Anchorage “Ted Stevens international airport” (ANC/PANC) is the biggest and 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.
Stored aircraft and ramps: we have marked some parked aircraft on the map, so please have a look on it for the exact location and what you can photograph. Furthermore you can try to get access on the ramps from Ryan Air, Ross Aviation, Everest, TransNorthern… just ask! Sometimes they let you in, sometimes not. Depends on the mood of the boss.
Wildfile around the airport: Always keep in mind that bears and elks/moose share exact the same aera where you doing your pictures from so be prepared. Never leave food lying around. 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). Listen if there is suspicious noises behind you. And take an overpowered mosquito spray because there are real monsters.
Last but not least don´t forget to visit the nearby Lake Hood, the worlds most busiest seaplane base.
Written by Remo Garone and Stefan Bratner (Updated 2019 by Martin Rogosz)
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| (6 votes, average: 4.33 out of 5)
|07L/25R||3’231m (10’600ft) Asphalt|
|07R/25L||3’780m (12’400ft) Asphalt / Concrete|
|15/33||3’531m (11’584ft) Asphalt|
|North Terminal||International flights|
|South Terminal (Concourse A,B,C)||Domestic flights|
|Ladder||A ladder is not absolutely necessary but 3 steps could help to avoid the top of the fences on your photos.|
|Car/Public Transport||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 information 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 almost all the time night. In June, the night never falls completely. It is day from 04:00 to about 23:00 so a lot of time for planespotting!
Here you can find a great tool to see sunrise and sunset.
|07L/25R||Landing and departures are operated on runway 7L. 25R almost never be in use.|
|07R/25L||Landing and departures are operated on runway 7R. 25L almost never be in use.|
|15/33||Used in all directions depending on 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 on the left side of the road and climb up the hill. You are on an elevated mound and overlook the perimeter fence so no ladder is needed.|
|WHAT||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 aircraft 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||This is PANCs most popular spotting position. 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. There are plenty of possibilites to take photos in different angels. So just walk around to find your prefered position.|
|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 14:00 until 23:00 in summer and from 15 to about 20 hours in the fall or early spring|
|MISC.||Bring with you what you need, no toilets, no food, no drinks. There soem 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 because it is absolutely forbidden to park on mesh side|
|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.|
|Spot #4 – Northern Cargo Hill|
|WHERE||Use the same direction as for spot #2, the Woronzof Park. When you have reached the approach of RWY14 park your car on the shoulder. Than cross the street and take the small path between the perimeter fence to your right and the forrest to your left. After 300-400m into you have reached your elevated position.
You can stay at the main road too and make photos from there if you don´t wanna walk. There is a small hill where you can climb up to shot over the fence for rotating heavies on RWY33.
|WHAT||Perfect place if RWY15 is active for departures and arrivals. Heavy departures on RWY33 are possible too.
Some planes that rolling to/from the cargo ramps, but usually backlit.
|TIME||From sunrise till noon.|
|MISC.||Bring with you what you need, no toilets, no food, no drinks. Don´t stay to close to the forrest to avoid a meeting with the wild animals.|
|Spot #5 – Kincaid Park – 07 arrivals|
|WHERE||This spot is everything else than easy to reach on not the best place if you don´t wanna meet some wild animals. Your trip starts at the Kincaid Park, a popular place for locals to relax, go running or hiking. From spot #1 continue westwards along the Rasperry Rd for a few kilometers until the end. You will reach some kind of sport complex with a huge parking lot. Now you have to walk for at least 20-25 minutes like its drawn on the map. Walk the way down to the northernmost sport field and turn 2 second way right into the forrest for just a few meters than is the next intersection, take the way slightly left. Than you have to walk a while until the next intersection, there turn right and follow the way. Last meters to the flat area a bit diffiult to find, have always a look to the arriving aircrafts watch on the right side of the path if you can see a hill, if yes walk up this hill and you are on a flat area directly at the treshold of 07R. If you are not sure how to get there contact a local spotter in advance for guidance. The Gate to Kincaid Park will open at 09:00h in the morning.|
|WHAT||Arrivals on RWY 07L/R only.|
|TIME||From 09:00 to about 14:00h or 16:00h (Summer) depending on season.|
|MISC.||Bring with you what you need, no toilets, no food, no drinks. Respect the wildlife rules as stated on the beginning of the guide. Be careful of bears and elks/moose, especially when elks/moose have offspring.
+++If you are not familiar with the enviroment, stay away from this location or ask a local spotter to escort you.+++
|Spot #6 – Woronzof Rd – RWY15/33 and Airport Overview|
|WHERE||This is PANCs most popular spotting position. 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 700 meters and you will see on top of a hill a antenna on left side, next to the antenna is a parking and viewing area.|
|WHAT||Everything on Runway 15/33 and paralel Taxiways|
|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.||Parking is no problem here. Bring with you what you need, no toilets, no food, no drinks. Respect the wildlife rules as stated on the beginning of the guide.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||Depending where the aircraft is: 50-350mm|