Anchorage Ted Stevens Spotting Guide

Anchorage “Ted Stevens international airport” ANC/KANC is the main airport in Alaska (USA). It’s probably the heaven for cargo planes lovers but many companies operate regular passengers flights there. The airport is open around the clock but depending on the season, the light is only available during 3 or 4 hours. In summer, you can see many movements with “Everts Air” DC-6 and DC-9 freighters because of the salmon deliveries. ANC is a hub for various cargo companies, like UPS, FedEX, Korean Air Cargo, Cathay Pacific cargo, NAC Northern Air Cargo… This means that you will see many MD-11F, B747-400F and B747-8F at Ted Stevens international airport. The usual passenger flights are operated by United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Alaska Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Air Canada, Icelandair and some others. The regional traffic is operated by small planes like Beech 1900D, DHC8-100 and Cessna C-208 Grand Caravan. FedEx also operates C-208 and ATR-42 for the regional mail delivery ! ANC is one of the only location where you can see rare aircraft like B737-200F (NAC), civilian C-130 Hercules (Lynden), DC-9F and DC-6F (Everts Air) operating many flights every day. The airport has 3 runways but not a lot of official spots. One spot is ideal for the morning and the other one for the afternoon and evening. But you must respect some very simple rules if you want to enjoy your spotting session avoiding some problems. I will explain you these rules in the description of any spot. Written by Remo Garone and Stefan Bratner (last update July 2016)

 
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Airline Variety
Photo Locations
Weather
   
   
 
Airport Information    Runways  7L / 25R  7R / 25L  15 / 33
  3’231m (10’600ft) 3’780m (12’400ft) 3’531m (11’584ft)
  Asphalt Asphalt / Concrete Asphalt
       
Terminals North Terminal South Terminal (Concourse A,B,C)  
  International flights Domestic flights  
  Condor, Japan Airlines, Korean Air… Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines…  
 
Spotting Information Ladder A ladder is not absolutely necessary but 3 steps could help to avoid the top of the fences on your photos.
Car A car is absolutely necessary for any location, if you don’t have a car it can be expensive with the taxi or dangerous because of savage animals in the area.
Restrooms If a moose or a brown bear comes out of a wood, it’s better to have a car parked near you to refugee inside (at least). There are many restaurants and shops nearby every spotting location offering aplenty supply of food and drinks. Only the wood, to share with the bears!
Drinks/Food Many snacks and restaurant at the airport and in the hotel’s area.
Hotels There are many hotels around the airport. I have experienced the “Puffin Inn” and will give you informations only about what i know ! I was completely satisfied by the “Puffin Inn” at Spenard road but it’s better to avoid the breakfast there. For the breakfast, better go to the 24h restaurant at “Village Inn” (see the map)Near the hotel you will find a gas station and a small restaurant called “Today’s Pizza”, where you can find fine pizzas and fabulous noodles with cream and chicken that I recommend. At the same location you will find a gas station and a “Subway” shop to buy drinks and picnic for the day.
Season In winter it is all the time night. In June, the night never falls completely. It is day from 04:00 to about 1:00
 
Runway Usage  07L/25R Most of the time, landing and departures are operated on runways 7L, 7R and 33.
07R/25L When the wind comes from the south, runway 15 will be used and it’s the best who can happen if you are at Point Woronzof location!
15/33 Nothing special depend by the wind direction.

Spot #1 – South Airpark
WHERE This spot is near the runway 07/25L and R. From the airport you have to take “West international airport road” and turn right at “Jewel Lake road”. Then drive approximately 2 miles and you will cross “Raspberry road”. Turn right again and drive 1,5 miles than you will see special hangars on the right. Turn right at the second road just in front of the hangars and drive to the end of the street. Park your car exactly at the same place as the pick up seen on the image. Then climb on the little hill on the left and you’ll be at the spot 1.
   
WHAT There you will need a ladder. In summer, the heat-haze could be a huge problem but you can (when there is no heat-haze) make pictures on landing and taxiing aircrafts on rwy 07R. Landings, and even touch down on 07L, all aircraft that are on taxi to the 33, 07L or 07R and these who are going to the terminal.
   
TIME Over there you have to go from late September to late October and late March to early May. In winter it is all the night time and during summer, watch out on the heat-haze. From 09:00 to about 14h or 16h depending on season.
   
MISC. Bring with you what you need, no toilets, no food, no drinks. During summer, watch out for heat-haze.
   
FOCAL LENGTH 50mm to 400mm
   

Spot #2 – Woronzof Park
WHERE From the airport, take “Postmark road” to the end, then turn left on “Point Woronzof road”. This road parking even on a cliff with a beautiful view of the entrance of “Knik Arm” . It “Point Woronzof Park”. There is a big curve to the left up to the park entrance. You feel to be out of civilization, with a gate in front of you and a private road along the airport fence. Ignore the small path to the right and even if you are wondering while passing this portal, someone will shoot you, take this path anyway. Drive a few hundred meters and you will see a mound with a clearing on the right. You have arrived in paradise spotting.
   
WHAT This spot is located along the tracks 15/33. From there, you miss everything that happens on 07/25 except what goes on the taxiway to the cargo. But there are a lot of movement at this spot. If 33 is in service there are only take off because everything is put in 07L or 07R for arrivals. If 15 is in service, all of the traffic will arrive and departure on this runway so you will get everything.
   
TIME This place is good from 15:00 until 23:00 in summer and from 16 to about 20 hours in the fall or early spring
   
MISC. Bring with you what you need, no toilets, no food, no drinks. WATCH OUT !!!! There are three rules to be observed at this location. 1) Spotters are tolerated but the grid is closed to 23h and the Police does not have to come to dislodge us! Therefore leaving the scene later at 22:59 2) NEVER park your car on the side of the perimeter fence. Park the car right at the foot of the small hill where you stay. Two reasons for that. The first is that it is absolutely forbidden to park on mesh side and the second is that if an angry moose (or a brown bear) out of the woods. You will be faster in the car ! It also must NEVER leave food lying around and let your snack. Sit in the car with the doors closed, to eat !!! A bear can smell your sandwich 800m away and will not hesitate to come and ask you for a piece (or the same sandwich, with the risks involved) 3) Listen if there are suspicious noises behind you and throw an occasional glance toward the edge of the wood. And take an overpowered mosquito spray because there are real monsters !!!
   
FOCAL LENGTH 50-300mm
   

Spot #3 – Fuel Tanks
WHERE Use the same direction as described above for spot #2. Enter the gate and always drive parallel to the runway. After a few minutes you can see the tanks in the far distance. The road makes a right turn into the West End Rd. There you can see some yellow orange things standing at the corner. These are quite huge barriers made of concrete. So they are stable. Standing on these you can look of the fence as the fence there is below you due to a waterhole. As there is a gate with no security only cameras sometimes cars come in and out. So never block their way and park on the right side so you are away from the fence and the gate.
   
WHAT Its a good position for photographing action for runway 33, arrivals and departures as well as taxiway victor wich is very close. 07 arrivals may possible but can exit earlier.
   
TIME This place is good from 15:00 until 23:00 in summer and from 16 to about 20 hours in the fall or early spring
   
MISC. Bring with you what you need, no toilets, no food, no drinks. If the gate is open you should try to stay away from the gate or stay on the barriers. No fast moving here and never try to get close to the gate to avoid they think you may be a terrorist.
   
FOCAL LENGTH 70-200mm
   

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2 thoughts on “Anchorage Ted Stevens Spotting Guide

  1. Andrew Oldham

    Hi all. Does anybody know where I can get a full log of the participants in northern edge at elmendorf afb for 2017 thanks in advance. Andy O

  2. Isac Mamede

    Hello guys, I would like to know a little about Elmendorf AFB, the air base from Anchorage.
    Is there any spotting point there? Is it ok for spotting?
    Thanks

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