and substitute my own...
 
len90
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RE: Spotting Within Walking Distance @ Different Airports

Mon Aug 19, 2013 7:51 pm

MSP you can also light rail over to American and catch the 35 arrivals.

LAX: Supposedly the In N Out Burger is walking distance.
Len90
 
dcaviation
Posts: 242
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:26 am

RE: Spotting Within Walking Distance @ Different Airports

Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:31 pm

Quoting KPWMSpotter (Reply 5):
IAD - Not much spotting within walking distance, but the bus to the Udvar-Hazy museum is 25 Cents each way. The museum is great, and you can watch arrivals at IAD from the parking lot.

Actually parking lots at IAD are prime spotting locations. Daily 1 for departures or arrivals in the afternoon, Daily 2 for arrivals in the morning.
 
StlHsvSfoSan
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RE: Spotting Within Walking Distance @ Different Airports

Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:45 am

LAX has the Theme Building in the center area (the one with arches), with the observation deck on the top and Encounter restaurant right below the deck. Is it still open only on weekends ?

Parking deck nearest TBIT and Terminal 3 have views of gates and runways on the northern side, but I am not sure if that is an "approved" spotting area.
 
727LOVER
Posts: 6602
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2001 12:22 am

RE: Spotting Within Walking Distance @ Different Airports

Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:56 am

Quoting KPWMSpotter (Reply 5):
cheap rental car
Quoting KPWMSpotter (Reply 5):
MIA

HA....these two do not go together!!!  
Quoting dcaviation (Reply 7):
Actually parking lots at IAD are prime spotting locations. Daily 1 for departures or arrivals in the afternoon

But......you should add......that a full 300mm zoom is required for just the big stuff.....imagine the RJs.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Ozell Stephens Jr



I took this with FULL zoom!
I feel woozy....what did you put in that Pudding Pop?
 
Sooner787
Posts: 1490
Joined: Thu Jul 18, 2013 1:44 am

RE: Spotting Within Walking Distance @ Different Airports

Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:19 am

Best airport I've seen in Paine Field , Everett, WA .

The Future of Flight Museum is right next to the main runway & even has dirt mounds built up

to easily shoot over the fence. Plus the variety of Boeing widebodies there is awesome
 
NASCARAirforce
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Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2005 7:27 am

RE: Spotting Within Walking Distance @ Different Airports

Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:22 am

Quoting len90 (Reply 6):
LAX: Supposedly the In N Out Burger is walking distance.

Ummm sure, if you want to walk 3 miles.
 
dcaviation
Posts: 242
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:26 am

RE: Spotting Within Walking Distance @ Different Airports

Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:35 am

Ozell,

How could you take this A340 with full zoom if I took this ERJ-170 at 300mm  
 
len90
Posts: 925
Joined: Thu Jul 06, 2006 1:03 pm

RE: Spotting Within Walking Distance @ Different Airports

Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:15 pm

I guess the only difference lies in the body used. dcaviation were you using a crop sensor body? Then I would assume 727LOVER was using a full frame.
Len90
 
dcaviation
Posts: 242
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:26 am

RE: Spotting Within Walking Distance @ Different Airports

Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:46 pm

Nope, we were both using DX cameras. I was standing next to Ozell when he took this picture of SAA  
 
hrtsfldhomeboy
Posts: 89
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2007 1:37 am

RE: Spotting Within Walking Distance @ Different Airports

Wed Aug 21, 2013 5:04 pm

Ill just throw this out there but I believe Burlington, VT (KBTV) is a an undershot airport rich with possibilities. Haven't shot there personally, but I have walked up to the parking garage. A dedicated spotters/passenger garden is atop the garage with views over the terminal and southern end of the field. Go down a level ad across the garage ad you shoot from a vista that covers the entire main runway 15/33.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Brian Hill



I believe this was shot from the old ATC tower now converted to an enclosed observation room. View from garage is similar.
 
727LOVER
Posts: 6602
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2001 12:22 am

RE: Spotting Within Walking Distance @ Different Airports

Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:16 am

Quoting dcaviation (Reply 14):
Nope, we were both using DX cameras. I was standing next to Ozell when he took this picture of SAA

Well now I'm lost,......is it R.S.?
I feel woozy....what did you put in that Pudding Pop?
 
dcaviation
Posts: 242
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:26 am

RE: Spotting Within Walking Distance @ Different Airports

Thu Aug 22, 2013 10:02 am

Quoting 727LOVER (Reply 16):
Well now I'm lost,....

Hi Ozell  

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