In my unbiased (
) opinion, it has to be SLC
, you can stay in a nice, cheap hotel that looks out right over the threshold of runway 34L. Jets and turboprops, from EMB-120s all the way up the 767-400s, land and take off outside your window all day long and into the night (up until about midnight). This hotel is called the Microtel Inn. Look into it if you ever visit SLC. Rooms are 45 dollars a night usually, and the rooms are nice. There's even a small bed-like thing to lay on by the window to watch the jets come in.
The freeways which access SLC
lie right under the short final for all runways at SLC
, it is not uncommon to have an A320 or a 757 pass just a couple hundred feet above you as you drive down these freeways, and the EMB-120s often fly so low you could almost touch them.
At the airport terminal, you can head over to Concourse A, and watch all the airliners line up at 16L, and take off towards you. Most jets rotate just a short distance away from Concourse A, which means that with even a 2X zoom lens you can get some impressive takeoff shots. When the 727s were around, they wouldn't rotate until almost parallel to Concourse A, giving an even more up-close experience.
All gates and concourses are connected PAST the security point, which means if you want to go from one concourse to another to take pics...feel free, because unlike LAX
, you don't have to go back through security to get to the next concourse. They're all connected.
Parallel landings and takeoffs:
This is mostly for being inside an airplane taking off from SLC
....often, a larger jet will be taking off on the parallel runway, and sometimes will rotate about the same time you do, and for a brief time you experience a rough form of formation flying, with airliners.
This is also good for ground shots as well, as you can often catch two aircraft in the same frame.
At that hotel I mentioned earlier, you can go out to the parking lot which borders the airport property line. The jets will be landing just a short distance away, and will be very large as such a close vantage point. I have waved to pilots landing before, I don't think they had time to see me though.
Huge, steep, Wasatch mountain range in the background provides shots of aircraft completely framed by mountains. Impressive. Especially in winter. Even more impressive when the sun rises, as seen from the terminal.
Even while just going through the suburbs of SLC
, to the south and north of the city, you will often have departing and landing aircraft fly right over your head. At a store in West Valley a Delta 763 came in very low, passing right over the roof of the building. I didn't have my camera ready but it was a thrilling experience.
is the best in the west.
is good for VARIETY spotting, but in terms of convenience for the spotter....not too good.
[Edited 2003-09-23 12:54:22]