Goodyear airport can be found 18 NM west of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Goodyear (GYR, KGYR) was built during WWII as a Naval base, and was known as NAF Litchfield Park. In 1941, the Goodyear Aerospace Corporation offered land to the U.S. Defence Plant Corporation. The US Navy subsequently used the facility to build aircraft flight decks, and to test fly and, deliver aircraft. The airfield’s main role following the end of WWII was that of storage of excess US Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard aircraft. In 1965, military aircraft storage was consolidated at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, or AMARC as it is referred to. Following the closure of NAS Litchfield Park in 1967, the City of Phoenix purchased the airport as a general aviation facility.
Today, the airport is home to several private firms offering aircraft maintenance, storage, and commercial pilot training. The main tenant, AerSale, provides aircraft maintenance, overhaul, and storage. Please note, when visiting this area of the airfield, there are numerous buildings and obstructions blocking some angles of the aircraft. Furthermore, European Flight Academy has a base there to train new pilots for the Lufthansa, Eurowings, and ANA using the Cirrus SR20 and a few Grob G120A’s. As a recent addition to the flight academy, United Aviate also has a base at GYR flying their Cirrus SR20s.
Information and Photos provided by Tim Ames, Updated by Jake Youngs July 2022
|Airport Information||Runways||03/21||2.592 m (8.501 ft)|
|Spotting Information||Ladder||Recommended for most spots. A truck bed equivalent also works and is preferred for spot 1.|
|Car||Required for spot 1. Other spots are easily accessible by walking from nearby bus stops.|
|Restrooms||Inside nearby restaurants and hotels. No restrooms are available onsite.|
|Drinks/Food||Several Restaurants are located at Van Buren Street and Litchfield Road.|
|Hotels||Best Western Phoenix Goodyear Inn.|
|Season||Summer is doable for close-up and airborne aircraft, however, cooler seasons are better due to high heat haze.|
The planes on the satellite images have been removed by Google’s Algorithm. Even though they don’t show on the map, they are there.
|Spot #1 – West Side|
|WHERE||On the left side of the only runway is the storage ramp. The planes are lined up just next to the perimeter fence and are perfect for photography from both sides of the airfield.
Look out for a dirt track off West Yuma Road.
UPDATE July 2022: The parcel of land going along this fence is having a warehouse built on it currently. Access to about 80% of this fenceline is closed off, there is no vehicle access to this spot.
|WHAT||Static parked aircraft and runway movements are possible. From the west side, you can photograph the inner and outer rows.|
|TIME||Depending on aircraft positioning, this spot is best to visit in the late afternoon/evening to avoid the heat haze and have a good sun position.|
|MISC.||Photos are possible from any point along the dirt track.
|FOCAL LENGTH||A low focal length is needed as you are very close. a 24-70mm general works fine, however, up to 200mm can be required for the far row of aircraft. N554WN: 70mm. N910AW: 53mm. F-HTIC: 38mm.|
|Spot #2 – East Side (MC85)|
|WHERE||This spot can be found at the eastern perimeter fence next to MC85 and at the opposite side of West Lower Buckeye Road. The best spot to park your car is the West Lower Buckeye Road and then cross the MC85 and Railroad to reach the fence.|
|WHAT||Static parked aircraft and runway movements are possible. The East side is good for the “awkward squad” which you can’t photograph from the west side.|
|TIME||This site is best to visit in the early morning to avoid the heat haze and have a good sun position.|
|MISC.||Limited views and heat haze. A ladder is helpful. Security might come out to investigate but no need to be unduly concerned.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||400mm is generally a comfortable range of focus.|
|Spot #3 – Goodyear Parkway and Boeing BLVD|
|WHERE||This spot this the general road and parking lot between Boeing BLVD and the new warehouse next to the gate.|
|WHAT||Parked aircraft waiting to be scrapped, as well as aircraft currently on the chopping block. Not to mention the thousands of aircraft parts along the fenceline.|
|TIME||This spot is best in the mornings generally speaking.|
|MISC.||Limited views and heat haze. A ladder is required. Security might come out to investigate but no need to be unduly concerned.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||Small Planet A320 photographed at 200MM|
|Spot #4 – D Avenue Parking Lot|
|WHERE||This spot can be found Located between the FBO and the Galaxy International Hangar.|
|WHAT||Static parked aircraft and runway movements are possible. This spot is best for aircraft parked in the alleyway of the FBO, as well as Medevac helicopters fueling up on the apron at the end of the parking lot. Sometimes you can get a view of aircraft sitting inside the open hangar.|
|TIME||This spot is best in the mornings generally speaking, but it just depends on aircraft positioning.|
|MISC.||Limited views and heat haze. A ladder is helpful and mostly required. Security might come out to investigate but no need to be unduly concerned.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||Gulfstream shot at 33mm.|
Update from Steve Cook who is a local as at 15/08/22. The area on the west side is currently fenced off and is under construction. You can’t access the dirt track anymore. Looks like it is being filled in with warehouses and we’ve lost the ability to use it. The area on the east side has several new buildings and we aren’t able to walk along the train track that was there either. Increasingly difficult to see things at KGYR now. The situation may change over time.
I spotted along #1 on 14OCT2019. Its a long dirt road that is a stones throw from parked aircraft. Fantastic place, definite need a wide lens and a ladder. I was not stopped or questioned, I was there driving along the fence for about half hour.
I was at Spot #1 a few years ago, moving down the line, taking photos from on top of my SUV over the fence for about 15 minutes, when a police officer (not a security guard) drove up, questioned me and called in my ID. He was polite, but told me it was airport property but instead of citing me for trespassing, he would just ask me to leave. So I would use caution in spotting from this location.
Visited Spot 1 25FEB2020. Nice gravel path that could’ve used a mow but with driveable with any vehicle. Had a City of PHX worker in a truck inside the fence stalk me while driving up and down the fence. He never said anything and did not bother me. Only takes about 30-45 mins to shoot everything along the fence.