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Heinz
Topic Author
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Spotter Friendly Airports

Tue May 29, 2001 8:26 am

Hello,
your opinions would be appreciated about which are
the most or least spotter friendly airports in the world,
and why. Maybe you can differentiate a little for the
pure observers and the photographers.
As much detail as possible would be fine...
Best regards...Heinz
 
ana767
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RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Tue May 29, 2001 12:30 pm

I'm not sure if you care, but Tokyo's Haneda airport has two observation decks that offer pretty good views. Also, I was just at PDX in Portland and there's an excellent spotting place just on the other side of one of the runways. I can also tell you that I have yet to find a really good place to spot around ORD.
 
bombayhog
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RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Tue May 29, 2001 12:57 pm

Heathrow has a great spectators gallery, somewhere around terminal 2 or 3. LAX is cool too, although the police are likely to kick you out if you've parked a car.

GL
 
ILOVEA340
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RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Tue May 29, 2001 1:41 pm

Its all about Zurich. They have the largest observation deck. They have tours all over thye airport and will bus you out to the runway intersection to see planes taking off feet from you. There are also 11 official spots aropund the perimeter that are designed for spotters with food also availible.
http://www.uniqueairport.com
 
Guest

RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Tue May 29, 2001 2:28 pm

Raleigh-Durham internation airprot in north Carolina has an observation deck it's pretty cool.
 
gerardo
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RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Tue May 29, 2001 2:42 pm

I only know ZRH, but this is indeed a very spotter friendly airport. They even made some holes in the fence to allow hobby-fotographs to take pictures!!

For more infos, check the official website http://www.uniqueairport.com or my website at http://fly.to/zrh

Rgds
Gerardo
dominguez(dash)online(dot)ch ... Pushing the limits of my equipment
 
modesto2
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RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Tue May 29, 2001 3:00 pm

LAX is a good spotting airport. It has an observation deck with pretty good views, for a U.S. airport. Plus, the terminals have fairly good views of arrivals and departures on both complexes. But the best is the ability to stand underneath the approach paths for 24R and 25L. The planes are no more than 100 feet overhead. Good stuff!
 
trickijedi
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RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Tue May 29, 2001 3:15 pm

ORD is by far the worst, I think. I have been trying to find a good spot there for the last 3 years now and still haven't found a "prime" spot. One time, I was trying to take a picture of a charter B727 resting on the tarmac (must have been around 9Pm or so) and within minutes, 4 security guys came up to me by the fence and apprehended me and my girlfriend and searched our camera bag with all my equipment and I had to fill out all these papers saying that I was just taking pics. Man, was that a pain in the ass. Took 45 minutes of my time. Great airport but it is not very spotter friendly.

I really envy you guys that have great views of landings and take-offs at your airports. I was thinking about going to Mitchell in Milwaukee or Cleveland to spot instead.
Its better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than be in the air wishing you were on the ground. Fly safe!
 
DSMav8r
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RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Tue May 29, 2001 3:42 pm

Trickijedi,

I sympathize with you... I had a similar experience at ORD about 2 years ago (haven't been back since). I was parked along Irving Park Rd., which is off airport property and within 5 minutes or so, an airport gestapo pulled up. It started out friendly, just asking what I was doing, telling me I can't park here, etc, etc... But, not too long after, another cop showed up, this one had a particularly bad attitude. He insisted that I was a security breach of some sort, even though I had a press card with me, but he seemed to ignore that... He then ran my license plate #, took down my SS#, searched my car and asked why I was listening to a scanner. At this point, I asked to speak with his superiors and I told him that I felt this search was a violation of my rights and if he continued, I would be contacting my attorney and he can be the judge. He then became very passive and just asked me to leave, so I did. It really wasn't worth my time to argue with a moronic airport cop with a double-digit IQ and a triple-digit income, especially one that obviously knew nothing about laws and personal rights.

Needless to say, I haven't been back since.

Milwaukee is excellent BTW, I have been there many times.  Smile
To most people, the sky is the limit. To those who love aviation, the sky is home
 
jared
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RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Thu May 31, 2001 11:13 am

Milwaukee does rock.

Though I got kicked out of a church parking lot while taking pics.

There is a runway, I don't know the numbers, it goes right over the road, planes OFTEN land on this runway, they touch down right at or just past the road, it's really great.

But some churchy decided to be mean to me and make me leave, nowhere good to park around there at all.

But there are other places around MKE since it is contained within 4 roads in a big rectangle.
 
CO777-200ER
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RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Thu May 31, 2001 12:02 pm

I think MKE has the best place well because I live there and they plane come right over your head.There are even other spots to around the airport that u can take pics. In the airport I would say Concourse C and B are the best for taking pics in also the very top of the parking lot has very good sites for seeing plane although its closed right now because of the contrruction of the new parking structure.
 
ILOVEA340
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RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Thu May 31, 2001 12:12 pm

On a smaller note. Bern Belp is great for small turbo props like saabs as no one stops you wneh you walk out on the tarmac. They also have a restaurant (cafe) that is on the edge of the airport with no fence.
 
IMissPiedmont
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RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Thu May 31, 2001 12:19 pm

Believe it or not, those of us who live near smaller airports have the same problem with idiots.
I was at Tucson airport once taking a picture of an ANA L-1011 at the customs terminal. A woman came out of the Airport offices and asked to see my permit. I informed her that we were on public property and that I needed no permit and if she had a problem with that we could go inside and speak with the airport manager. She declined and went away.
Another time I was spotting near the executive terminal and an airport cop I call "Archie" came along and told me he had a complaint about me being there. When I asked who complained, he pointed to the control tower. I told him we could go talk to the duty supervisor if he wanted. To my surprise, he agreed. After some discussion with the supervisor (who I have known for years), he departed the premises, Funny thing, I haven't seen him in a couple years.
Who was it that attributed a double digit IQ to these morons? Oh yes, DSMav8r. Still laughing, unbothered , and continuing to sit anywhere I want at Tucson.  Laugh out loud
The day you stop learning is the day you should die.
 
ILOVEA340
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RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Thu May 31, 2001 12:24 pm

I was at sfo and took a picture of an AA MD-80 and a AA agent came and said quote "you can't do that here" I asked why he answerd "you might be scaring the passengers" so I told him to go around and ask the pax if they were botherd by my being there he left and never asked any. I saw him a few weeks ago but I had nothing to taunt him with as I didn't bring my camera.
 
PanAm747
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RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Thu May 31, 2001 1:09 pm

CLE is pretty nice. You can park at this one restaurant across the street and stand on top of a hill about 200' from the runway. Another user Redngold probably knows more.

ATL-While on my job at the Technical Operations Center I usually took breaks to go watch the planes. We were right next to the taxiway for 9-27 I think. Saw a B727 go around once and a Lufthansa B747 freighter taxi about 100' from me...it was humongous! Sorry for the excitment, my airline doesn't have any B747's.
When Air Force One landed at ATL in Feb. I think, the shuttle bus driver parked on the side of the road next to the chain link fence of the airport. Needless to say, the policemen (approx. 150) were none to happy with her decision and made her leave, so I watched it land at the Tech. Ops. center.

ANC is very good. I walked the trail from downtown to the airport and besides seeing a UPS B747 and China Airlines B747 leave for the Far East you can see downtown Anchorage with the snowcapped mountains in the background.
Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
 
UAL Bagsmasher
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RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Thu May 31, 2001 1:22 pm

MKE is very good for spotting. They created a spotter's parking lot on the north end of the field. They even went so far as to broadcast ATC over a low powered FM station that you can tune in with your car radio. It's great!
I also found a great place to spot in ORD. It gets you about 150-200' from touchdowns on 14R. the 32L departures rotate at about the same point. Unfortunatly the spotting location is in the UA employee parking lot, so only badged employees can enjoy it. I've made some videos already out there, and I too got heckled by the DOA cops. Next time I went to take videos, I wore my UA uniform and vest..that did the trick Big grin
 
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RayChuang
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RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Thu May 31, 2001 6:37 pm

I'm surprised no one mentioned the parking space right across from the south end of Runway 1R at SFO.

You see quite a lot of planes takeoff from both Runways 1L and 1R from there, and you can see most of the takeoffs and landings at Runway 28L/28R there too.  Big grin

If you're willing to go through security inside SFO, the windows that face San Francisco Bay at the new International Terminal are also excellent areas for planespotting. I would also add the United Shuttle terminal areas, which has a great view of Runways 28L/28R.
 
lewis
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RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Thu May 31, 2001 7:13 pm

Athens old International Airport was not so spotter friendly. I was disturbed many times by the police for various reasons; jet blast, illegal photography etc. when I stood next to the fence. So I only took photos from a hotel terrace that was next to the approach path.
At the new airport Eleftherios Venizelos, there is no problem. The Germans that hold the management rights don't seem to bother. The bad thing is that the viewing areas are not good. There are windows at the McDonalds restaurant in the terminal, but it is always crowded. I dont know if they would let me in the gates area even after security check but I doubt it. The only thing I will be doing is to stand outside the airport for approach pics.
 
AI744LR
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RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Fri Jun 01, 2001 6:44 am

DFW is one of the most 'un'friendliest airports (for spotters) that I've seen. The airport has 7 runways and so many terminals, but yet, there is not a single decent observation deck available. I guess the possible reason for this is the size of the airport. It's just huge. The only way I can catch the planes is either at the gates or on the freeways around the airport :-( Can anyone suggest a good spotting point at DFW??
 
LuckySevens
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RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Fri Jun 01, 2001 6:56 am

In the south east corner of DFW there is a park off 36C that was built for spotters. About 200 yards off 36C.

Plenty of parking, and the park was built for spotters. Also, has a built in scanner (but set to a very slow channel usually)
 
ryanb741
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RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Fri Jun 01, 2001 6:59 am

LHR is great, with a nice observation deck at the top of Terminal 2. Also, they have a cafeteria and airline enthusiast's shop which is full of the rarer-type publications and models/videos. Check it out.
I used to think the brain is the most fascinating part of my body. But, hey, who is telling me that?
 
AI744LR
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RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Fri Jun 01, 2001 7:06 am

Thanks LuckySevens. I'm there this weekend  Smile
 
EGGD
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RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Fri Jun 01, 2001 7:06 am

AMS is one of the best. There is an observation deck on top of the terminal building where you get good views of some stands. There is a spotters car park beside rwy 01/19L (kaagbaan) which is quite good but has a tall fence. There is a road which runs parallel to the zwanenburgbaan with Un-obstructed views of the runway from not a long distance.

Also there are about 10 other places where you can spot on all runways.

MAN is also quite good, While i was there i went to the Spotters car park opposite the old runway and behind that the threshold for the new runway, and a taxiway about a wings length (100ft) from you, exellent for spotting. Also at the end of the old runway you can get some excellent shots of aircraft, sometimes just 10m from the houses below (as in some crosswind landings i saw).

There is also a beer garden behind a pub with probably the best view of aircraft approaching the old runway, the roof of the T1 car park which is crap, and alot closer the roof of the T3 car park which is good.

I believe there is also a place on the other side of the airport, and you can gain good views from a road running past the maintenance hangars and the bus stop outside T1.

EGGD Big grin
 
LuckySevens
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RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Fri Jun 01, 2001 7:12 am

Errrrg..... 36C should be 35C  Nuts
you're welcome AI744LR
 
Continental
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RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Fri Jun 01, 2001 7:15 am

The best I think is Zagreb(ZAG), Croatia. It has tons of great spots for viewing approaches. Minneapolis-St.Paul (MSP), MN( where I live) has great place right infront of the 29L approach. By 66th street there used to be a place that was close to the runway, but you can't go there now due to North/South runway construction. When the runway's done, then you can have the greatest view of NWA and KLM 747s landing. MSP also has an observation deck, and a Great spotting place on Post Road. --Continental
 
AI744LR
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RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Fri Jun 01, 2001 7:17 am

LuckySevens,

Sorry to bug you, but can you please give me exact directions on how to get to that park you mentioned. You mentioned 36C is that C36 the gate? I'll be coming in from I-635 into DFW. Do I go into the airport or what?

Information will be much appreciated.

Thanks.
 
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chepos
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RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Fri Jun 01, 2001 7:19 am

SJU has a place called Aeroparque its great for spotting and has a small cafeteria. Unfortunetely last time I went it was closed so I think they shut down which is very unfurtunate. But you could always go to the new Parking Garage to the top floor. Eventhough you have to pay it has great views of the planes.
Fly the Flag!!!!
 
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chepos
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RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Fri Jun 01, 2001 7:20 am

JFK must be one of the most Antispotters airport. Not even the terminals have good spotting areas.
Chepos
Puerto Rico
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mikephotos
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RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Fri Jun 01, 2001 7:50 am

Chepos---I'd have to disagree with you about JFK. For what it's worth, there are a few good spots in the terminals. If aircraft are departing 31L or 13R, you can go to the Delta Terminal (T3) and spot every aircraft departing/landing 31L/13R. Sun conditions are not ideal in the afternoon but spotting is fine if you don't shoot. In the AM, if you face towards T2, you can shot pushbacks and in the PM go to the oppisite side and face towards T4 and shoot pushbacks/arrivals from T4. Another option is the JetBlue terminal (T6) and this works in the PM. Shoot arrivals on 31R or landing on 13L, depending on whats in use. You can also get aircraft from T7/8 taxiing out to 31L for departure or any aircraft that just landed on 31R and going over to T4/5.

While it's not the best photography in the world, I wouldn't say there are NO spots to shoot/spot from.

Michael
 
Blackened
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Zürich, Basel

Fri Jun 01, 2001 7:55 am

Both have excellent viewing possibilities. See the above post for info on Zürich. The viewing deck of Basel is not recommended. But they have very nice spots at the beginning of RWY 16. And no problems with police or anything.
Bring it back, bring it back, bring it back
 
deltairlines
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RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Fri Jun 01, 2001 8:00 am

BOS has Terminal B's garage which is excellent.

Jeff
 
trickijedi
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RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Fri Jun 01, 2001 9:38 am

I just got back from New York and landed at LGA and the way to the rental car parking lot to pick up my car I saw a whole bunch of spotters at the end of the runway (I guess it was either Runway 13 or 9) taking pics of planes lined up for take off. I mean they were REALLY close to the threshold. I didnt get a chance to join them because my time in NY was limited. But from what I saw, I would say that LGA is one of the more spotter-friendly airports I have seen.

A hell of a lot better than ORD, that's for sure.
Its better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than be in the air wishing you were on the ground. Fly safe!
 
CO777-200ER
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RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Fri Jun 01, 2001 10:10 am

Does anyone know any good spots to take pic at ORD the best I found were Terminal 3 and the Delta terminal but I cant find anything else can some tell me cause im going there in July.
 
Mac
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RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Fri Jun 01, 2001 11:22 am


Heinz,

San Diego isn't bad...especially at the east end of the field where the aircraft come over the threshold of runway 27. At my place of work, which is about a mile from the airport, aircraft come right over the building at about, and I am really estimating here, four to five hundred feet...maybe a bit more...but not much more.
The aircraft which really casts a big shadow is the giant Russian cargo plane. It visits San Diego several times a year.
 
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airpearl
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RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Fri Jun 01, 2001 11:25 pm

Kuala Lumpur International (KUL) has good spotting away from the main terminal building so it helps if you've got a car.

Opposite the Formula 1 circuit, there's an observation hill with decorative palms (which is strictly off-limits with big "No Entry" signs, but enforcement is poor so it gets lots of families and the occasional spotter at weekends) with an uninterrupted view of Runway 32R, used mainly for takeoffs, as well as of the airport's satellite building. You get good views of aircraft at the commencement of their takeoff runs.

Drive from there round the airport perimeter and the road passes directly underneath the approach to Runway 32L, used mainly for landings. Had some excellent shots there. Park near the ponds where, if you're also into fishing, you can indulge in two hobbies simultaneously!
 
Guest

RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Fri Jun 01, 2001 11:29 pm

Where I lve in Fargo (FAR) it is a very spotter friendly airport where you can watch ariivals and departures. Also Minneapolis/St. Paul is a spotter friendly airport also
 
LuckySevens
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RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Sat Jun 02, 2001 1:16 am

AI744LR,

http://www.dfwairport.com/guides/visitors/founders.htm

It's the airport's website for the Founder's Plaza (the park)

At the bottom of the page they have directions.

or you can go 635 to Belt Line (Past 35)
Head south on Belt Line to Valley View
Make a right on Valley View. Valley View winds under 2 approach paths (planes are about 50 feet off the ground)
Keep on Valley View until you get to Walnut Hill.
Make a right on Walnut Hill and stay in the right hand lane.
Make a right on to S. Airfield Drive
Follow Airfield Drive past the Administration Buildings
When you come to the four way stop and the overpass, make a left onto 30th Street.

The plaza is off 30th Street.
 
AI744LR
Posts: 103
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RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Sat Jun 02, 2001 1:18 am

LuckySevens,

THANKYOU THANKYOU THANKYOU!!  Smile Can't thank you enough buddy!
 
cbqfan
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RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Sat Jun 02, 2001 3:59 am

Gosh, I feel lucky here at LAS.

Starting from the southeast, at Sunset Rd and Eastern Ave, we have Park 2000 (which is owned by McCarran airport) right under the landing path for 25L. If that's too close for you, cross Sunset and sit in Sunset Park.

Eastern Ave runs perpendicluar to runways 25L and R but there is no place to stop.

Patrick Ln is a deadend street that runs parallel to the taxi runway. Best sun location is in the morning.

Sunset Rd runs parallel to 25L - the normal landing runway. There is a small parking lot for watching the planes land and if you tune in to 88.5 FM you can listen to the tower frequency. Also has plaques showing McCarran Airport history. Always full at lunchtime.

Further west on Sunset takes you to a set of railroad tracks. This is a great vantage point to watch both runways (25/7 and 19/1). Plus you get the famous Las Vegas skyline in the background.

A little further west on Sunset gets you to the All American Sport Park (on the left). Excellent spot for when planes are landing on runway 19. Nothing like having a Virgin Atlantic 747 flying 100 yds. overhead! View of the airport is slightly blocked because tracks are elevated - so you really can't see the action on the ground.

Going north on Las Vegas Blvd. you'll find the Hughes Executive Terminal. Mostly private jets here, but sitting in the parking lot gives you a so-so view of the action on 19/1. Great place to photograph the Signature fuel trucks though.

A couple of blocks north is Dewey. Turn right and go behind the motels. This will get you up close to anything heavy in the Executive Terminal. Spotted have been a Saudi 707, Royal Jordanian L1011, Lufthansa MD-11, private 727's, etc.

A right turn one block past Dewey gets you to the aircraft storage area. Currently a number of ex-United DC10's, a 747SP, an ex-TWA L1011 (in the world scheme) and various other aircraft are parked there.

Haven't tried to get to the Department of Energy (DOE) terminal yet. The DOE operates a fleet of white/red 727-200's for the Nevada Test Site workers.

In eight years I have never been bothered at any of these locations. A word of caution on the RR tracks though - anytime is train time so don't sit on the tracks!!!!

With a long list of scheduled and charter airlines (not to mention military) flying into LAS, it is well worth the trip!

CBQFAN
 
USAFHummer
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RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Sat Jun 02, 2001 4:07 am

FLL is definitely a spotter's airport, there is a dedicated spotting area right at the 9L threshold, however that area is only good for still photographers really, I go to the right about 300-400 feet and you can still see the approaches and you can also see the touchdown, which you cant see from the spotters area...I use video when I spot, I cant take still pics worth a damn.

As for scaring people, the 9L parallel taxiway is right along the fence, I would wave at the planes, no one ever complained...its definitely a spotter's airport.

Greg
Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
 
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United_fan
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RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Sat Jun 02, 2001 7:42 am

Cbqfan-DOE uses 737-200's not 727's. I agree with you that LAS is a great place to spot.When I go to Vegas I spend more time spotting than gambling. Did you mention the spot where you can see the planes taxiing to 25R - making the turn at the end of the taxiway. I believe this is down by Fed-Ex (at the dead end)
Scott
"Suspicion is a matter of opinion"
 
cbqfan
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RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Sat Jun 02, 2001 8:54 am

OOPS, you are correct Scott, the DOE uses 737-200's.
Guess I was over-zealous on the keyboard....

Yep - the taxiway is at Patrick Ln. One of my favorite spots. If the timing is right, you can catch one aircraft on the taxiway, one rolling for take off, and one ready to touch down.
The airfreight terminal is nearby, one block north at Russell. This is also where some aircraft maintenance is done. Not to mention where Air Force One usually parks when the president is in town.

CBQfan
 
qantas744
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RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Sat Jun 02, 2001 9:33 am

I don't think anyone has mentioned any airports in Australia/NZ,those of you who know where to go let us know,I'll be there later this year so the info would be useful......Thanks!
you can't buy time but you can sell your soul and the closest thing to heaven is to rock'n'roll
 
mirrodie
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RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Sat Jun 02, 2001 9:45 am

hey guys!
tickijedi, where were they sopttng at LGA exactly? Near the highway?

anyway, just got back from FLL last night and it is definitely up there as far as spotting goes. But I do disagree with mikesphotos. JFK personifies the very word antispotting.

I mean, I know you are seeing the glass as half full in mentioning all the spots that you do, but think about it: That old Pan Am rooftop was a spotting heaven years ago. It has a 3.5 foot fence at one point. Now, not only did they make the fence 7 feet tall, but they put a a SECOND fence and put strips in it so that you can't see through it. IMHO, that's pretty anti-spotter.

C'est la vie though. There's aways Planeview park across from LGA
Forum moderator 2001-2010; He's a pedantic, pontificating, pretentious bastard, a belligerent old fart, a worthless st
 
Heinz
Topic Author
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RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Mon Jun 04, 2001 8:34 pm

Hello everybody,

I'm surprised no one has mentioned DUS airport yet.
DUS is excellent for spotting and photography since it has two observation decks.

One is on top of terminal C (temporary), as long as adjoining terminal B ist still under reconstruction, following the fire a couple of years ago.
Once terminal B has been reopened (scheduled opening: 01JUL01), and if it is like it used to be before the fire, it will be one of the best viewing decks in the world. They were talking about putting up a plexiglass
screen, and if that will actually be so, a small ladder may be useful for the photographers.

In addition, the is now an excellent viewing deck on top of the "Fernbahnhof" (railway station) right next to the threshold of runways 23L and 23R. If these runways are in use, no traffic can be missed, with excellent photography until about 1pm. Lenses needed: 50-200mm. The viewing deck has been in operation since last year.

There has been much criticism of JFK and ORD.
I found the following spots quite useful:

JFK - Rockaway Blvd. for approach shots to 22R/22L.
You can just walk along and pick the right
distance. When you park, beware of the sand.
You might get stuck...
In addition, if you get on the little hills on the
other side of Rockaway Blvd., beware of giant
mosquitoes (and lots of them !).
ORD - Higgins Rd. (north of the ANG base). There is a
spot (must have been a gas station decades
ago) where you can takevery good photographs
of aircraft approaching 22R. I have never been
disturbed by anyone there except members of
some religious sect. Disadvantage: 90% of the
50-55 hourly landings are either UA or AA.
The adjoining car park is now used for valet
parking.
Another spot is under the approach to 27L, next
to Mannheim Rd. There is an office complex with
a big lot where you can park. Got bothered by
police once, which stole my time, but continued
with photography after that.

Best regards...Heinz
 
redngold
Posts: 6686
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2000 12:26 pm

RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Mon Jun 04, 2001 10:37 pm

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport has an observation deck at the end of Concourse B, which gives you a full view of the parallels (6/24). In the winter, or during bad weather, they close the outdoor portion of the deck and that does limit your view somewhat. It's still a good place.

Unfortunately the other two places I could mention will soon be gone due to the expansion project:

1. 100th Bomb Group Restaurant, 20000 Brookpark Road (that's the place that's 100' from the end of Rwy 24R) The owners built a 6 ft. high mound right inside the entrance and there's a mud/gravel parking lot there, too. The a/c "buzz" you if they're sidestepped to 24R for landing. Most of the a/c depart from Rwy 24R, which means you get the jet blast and, aah, the smell of JetA!
Unfortunately this location will be gone in a matter of weeks (no more than three months) because of the expansion project. Brookpark Road will be realigned, the 100th Bomb Group's current restaurant will be demolished. The property will become the overrun and ILS area for the new 9000' runway (6W/24W).

2. At the intersection of IX Center Road and Grayton Road (south of the airport.) This location will be available much longer since the Runway 6R/24L extension is Phase II, at least two years off. This place doesn't have as good of a view as the 100th Bomb Group -- you're much farther off to the east of the runways, and much farther back (probably 1/4 mile) from the end of 6R/24L. Since most a/c depart on 6L, they're even farther away. You're also at least 500' from the approach path to 6R. But it's an OK place.

3. For Runway 10, you can go to a spot right under the end of the runway, on West Hangar Road (there's an entrance to a side road just east of the NASA entrance on Brookpark Road. That's West Hangar) Kepp an eye out for security -- they don't like people parking there. Runway 10 is VFR only, and is only used when the main runway use is 6L/6R, mostly in the evening.

That's about it. For more information, check out my spotters' webage:

http://www.geocities.com/bandimal/airports/kcle/spotters.html

Cheers,
redngold
Up, up and away!
 
philb
Posts: 2645
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 5:53 am

RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Tue Jun 05, 2001 1:15 am

Heinz,

Has Rockaway Boulevard been cleaned up? I remember it some time ago as being full of burnt out cars, with some rather unsavoury types more interested in needles than cameras.

Anyone wanting to shoot photos at Heathrow from the observation deck on Queens Building will be able to but the angles, obstructions and the sun militate against anything really worthwhile.

In my experience, you can overcome any double digit IQ security/police idiot if you are shooting/watching from public access property by knowing and quoting your rights. Most are scared of being made to look idiots and the biggest idiocy of all is that what you are doing is likely to be blatantly obvious and transparent, the guys they need to worry about would be harder to find. Still, they need something to do.

If all else fails, refuse to deal with them and demand to see their duty manager/duty sargeant etc. Most times they back off and if they don't, if you are within your rights, they are on a loser.

In "right to work" States in the US, you can make out that you are shooting to sell the photos the proceeds from which are part of your income.

The AA thing mentioned by someone is interesting. AA have tried to block publication of AA aircraft on web sites and in mags on the very flimsy basis that the AA logo is their trademark and copyright. They've not yet made a case stick. I doubt they will.

In the UK, no-one can stop you shooting aircraft from a public place. There are no privacy laws, though the BAA pretends there are. They also have "interesting" ideas of where their property starts and, if you know you are in a public place, just stand your ground and they will back off.

I have to say, the older you are, the less hassle you get.

Finally I'm amazed no-one has mentioned that some of the most excellent facilities are in one of the world's most regulated states - Singapore. Beautiful setting, great views, superb range of airliners and acess overlooking gates and runways on both sides of the terminal complex. The food availability is pretty good too.
 
Heinz
Topic Author
Posts: 253
Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2000 1:34 am

RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Tue Jun 05, 2001 2:26 am

Phil,
the last time I was at the Rockaway Blvd. spot was about 4 years ago. You are right in the sense that it is not necessarily a nice place, but I didn't notice any burnt out cars, not did I get bothered by anyone. There were just a few locals fishing and some construction workers. However, it still does seem to be a wise idea to keep your eyes open at all times...
Heinz

 
philb
Posts: 2645
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 5:53 am

RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Tue Jun 05, 2001 2:28 am

Thanks Heinz
 
AA767Boy
Posts: 93
Joined: Fri Dec 29, 2000 7:54 am

RE: Spotter Friendly Airports

Tue Jun 05, 2001 2:48 am

AI744LR,

The place devoted to spotters is named Founders plaza. It is alright for pictures. When the planes come over the bridge you can get some really good shots. I got one a AA 767 last weekend. When the planes are landing to the south, you can get some good shots of them taking off. I prefer when the are landing to the north because the land fairly close to founders plaza, just drive like your going into DFW and then exit on S Airfeild Drive (i think, its where you exit for tram parking) keep driving and you will see it on the left. i dont know how my directions are because i am only 14 and my dad is always driving.

-matt

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