This report covers worldwide spotting locations from different airports. We didn´t have enough infos for a complete guide but we wanna share the photo position that we have visited with you. New positions will be added from time to time so check back regularly.
Currently we offer spots for:
1. Dallas Forth Worth, USA – DFW/KDFW
2. New York La Guardia, USA – LGA/KLGA
3. Tampa Intl. Airport, USA – TPA/KTPA
4. Viru Viru Santa Cruz, Bolivia – VVI/SLVR
5. London City, UK – LCY/EGLC
6. Alicante, Spain – ALC/LEAL
7. Cairns, Australia – CNS/YBCS
8. Ayers Rock, Australia – AYQ/YAYE
9. King Country “Boeing Field”, USA – BFI/KBFI
10. Nagoya Komaki , Japan – NKM/RJNA
11. Bratislava, Slovakia – BTS/LZIB
12. Krabi, Thailand – KBV/VTSG
13. Memmingen, Germany – FMM/EDJA
14. Cologne/Bonn, Germany – CGN/EDDK
15. Al Makthoum, United Arab Emirates – DWC/OMDW
16. London Luton, United Kingdom – LTN/EGGW
17. London Gatwick, United Kingdom – LGW/EGKK
18. Honolulu, USA – HNL/KHNL
19. Praslin, Seychelles – PRI/FSPP
20. St. Petersburg, Russia – LED/ULLI
21. Québec, Canada – YQB/CYQB
22. Mahé , Seychelles – SEZ/FSIA
23. San Francisco, USA – SFO/KSFO
|#1 – Dallas Forth Worth, Texas – USA|
|WHERE||This is the official spotting location for DFW airport, situated on the north side of the airport and next to RWY 18R approach. There are many directions to get there so please use a GPS.
By public transport: use the shuttle bus from the terminals to the north remote parking and walk for approximate 5 minutes along the N Airfield Drive to the Plaza. But keep in mind there is no sidewalk!
|WHAT||A great location for the 18R arrivals, which is one of the busiest runways and usually most intercont. flghts arrive here as well as the cargo operators.. 18L, which is used for the departures, is possible but there can be a lot of heat haze! Parts of the UPS ramp are in sight too.|
|TIME||Great from afternoon until sunset.|
|MISC.||There are benches and shadow to relax. Hotels and Restaurants are 2 kilometers away. Just follow the Mustand Dr. westwards.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||Boeing 737-800 = 170mm, ERJ145 = 230mm, Boeing 777-200 = 110mm|
|#2 – New York La Guardia, NY – USA|
|WHERE||The spot is located at the Hermon A Macneil Park situated in the northern corner of Queens. Park your car for free at the Poppenhusen Ave next to the park entrance and walk along the water for a few minutes. You can already see the planes arriving.|
|WHAT||All runway 22 arrivals.|
|TIME||Good light from morning until noon.|
|MISC.||There are some benches to relax. Bring everything you need with you.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||Huge lense is needed! + 400mm for a regional jet, 350mm for a 737/A320|
|#3 – Tampa Intl. Airport, Florida – USA|
|WHERE||It´s pretty easy to find this location. Start at the check in and use the elevator to get to the most upper floor to the top parking level.|
|WHAT||The view from this spot is a little bit limited due to the airside terminal buildings. But therefore you get a wide variety of different photo angles. You can take pictures of the two main runways on the east and west side of the airport. Furthermore you can take photos of aircrafts taxiing and rolling to their parking position.|
|TIME||You can photograph in both directions so you can use this location all day long. BUT in the summer there is a lot of heat haze. Furthermore the APUs and the general heat on the ground is an issue, even in the winter.|
|MISC.||I can recommend this spot if you have some time left whilst waiting for the flight at the terminal or have a stop over because its a pretty short hump to get on the parking garage.
When I was there security was on the garage too but they were not interested in what I am doing. Its a known photo location.
|FOCAL LENGTH||At least 300mm for 737 on runway.|
|#4 – Viru Viru Santa Cruz – Bolivia
|WHERE||You can shot from theviewing deck on the top of the terminal (landside) or after security through the glass (airside) from the international waiting area.|
|WHAT||You can get all movements from here. The runway is more far away so there can be heat distortion. Boliviana,Amaszonas und Ecojet are the most frequent visitors. International airlines airlines are AAL, Copa and GOL.|
|TIME||Only good in the afternoon for runway/taxiway movements. For side on shots on the ramp you can use the deck the whole day.|
|MISC.||Everything you need within the terminal. There is no shadow on the roof so be prepared with sun blocker. At the deck you have to shot trough a close-meshed fence which is suboptimal if the planes park in front of you.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||20-400 mm, depends on RWY/Ramp photos|
|#5 – London City Airport – United Kingom|
|WHERE||If you get out of the terminal, turn left and walk a few minutes under the covered boardwalk along the parking/dock. It ends on the half way to the parking. This is your place to be with a great view of the runway.|
|WHAT||As you are in the middle of the runway you get all movements from this position. If the plane is still on the ground, parts of the wheels are cutted off at some positions on the run- and taxiway due to the grass (see Cityjet Avro Photo).|
|TIME||In the winter good for the whole day. Summer backlit during early morning and late afternoon.|
|MISC.||Restrooms and snacks within the terminals. Due to the planned expansion of the apron and terminal, this spot may history soon.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||120-250mm for the standard traffic. 300 mm for very small biz jets only.|
|#6 – Alicante – Spain
|WHERE||If you come from the termainals merge highway N-332 to Alacant | Alicante until motorway intersection ‘Santa Pola’ and exit N-332 in direction to Santa Pola and Cartagena. Follow N-332s street course for 1,7km end exit N-332 at El Altet (Norte)/CV-849/Elx/Elche but bear left and go straight for 550m until a roundabout appears. Take first exit (Avinguda Sant Francesc). Follow street course for 1.3km (CV-849) until the next roundabout appears. Take first exit again and follow the street. A small plaza will be visible after 20m. Park your car here.|
|WHAT||All runway operations of runway 10/28|
|TIME||From noon to sunset|
|MISC.||Heat haze can be a problem on hot days. A supermarket is not far from this point.|
|#7 – Cairns, The mountain – Australia
|WHERE||From the airport, exit it by taking the “Airport Ave” road. Then, turn on the right onto “Captain Cook Hwy”. You will cross a river and you will have to turn on the left onto “Aeroglen Dr” to finally take the first again on your left which is a small path where you can park your car under a tree. (That was the easiest part to reached the spot :D)
Second step is, to climb the mountain under a humid and hot weather condition. Please refer to the map, the trek has been mentioned for you by the BLUE line.
|WHAT||Arrivals runway 33 and departures runway 33 + 15.|
|TIME||From 1300 to sunset.|
|MISC.||Heat haze can be a problem on hot days and theirs nothing around this spot so bring with you what you need. (the first shop is pretty far away as well from the spot). Be careful of snakes during hot seasons !!|
|FOCAL LENGTH||18mm (overview picture of the airport) until a 500mm as you are pretty far away from the aircraft.|
|#8 – Ayers Rock – Australia
|WHERE||Drive to Ayers Rock airport and the spot will be located next to the terminal on the left side next to the General Aviation ramp.|
|WHAT||Only parking and taxiing aircraft on the General Aviation ramp.|
|TIME||Mostly all the day but try to avoid end of afternoon.|
|MISC.||Heat haze can be a problem on hot days and you are shooting throw fences. You can get some foods/drinks inside the terminal. Be careful of snakes !!|
|FOCAL LENGTH||18mm (overview picture of the ramp) until a 300mm is enough|
|#9 – King Country “Boeing Field” – USA
|WHERE||Follow the signs from the airport to The Museum of Flight.|
|WHAT||The only spot allows pictures of approaches 31L early afternoon by taxi or a fence hole of parking. We need to step back to the static aircraft to be slightly above or providing a ladder.|
|MISC.||Bring with you what you need.|
|#10 – Nagoya Komaki – Japan
|WHERE||This airport (RJNA/NKM) is named after the city of Komaki located nearby. It was Nagoya’s International Airport until it was replaced by Chubu Centrair (NGO) in 2005. Since then, only Fuji Dream Airlines has kept offering scheduled services from NKM.
But the airport is still worth a visit for spotters as the Fuji Dream fleet is painted in different colours and there is also business aviation as well as military traffic (Japanese Self Defense Force’s Komaki Air Base is located on the other side of the runway). Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. ist also located at the airport so you might even have the chance to catch a MRJ test flight.
To get on the observation deck just enter the terminal building. Inside, turn right and cross the counter area. In the southeastern corner there is a lift and a staircase leading to the top level. Just follow the signs.
|WHAT||You have a great overview of the whole airport, especially the civil apron and Runway 16/34 arrivals and departures. The Fuji Dream flights are usually parked very close to the observation deck. You can also see military aircraft parked in the background behind the runway.|
|TIME||Best light conditions in the afternoon.|
|MISC.||You can find everything you need in the terminal building.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||Smaller than 55mm for aircraft parked next to the terminal. At least 150mm for E-Jets on the taxiway, 250+ mm on the runway.|
|#11 – Bratislava – M.R. Stefanik (Ivanka) – Slovakia
|WHERE||Bratislava is a quiet airport, located northeast of the city. Ryanair and Pobeda have daily flights to BTS, but the main attracion is the Slovakian goverment fleet. All A319, F100 and Tu154 are stationed at northwest corner of the airport.
To reach the spot take road 572 (from the D1 highway) towards Horné diely. Then turn left Leknová road and drive all the way untill you reach a bicycle bridge over the water. Turn left here and choose your spot (you can drive all the way up till the end for runway 04/22.
|WHAT||Departures and arrivals runway 04/22 and 13/31|
|TIME||All day long (depends on runway use)|
|MISC.||Bring with you what you need.|
|#12 – Krabi – Thailand
|WHERE||The airport opened in 1999 and since that it is growing rapidly and now serves over 4 Mio. passengers. With one single runway its pretty easy to catch every movement at KBV. The spots are at a dirt road that runs parallel to the runway. You can enter it from the Nuea Khlong District road 4037.|
|WHAT||If you wanna get arrivals on 32 (which is the main direction), stay at the spot close to the entrance of the perimeter road. To get all movements continue on the road for approximate 1 km. There you have to shot trough the fence but the mesh is big enough for a camera lens.|
|TIME||Good light conditions in the morning only.|
|MISC.||Everything you need within the Nuea Khlong District. Hotels, Restaurants, Supermarket etc.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||100-200mm, A320 on arrival = 150mm|
|#13 – Memmingen – Germany
|WHERE||The spot is located on the opposite side of the terminal, next to the GAT and a BBQ Grill. To get there follow the signs to the airport but don´t drive to the terminals, instead exit the huge roundabout to the “industrial area” (just next to the displayed F104). Then drive straight ahead until you see the approach lights. From there follow the signs to “FlyIN Barbecue BBQ”. You pass the approach path, some old hangars and after a few minutes you are on the opposite site of the terminal. Just park at the airport fence.|
|WHAT||The main airlines at FMM are only Wizzair and Ryanair. Pobeda operates a almost daily flight to Moscow with a 738. At this position you get all movements of RWY 24/06 and as they switch the directions pretty often it makes no sense to stand next to the approach. The mesh to the fence is big enough for a DSLR lens.
Furthermore you can photograph the parked aircrafts on the genreal aviation ramp.
|TIME||From morning till afternoon. for the runway. GA-ramp from afternoon till sunset.|
|MISC.||The BBQ is not open every day so check the opening times on their homepage. They have a terrace where you can sit outside and watch the aircrafts moving along.
The small city of Memmingen is very close where you find Hotels, Gas Station, Supermarktes etc.
|FOCAL LENGTH||70mm for 737/A320 on the runway.|
|#14 – Cologne/Bonn – Germany
|WHERE||One of the best photo locations in Germany is the visitor terrace on the top of CGN Terminal 1, Concourse C. Just use the elevator or stairs to get on the fifth floor. The deck is open from 05:00 to 00:00 hours, free of charge and without security checks. The main platform is behind glass, but you can use the stairs to get on an even higher level where you have a free sight and no disturbing glass.|
|WHAT||CGN is one of the biggest cargo airports in Europe and a hub for UPS. As usual most cargo flights taking place during the night. But sunday is a good day to catch some cargo flights during daylight. Other regular cargo operators are Fedext, MNG Airlines, Star Air.
Eurowings has a base in CGN and operates their A330 widebody fleet from here to many destinations. The German Luftwaffe also has a base for the Government jets like A340.
14L/32R is the main runway and at this spot is recommend when 14L is active for arrivals or 32R departures. You can also photograph planes taxing to terminal 2 or parking at terminal 1 infront of you.
|TIME||Arrivals and taxiway has light form noon till sunset. Parked planes maybe earlier.|
|MISC.||Everything you need is within the terminal. Supermarket, FastFood, etc.. Check the official website for updates before your visit! Terrace can be close due to bad weather.
Schedule can be found on the aviation-friends-cologne website.
|FOCAL LENGTH||Runway: 747 = 120mm; 737 = 260 mm
Taxiway: 737 = 180mm
|#15 – Al Maktoum International Airport – United Arab Emirates
|WHERE||Drive to Al Maktoum International Airport but follow Dubai Air Show signs or Jetex FBO signs and continue a bite more after the Dubai Air Show turn signs.|
|WHAT||Only arrivals runway 30 afternoon.|
|TIME||Best afternoon, from 1200 to sunset.|
|MISC.||Theirs nothing nearby this location, so take what you need or drive back to the airport you will find toilets, drinks, foods and free wifi.
+++ SECURITY INFORMATION +++
|FOCAL LENGTH||MD11 = 116mm / 320 = 210mm|
|#16 – London Luton – United Kingom
|WHERE||From the terminal, get on the A1081, then turn onto the B653 towards Wheathampstead (W’hampstead). After a few miles, turn left onto Chiltern Green Road. Turn the first left (still Chiltern Green Road) and another left on the end of the road. You can park your car on the small parking lot or alongside the road.|
|WHAT||London Luton has only one runway, so all arrivals and departures will be visible.|
|TIME||From ~ 10.00 till 16.00 in summer|
|MISC.||There is nothing nearby this location, so take what you need.
The fence has some lower and higer spots, but is is recommended to take some kind of steps (2 or 3 steps will do).
|FOCAL LENGTH||Runway (EasyJet A319 & Polish AF E175): 80 – 100mm
Lineup (EasyJet & Wizz Air A320): 200mm
|#17 – London Gatwick – United Kingom
|WHERE||No car needed to get to this spot. From inside the South terminal (there is a shuttle between both terminals), go to the departure hall and walk to the southwest corner of the building (British Airways check-in). Near the toilets (big signs), you will find a small sign to “Concord House”. This will lead you to a staircase witch will take you to the perimeter Road East. Walk alongside this road until you have reached the spot (10 minute walk). Spotting is also possible in the late evening (summer): just walk underneath the landing lights.|
|WHAT||All arrivals can be photographed. Don’t hang out near the fence, but stay near the roadside.|
|TIME||In summer from ~ 10.00 till 16.00 and from 18.00 till sunset.|
|MISC.||Everything you need is in the South terminal.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||Depending on your location: ~ 60 – 150 mm
From the entrance of the staff carpark: ~ 200 – 250 mm
|#18 – Honolulu Daniel K. Inouye International Airport – United States of America
|WHERE||The most famous spotting location in Honolulu is located just at the southern end of the Lagoon Drive. If you start at the northern end of the Lagoon Drive, where the street crossed the Queen Liliuokalani Freeway, you have to follow the road into south-western direction for about 4km. After you passed a lot of hangars and halls, you should see a stored (former Aloha) Maddog on your right. 400m after this point you’ll enter a parking space. Park your car somewhere nearby and climb the little concrete walls just infront of the fence.|
|WHAT||All activities on Runway 08R/26L as well as Freighters and most of the GAT Traffic taxiing to Runway 08R before departure. Arrivals onto runway 04R and 04L can be seen from here, too.|
|TIME||The times of light/backlit is very difficult to discribe here, because in the summer months the sun climbs to the northern side!
Light on runway 08R/26L is only okay from Mid-March till September and in these months in the early morning hours or the late evening hours. In June it’s much more different!
Light on runway 04R/L is okay from sunrise till 4:30pm in the winter months and in the summer months from sunrise till 1pm. In June it’s different! For aircrafts taxiing to runway 08R for departure (like the MD11 or B732 on my example pictures) the light will be okay from sunrise till around 9am in the winter and in the summer till around 11:45am. In June it’s different!The easiest way to find out the times (of light) for the days of your visit, is to visit suncalc.net and look them up.
|MISC.||Nothing nearby, no shops/restrooms. If it’s sunny, sunscreen may be necessary – the sun is very strong there! Ladder not needed, you can use the little concrete walls at the moments (Update: July 2015).|
|FOCAL LENGTH||18 – 300mm|
|#19 – Praslin Iles des Palmes Airport – Seychelles
|WHERE||The “Iles des Palmes Airport” (PRI/FSPP) on Praslin Island is mainly used by Air Seychelles who are serving this little airfield more than 10 times a day. They are flying from/to Mahe (the biggest airport on the Seychelles) with one of their 3 DHC-6-400 (Date: 2017). The little airport can be reached by car or bike and this spot is located at the southern end of the airport near the tiny terminal. Just stay next to the traffic light at the unnamed road next to the “Creole Travel Service”-Center.|
|WHAT||All activities on the runway 15/33 (arrivals and departures) and aircrafts which are parked on the apron or taxiing to/from RWY.|
|TIME||You’ll have light on the runway from around 8-11am (this depends on the month of your visit) till sunset. For planes on the apron or the taxiways it depends on the angle they are parked/taxi.|
|MISC.||There is a “Whole Foods Market & Cafe” just about 400m into eastern direction, where you can find restrooms and something to eat/drink and a few meter away from this market you’ll find two restaurants. No ladder needed. Take care of cars and other vehicles. If it is hot, you may have problems with heathaze on the apron or the taxi-/runway.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||18 – 300mm|
|#20 – St. Petersburg Pulkovo Airport – Russia
|WHERE||The St. Petersburg Pulkovo Airport (LED/ULLI) was opened in 1932 and is located 14km southwest of the city. The airport is the gateway to the city and that’s why the airport has a lot of interesting traffic – spotting can be really succesful there. To get to the spot just follow these instructions: Exit the newest Terminal at the highest floor (where the Check-In is located) to the terminaldriveway. If you’re outside just walk into northern direction, until you get to a gate which is used by cars to enter the area. Then just get in between the barrier and the fence, so you’re a save of furious drivers. Choose your favourite position, this depends on the angle you like the most.
|WHAT||All arrivals and departures on runway 10L/28R and aircrafts taxiing to the north-eastern part of the airport where some parking spaces are located.
|TIME||Light on runway will be okay from around 8am till 9pm.
|MISC.||You can find restrooms, restaurants (e. g. McDonalds) and shops inside the terminal building or the Park Inn hotel. No ladder needed. Take care of cars and other vehicles which use the terminaldriveway.
|FOCAL LENGTH||70 – 300mm|
|#21 – Québec Aéroport intl. de Jean Lesage – Canada
|WHERE||The Aéroport international Jean-Lesage de Québec (YQB/CYQB) was opened in 1941 and offers flights to Europe, Caribic islands and of course within North America (Canada, USA and Mexico) today.
This spot is located at the northern end of the airport at the “Route de l’ Aéroport”. Just get onto the meadow next to the corner of the mentioned road and the “Rue Principale” or choose your preferred position, this depends on the angle you like the most.
This spot can be reached by bus, too. There is a bus stop at the mentioned corner where bus “78” stops.
Sunwing was taken from the marked point on the map – Air Creebec from the bus stop, that’s why the angle is that different!
|WHAT||All Arrivals on runway 24 and departures on runway 06 can be photographed from there, too (but most of them are already very high).|
|TIME||From the mentioned spot you’ll have light from sunrise till around 3pm, but you can easily change the side ( just follow the “Route de l’ Aéroport” for about 1km into northwestern direction).|
|MISC.||Nothing nearby, but if you follow the “Route de l’ Aéroport” for about 1km into southeastern direction you’ll find some shops, hotels and restaurants. Ladder not needed.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||24 – 200mm|
|#22 – Mahé Intl. Airport – Seychelles|
|WHERE||The Mahé International Airport (SEZ/FSIA) was opened in 1972 and offers flights to Europe, Arabia, Asia and of course within Africa (domestic – Seychelles, Mauritius, South Africa and Kenya) today.
This spot is located at the southwestern end of the airport at the “E Coast Road”. Just get to the corner of the mentioned street and the unnamed street which leads construction vehicles to a construction on the other side of the runway – or choose your preferred position, this depends on the angle you like the most.
|WHAT||Arrivals on runway 31. Departures on runway 13 can be photographed from there, too (but most of them are already very high).|
|TIME||The times of light/backlit are very difficult to discribe here, because the sun changes the sides (she shines from) on her way to the Tropic of Capricorn/Cancer!
From Mid-March till Mid-September the light on runway 13/31 is okay from about 1-3pm till sunset and from Mid-September till Mid-March the light is okay from about 11.30am till sunset.
The easiest way to find out the times (of light) for the days of your visit, is to visit suncalc.net and look them up.
|MISC.||Nothing nearby so bring with you what you need or you can visit the terminal. No ladder needed. Take care of cars and other vehicles.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||100 – 400mm|
|#23 – San Francisco, California – USA|
|WHERE||The most popular spotting location in SFO is the Bayfront Park. Leave Highway 101 at exit ‘Millbrae Ave’ and follow Millbrae Av. Eastbound. At the traffic lights turn right into Old Bayshore Highway. After 500m the spot is located on the left side.
Address for navigation: 1820 Old Bayshore Highway, Millbrae, California, USA
|WHAT||Best for landing 28L and taxiway F.|
|TIME||Best light from noon to sun down, better pictures at tidal|
|MISC.||Due to high distance and the water, heat haze is a big problem here during hot days!
There are about 10-15 free parking slots the rest is from Marriott hotel. Plenty of hotels are just next to the park.
|FOCAL LENGTH||250-300mm for B777/B747, 400mm for B737|