Providence T. F. Green Intl. Airport (PVD/KPVD) is the largest and only international airport in the state of Rhode Island. It serves as a gate to the Cape Cod region and it is among the first in line to take diversions from BOS. In 2018, the airport handled close to 4.3 Million passengers, which ranks it Nr. 3 in New England (MA, CT, RI, VT, NH and ME) aka “the Northeast”, behind Boston Logan and Hartford Bradley.
Except for Spirit, all major domestic carriers offer flights to/from PVD. Currently the only intercontinental flight is operated by Norwegian from/to DUB (currently 737-800, but planned 737MAX). Since Amazon moved its New England hub from Providence to Hartford, FedEx and UPS are the only cargo carriers serving PVD.
The airport does get a few “spotter treats” throughout the year. Due to the strong presence of professional sports teams in the region – Boston has a team in each of the most prominent leagues (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and MLS) – many sports charters come to PVD, which is preferred over BOS as there is more space available and landing fees are likely smaller. Last but not least, one of the 767-300’s owned by the New England Patriots NFL team is based here year-round. It can often be found sitting on the ramp next to the Long Term Express Parking Lot E south of the Terminal (see blue marker on the map).
Written by Thomas Okaty, sample photos for spot #2 (all) and spot #3 (rwy 23 arrivals) courtesy of Brian Calci (local spotter). Last Visit: June 2019
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| (2 votes, average: 3.50 out of 5)
|05/23||2651 m (8,700 ft)|
|16/34||1853 m (6,081 ft)|
|Terminals||One terminal – consisting of a North and a South concourse – for all operations, including two gates for international arrivals.|
|Ladder||Not needed, but useful at spot #3, however, do not set it up right at the fence as this will raise the attention of airport security or police! Not required at any other location described in this guide.|
|Car/Public Transport||Car is required for every location except spot #1.|
|Restrooms||In the main terminal and the fast food restaurants around.|
|Drinks/Food||Fast food places and small budget restaurants as well as a gas station can be found along Post Rd/Route 1.|
|Hotels||Several are located along Post Rd/Route 1.|
|Season||All year, but it can get very cold (below freezing) from November through March, and during the summer heat haze can be an issue.|
|05/23||Major runway. Both used for arrivals and departures.|
|16/34||34 used for both arrivals and departures, 16 rarely in use due to predominant wind direction.|
|Spot #1 – Parking Garage A – Both runways and northern ramp|
|WHERE||This spot is located on the top deck (level 7) of the short term parking garage A. After leaving the terminal, just turn right and after a short walk you will see the garage entrance right in front of you. The elevators are to your right once you have entered the garage. When coming by car, just drive up to the highest level – when it’s hot outside you might want to park your car on one of the lower, covered levels. For parking rates check this website.|
|WHAT||Best for arrivals and departures on runway 16/34, adjacent taxiways as well as traffic on northern ramp. The view on taxiway T, which runs along the terminal, is partially obstructed by light poles and the roof of the terminal. Takeoffs and landings on 05/23 can be shot as well, but they are quite distant (>400mm) and heat haze can be an issue.|
|TIME||From late morning until sunset: arrivals/departures on 16/34, adjacent taxiways
From early afternoon until sunset: arrivals/departures on 05/23, taxiways T and Y
|MISC.||Food, drinks and restrooms can be found in the Terminal. Spotting from the garage is absolutely no problem and no permit is needed. You shouldn’t be bothered by airport security.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||50-500 mm|
|Spot #2 – Commerce Dr – Runway 23 Arrivals|
|WHERE||Coming from the terminal follow Post Rd towards north, then turn right onto Airport Rd. After a few blocks you will see the sign for “Airport Park / Commerce Dr” coming up. Parking is a bit of an issue at this location. Theoretically, the shoulder on the left (west) side of the road is suitable, but there are signs, which officially prohibit parking, however, according to locals this hasn’t been a problem yet when you stay close to your car. Alternatively, if you don’t want to take the risk, park your car on the park & ride lot at the corner of Airport Rd & Evergreen Ave. From there it’s a good 5-minute walk to the spotting location.|
|WHAT||Arrivals on runway 23.|
|TIME||From early afternoon until sunset.|
|MISC.||No food and no drinks, bring everything you need. No restrooms, no shade or shelter!|
|FOCAL LENGTH||70-200 mm|
|Spot #3 – Winslow Park – Rwy 23 Arrivals & Departures, Rwy 05 Departures|
|WHERE||Coming from the terminal follow Post Rd towards north, then turn right onto Airport Rd. When you have reached intersection in the runway 23 approach zone, turn right at the light. This is the entrance to Winslow Park. Follow the road until the entrance to a sports complex (Softball fields) comes up on your left. From there it is possible to shoot over the fence, but a 1-2 step ladder is helpful or you can climb on the rock on the far right (see overview photo below) to fully clear the fence. Parking is available on both sides of the road.|
|WHAT||Arrivals and departures (incl. line-up) on runway 23. Runway 05 Departures in climb.|
|TIME||Sunrise until early afternoon.|
|MISC.||No food and drinks. Restrooms …|
|FOCAL LENGTH||TBD 100-400 mm|
|Spot #4 – Stephens Ave – Runway 05 Arrivals|
|WHERE||This spot is located just south of the airport next to the runway 05 approach zone. From the airport, follow Post Rd/Route 1 south and take exit “R.I. 113/Main Ave” (right lane). At the light, turn left onto Main Avenue. Follow this road and as soon as it begins to curve to the right turn right onto Greeley Ave. Then take the next left, you are now on Stephens Ave. Follow Stephens Ave until a group of trees is on your left and park your car roadside.|
|WHAT||Arrivals on runway 05.|
|TIME||From sunrise until early afternoon. Switch over to spot #5 when it starts getting backlit.|
|MISC.||No food, no drinks, no restrooms. There are some trees, which provide shade.|
|Spot #5 – Greeley Ave – Runway 05 Arrivals|
|WHERE||This spot is also located just south of the airport next to the runway 05 approach zone. Same as for spot #4, coming from the airport, follow Post Rd/Route 1 south and take exit “R.I. 113/Main Ave” (right lane). At the light, turn left onto Main Avenue. Follow this road and as soon as it begins to curve to the right make a right onto Greeley Ave. Follow the road until Johnson Ave intersects from the right and park your car roadside at this intersection (on the side of the housing area). There is a small paved path across from Johnson Ave, just walk along until you have cleared the trees and you will have the approach zone right in front of you.|
|WHAT||Arrivals on runway 05.|
|TIME||From early afternoon until sunset.|
|MISC.||There are no shops or restaurants nearby, so bring everything you need. There are some trees, which provide shade.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||<150 mm|
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