Indianapolis International Airport (IND/KIND) is the main gateway for the city of Indianapolis and the state Indiana. IND was opened in 1931 roughly 15km southwest of the city centre. Today it is served by a quite small amount of airlines and the airport does not play a big role as a passenger hub. But IND is one of the most important hubs for the cargo carrier FedEx – in the US and the world. In addition, the airport sometimes handles special cargo charters as IND is the preferred destination if they need to come into this area. Furthermore there are some sports plus business/general aviation aircraft and a few military ones here from time to time.
Written by Jerry Zhang (JC) with gracious contributions from Hongming Zheng and Achim Walther (Spot 5). Last Update: 2021
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| (4 votes, average: 3.50 out of 5)
|05R/23L||3048m / 10000ft, Concrete|
|05L/23R||3414m / 11200ft, Concrete|
|14/32||2218m / 7278ft, Concrete|
|Concourse A||Concourse A (on the South East side) houses gates A3-A25 and is served by Air Canada, Delta, Spirit and United.|
|Concourse B||Concourse B (on North West side) houses gates B3-25 and is served by Alaska Air, Allegiant Air, American, Frontier and Southwest.|
|Ladder||Not needed and not recommended.|
|Car/Public Transport||Needed as soon as you wanna leave spot #1.|
|Drinks/Food||Food available inside terminal. Fast food and other restaurants available in the neightborhood to the northwest of the airport perimeter. Restrooms in terminal for Spot 1 A&B, No restrooms nearby otherwise.|
|Hotels||Hotels are dotted throughout the north & northwest perimeter of the airport.|
|Season||Traffic rush near Christmas. More cargo airplanes visiting. Year-round sport charters bring some passenger widebodies.|
|Security||No encounters at the locations described in this guide, but ALWAYS maintain a LOW PROFILE. DONT park on the side of a public road.|
|05R/23L||Mostly used by FedEx since their apron is nearby. Used by United, Delta, etc.|
|05L/23R||Used by traffic going to the other side of the terminal such as Southwest.|
|14/32||Crosswind runway, usually not used if the wind is not too harsh from the side for 05/23, but sometimes by the FedEx ATR at any time.|
|Spot #1 – Terminal Parking Garage – 05R/L + 23R/L Movements|
|WHERE||This spot is located on the daily/hourly parking garage, which is located infront of the terminal – you could either walk to it from the terminal or drive onto it and park on the top deck. Then position yourself either at the western or eastern front depending on the light – both sides are accessible.|
|WHAT||Both 05R/23L and 05L/23R are visible.|
|TIME||05L/23R (northwest runway) from sunrise till early afternoon.
05R/23L (southeast runway) nicely lit during late afternoon.
|MISC.||Food, restrooms, and drink are accessible inside the terminal. It is about a 10 minute walk from the top deck. PLEASE MAINTAIN A LOW PROFILE, otherwise security may come and kick you outta here!
Heat haze may be an issue on very hot days.
Widebodies = 120-250mm
|Spot #2 – Lift Academy Parking Lot – 23L Landings|
|WHERE||This spot is within the parking lot for the “Lift Academy”. From interstate 465 exit at “Sam Jonex Expressway”, drive westwards and turn south at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Drive down on Cargo Dr till the end and turn left at the hangars and park at the “Lift Academy” parking lot.|
|WHAT||23L landings only.|
|TIME||From sunrise till early afternoon.|
|MISC.||No food or drink accessible but if you drive for about 5-10 minutes there are restaurants near the perimeter of the airport. PLEASE MAINTAIN A LOW PROFILE.|
B757 = 105mm / Business Jet = 180mm
|Spot #3 – Challenger Dr – 05R Landings + 23L Departures|
|WHERE||The spot is at the end of Challenger Dr – a dead end road. Exit I70 at Ameriplex Pkwy, drive east and at the next junction turn left into Exploration Dr. Drive all the way up until the end and you can enter Challenger Dr. Just park at the end of the turning point and start spotting.|
|WHAT||23L departures, 05R landings.|
|TIME||From sunrise till early afternoon.|
|MISC.||No food or drink accessible but if you drive for about 5 minutes there are restaurants near the perimeter of the airport or you can also just head for the subway/mobil gas station a few hundred meters south of the spot. PLEASE MAINTAIN A LOW PROFILE.|
Beechcraft = 400mm / B757 = 185mm
|Spot #4 – Shell station/Cell Phone Lot – 05R Arrivals + 23L Departures|
|WHERE||After you have left I70, follow the signs to the terminal but immediatly take the first right which will lead you to a Shell station and the nearby cell phone lots. Chose your favourite postion in that area but for arrivals we recommend to use the cell phone lot.|
|WHAT||23L heavy departures, 05R arrivals.|
|TIME||From late afternoon till sunset. Only nicely useable form February to October.|
|MISC.||There is a subway/gas station next to you where you will find everything.|
200mm = DC-10 / 310mm = MD88
|Spot #5 – Gridley Avenue – 23L/R arrivals|
|WHERE||This is small unused parking lot of a former fast food area or similar and the ground is concrete. Drive to the airport on Sam Jones Expy and turn right into South Highschool Road. After the end of the airport turn left into the Pierson Dr. On the right you can see the lawn and the area. Turn right into Gridley Ave and look for a parking lot. Park there but you can move down the meadow to get a bit closer to the 23L approach or change the angle.|
|WHAT||Best for 23R arrivals. 23L are a bit further down.|
|TIME||23R: from sunrise till early afternoon.
23L: from late afternoon till sunset but only useable form February to October.
|MISC.||Nothing nearby. It is a quiet area and you should not be disturbed.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||100-600 for both runways.
180mm for A320 on 23R.
450mm for 772 on 23L.
|Spot #6 – Fast Food parking lots – 23R Arrivals|
|WHERE||Leave Interstate 465 and head west on Washington Street until you pass Yanni’s Golden Gyros on your left. Then pull over to one of the other fast food restaurants (Mc Donalds or Arbys) and stay in their parking lot. Just shoot from outta your car then, only leave it once an aircraft is actually coming. The address you should roughly head for or can use for navigation is: 6780 W Washington St|
|TIME||From late afternoon till sunset but only useable form February to October.|
|MISC.||There are fast food restaurants just all around you where you can eat/drink or find restrooms. PLEASE MAINTAIN A LOW PROFILE.|
150mm = AN-124 / 200mm = MD-88