College Station Easterwood Airport (CLL/KCLL) is a small airfield, which is located roughly 5km southwest of College Station itsself. The airfield was opened in 1940 and named after “U.S. Navy Lieutenant Jesse L. Easterwood” who had served in the British Air Force from 1917 till he died in 1919. He was used to be a student at the local Texas A&M University who this whole city is nowadays built around and what it was actually built for in the beginnig. Since 1951 the airport offers scheudled passenger service flown by United and American Airlines to the nearby larger cities: Houston and Dallas. Today there are also some Miami courses and most scheudled flights are operated by CRJ700, ERJ135/145 aircraft types to/from CLL. However, the airport is sometimes also visited by special charter flights so you may also see bigger aircraft like B757s or B737s – both: cargo and passenger. On rare occasions you can also get to see US military planes like DHC7s, C130s or fighters next to the here based T6 trainers. In addition, there are also many schools and GA aircraft based here or at least regular visitors.
The airport is kept alive by the huge university here, the Texas A&M. Thanks to all the students and professors flying in and out as well as the population around, there are daily 3-5 small passenger services. Apart form this the Texas A&M College football team’s enemies or away games often bring in charter aircraft and sometimes also USAF fighters which overfly the Kyle field (the football stadium) prior to the games.
Written by Severin Hackenberger in cooperation with Yixin Chen. Last Update: 2021
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|11/29||1572m / 5158ft|
|17/35||2134m / 7000ft|
|T1||There is only one passenger terminal in the north apart from a GAT in the east.|
|Ladder||Not needed actually, but may be helpful at spot #3 and 6. But normally a car’s top is also fine for the rare usage.|
|Car/Public Transport||Car definitely needed to get around here and to stay cool on hot days.|
|Drinks/Food||There are no shops/restaurants directly around here except inside the terminal(s). But there are plenty fast food stores along Wellborn Road which can be found a bit east of the airport.|
|Hotels||There is no spotting hotel around here, but there are plenty hotels in the area.|
|Season||Well, CLL has no real season in terms of winter/summer. But once the Texas A&M College’s football team has a match (especially big games in turnaments), there will be many small GA movements. Some games are also opened by USAF fighter overshoots, so you may also see one of them landing at CLL afterwards. In addition, you may also see charter airplanes for the football team once they play away somewhere. So in general we can recommend to keep an eye on the Texas A&M College’s football team calender.|
|Security||Spotting here is totally chilled, although it is not that popular. So use a ladder as little you need and do not keep your camera around here all the time as some locals may not know what you are planning/doing.|
|General Info||Nowadays there are only two runway left active, which are both used in both directions, however 17/35 is the mainly used strip.|
|11/29||Very rarely used and if it should be in use, then only during strong crosswinds and by small aircraft (GA + sports).|
|17/35||Main runway handling 99% of all movements – all kinds of: for military, cargo and all the passenger movements.|
|Spot #1 – Terminal driveway – Terminal Apron + 17 movements|
|WHERE||This spot can be found just outside the doors of CLL’s civil passenger terminal to the east on the departure level. From the elevated walkway there you can see the apron in front while the car can be parked easily in the big public terminal parking.|
|WHAT||Traffic of the terminal’s parking apron (east of the terminal) and in addition also the taxiway in front/south of the terminal. This spot also offers beautiful views onto runway 17 movements.|
|TIME||Terminal parking apron in the afternoon and evening.
The rest in front of the terminal (south of you) has backlit almost all day (except on late summer evenings).
Runway from late noon till sunset.
|MISC.||Everything can be found inside the terminal just next to you. Haze may is a huge issue on hot days for 17 movements, so then we recommend to use spot #2 in this case.|
B732 = 80mm / F35 = 350mm / E135 = 225mm
Spot #2 – Cemetery – 17 Arrivals
|WHERE||This spot is located inside the fenced “Aggie Field of Honor and College Station Memorial Cemetery”. This can be accessed by car as it a kind of driveway and then just position yourself somewhere in here.|
|WHAT||From here you can only see 17 Arrivals.|
|TIME||From late noon till sunset only.|
|MISC.||Nothin around you here. Keep a low profile and be respectful as you are on/close to a cemetery.|
PC12 = 250mm
|Spot #3 – Gate 6 – Northeastern GA Apron + Taxiway to RWY 17 + 17 movements|
|WHERE||Turn off the busy Harvey Mitchell Parkway South to the west and drive in George Bush Drive West to the west. Once you end up at its western end in front of the Astin Aviation facility, turn right onto Easterwood Service Road. Continue through the parking rows here and after some meters you will see the apron on your left. Park your car here in one of the bays and shoot from the fencefront.|
|WHAT||This spot offers views onto the northeastern apron in the east of the airfield, which is mostly used by training, GA and sports aircraft.
In addition, you will also see the taxiway in the back which business jets parking south of this apron mostly use in order to get to runway 17. Runway 17/35 can also be seen in the back, but is mostly a bit too hazy.
|TIME||Depends on the angle, but sunrise till later noon is the best time here.|
|MISC.||Ladder not needed as you can nicely shoot parked aircraft thru the mesh. Moving aircraft may be better with ladder though. Heat haze and aircraft/ground equipment in the front may destroy runway shots.
There is a restaurant in the GA terminal a bit south next to spot #4.
DHC7 = 65mm / C525 = 225mm
|Spot #4 – Viewing area benches – Southeastern GA Apron|
|WHERE||Take George Bush Drive West to its western end again, but now turn left in front of the Astin Aviation facility. Drive some meters south and you will see a big parking next to the GAT on your right. Park your car there and shoot from the fence/benches along the front.|
|WHAT||From here you can nicely see the southeastern apron in the east of the airfield, which is mostly used by training, GA and sports aircraft.|
|TIME||Depends on the angle again, but mostly this spot is good from sunrise till late morning and on late summer evenings.|
|MISC.||You can easily shoot thru the fence poles again here or you can also stand on the benches next to the fence in order to clear the view.
There is a restaurant in the GA terminal just next to you.
T6 side on = 24mm
Spot #5 – Roadside – 35 Arrivals
|WHERE||This spot can be found along the Nuclear Science Road which leads once around the airport’s southern end onto its western side. Just after you passed the arrival lights for runway 35, there will be two little side roads to the left. You can stop by the roadside here on in these little bulges and shoot directly from here.|
|WHAT||From here you can only spot 35 Approaches.|
|TIME||From later noon till sunset.|
|MISC.||Nothing around, take care not to block the street or any gate here with your car. Stop by the roadside, but not in front of the gates – then you may be send away.|
E135 = 85mm / B738 = 70mm
|Spot #6 – Nuclear Sciene Center Hangar – 17/35 movements + Southwestern Apron|
|WHERE||Pass spt #5 and make your way to the airport’s southwestern side. Also pass the Nuclear Science Center on your left and continue on Nuclear Sciene Road for about 250m. Before the streets ends up in front of a gate, there will be a hangar on your right. You can stop your car by the roadside here on the grass and then go up to the fencekin on your right side and shoot from along the fence.|
|WHAT||The spot offers nice view onto the southwestern apron (mostly you will see the FedEx Cessna 208 sitting during the day here) and also onto the southern end of runway 17/35 thus movements there.|
|TIME||Apron is good from late morning till early afternoon.
Runway is good from late noon till sunset.
|MISC.||Haze and high grass may disturb your view. Nothing around here. You can nicely shoot parked aircraft through the mesh here, but moving airplanes may be better with a small ladderstep here.|
C208 = 125mm