Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE/KCAE) is the fourth busisest airport in South Carolina and is served by American, Delta, Silver Airways and United. It often gets military charters year round and cargo charters in december during UPS peak season. Off season there is still a good amount of UPS heavies flying during the work including a 5x weekly UPS MD11. Best days to come are during the week when UPS is flying, as passenger traffic can be quite dull sometimes with mostly regionals. Ideally you want to come in December when Western Global operates 747’s and MD11’s and UPS the 747.
Written by Devin. Last Update: 2021
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| (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
|05/23||2438 m (8001ft) Concrete|
|11/29||2622 m (8601ft) Asphalt|
|Terminals||There is only one concourse, which is used by Delta, American and United.|
|Ladder||Yes, needed at spot 1.|
|Car/Public Transport||Definitely needed, public transport is no good alternative.|
|Drinks/Food||Multiple gas station 0.5 miles away. Burger King about a mile, McDonalds 3 miles. Starbucks 4.5|
|Hotels||Many hotels about a mile north of the airport on Airport Blvd.|
|Season||December is the best month due to the UPS Peak Season charters that come in (Atlas 744F, UPS 744F, WGN 744F & MD11F, ATI 767F). Weather is usually sunny however there are some overcast and rainy days occasionally.|
|Security||We experienced no issues at CAE, however make sure to have an ID at Spot #2 as you are on the side of a busy road and may be checked.|
|05/23||Secondary runway and only used during heavy winds.|
|11/29||Major runway with 11 more often in use|
|Spot #1 – UPS Ramp – 11/29 movements + 23 movements + nearby taxiways|
|WHERE||There is a large area before next to the UPS ramp. To get there take Edmund Hwy and once you see the UPS signs turn in and you are there. Do not go up to the fence for ground shots here, only take your ladder or car rooftop and spot from the parking, as security will send you away from the fence.|
|WHAT||Best for 29 arrivals and line up. 11 departures mostly too high. Plus all 23 movements as well as heavy 05 movements.
Taxiways D and A and the UPS ramp are also visibile, and everything that leaves the UPS ramp uses taxiway Delta. Arrivals usually take F which is why we prefer to spot cargo departures at CAE.
|TIME||The light turns bad here around 3 PM for the taxiway shots. Arrivals are perfect from early noon until evening/sunset.|
|MISC.||Many gas stations are down Edmund Hwy, not more than a mile. Ladder needed here. As long as you do not stand along the fence, security will not care normally. UPS/local companies do not bother you neither.|
B744 = 65mm / P8 = 145mm
|Spot #2 – Platt Springs Road – 11 Arrivals|
|WHERE||There is a pulloff area south of runway 11 at Platt Springs Road. Approach from the north and watch out for some small buildings in a pull off area south of the arrival lights.|
|WHAT||Runway 11 arrivals only.|
|TIME||Noon to sunset in summer and all day in winter.|
|MISC.||Watch out for police as you are pulled over on the side of a road and keep a low profile. Restaurants are just a few steps down the road.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||18-200mm as the aircraft pass overhead quite closely
B777 side shot = 35mm