Getting up close to the action is made all the more special when you find a great spotting location which allows you to log, photograph and enjoy your hobby. It’s even better when the mix of aircraft traffic is busy and interesting.
Here are the world’s 10 coolest spotting locations
Imperial Hill Los Angeles International
If you can cope with the heat and sunshine, Imperial Hill is a fantastic place to watch and photograph aircraft movements at LAX from the south side. There are benches to sit on and the elevated position gives an unobstructed view.
Funchal Spotting Hill
Funchal Airport in Madeira is a unique airport with a runway built partly on stilts. What’s more, crosswind conditions make approaches spectacular to watch. This location on a hill overlooking the runway gives you a unique perspective.
The beach at the end of Phuket’s runway is the perfect place to relax in the sun and maybe swim in the sea. It’s also awesome for getting up close to airliners from around the world just before they touch down. The sunlight and blue skies make great photographs.
Zurich Observation Deck
Situated on Pier B, it’s refreshing to spot from a busy international airport where an observation deck is provided close to the action. Here at Zurich you’ve got all the amenities you need close by, and good views of aircraft all around.
Myrtle Avenue London Heathrow
[Discover all of the UK’s best spotting locations with Airport Spotting Guides UK & Ireland]
Founders Plaza Dallas Ft Worth
Log American Airlines aircraft, and those from some other interesting carriers, all days long at this outdoor viewing park near the busy Dallas Ft Worth. Photographs are possible.
Dubai Premier Inn
The new Premier Inn hotel at Dubai International Airport is a welcome spotting location at the airport which typically sees a good mix of aircraft from all around the world. From its rooftop terrace you can photograph aircraft on the ground while enjoying some sun.
[Read Our Review of the Premier Inn Dubai Airport Spotting Hotel]
Hong Kong Viewing Deck
The large outdoor viewing area at Hong Kong’s airport is one of the coolest spotting locations thanks to the airport’s busy and varied traffic.
Amsterdam Schiphol’s Polderbaan
Passengers may hate the long taxi times to and from the Polderbaan runway at Amsterdam Schiphol, but spotters can position themselves at the official viewing locations here for some spectacular photographs.
Osaka Itami Sky View Park
Situated on the opposite side of the airport to the passenger terminal, the Sky View Park is a garden-like structure with various levels allowing photography above the fence of aircraft on the main 14R/32L runway. It is an excellent spot in good weather, and free to use.
Which are the coolest locations you know? Leave a comment below!
I am a little biased so would also add the old control tower by the beach in Sydney (and also from my balcony in Sydney).
I also enjoyed spotting from the water’s edge at Larnaca with a good variety of airlines and types, with a cold beer and deckchair handy.
Mackenzie beach at Larnaca in Cyprus deserves a mention. Ok, so it’s not St Maarten’s, but nevertheless you are right on the last of the approach to the runway and can get some great photos in usually, brilliant weather.
Completely concur! Was traveling Athens -Tel-Aviv and purposefully routed myself thru Larnaca and a 12 hour layover. Grabbed a rental car and enjoyed superb viewing at Mackenzie Beach. The Illy Coffee Shop looks directly onto final approach too with comfortable chairs and only a few meters to the beach
I live about an hour from Alicante airport. When I go spotting there my favourite place is about ten minutes drive from the airport called Urbanova. It’s easy to get to by car, just follow the N332 towards Alicante out of the airport. Just follow the road towards the high rise blocks in the distance and once you pass the turning for Santa Pola the road goes round in a semi circle. The high rise blocks are now on your right hand side. Continue to the end of the road until you meet a roundabout and take the first exit then continue along side the sea past the parking area for motor homes.I usually take the fourth turning on the left, where you can view in the distance parked planes or landing and take offs,or continue to the beach where there are several restaurants and tapas bars where you can view while eating(or swimming).
1. In-N-Out Burger parking lot at LAX
2. Gravely Point at DCA. No wide bodies but right under short final.
The Kannoni Causeway for Corfu and the perimeter and viewing platform at Malta also deserve a mention.
Very good list. Terminal 1 Fifth floor outdoor deck Narita is a spectacular spot especially for viewing heavy international movements. Additionally inside the Alaska Lounge at Anchorage provides very good opportunities to view 747 cargo movements as well as hard to find turboprops heading to Alaska outposts. A day pass is inexpensive and well worth it if not a member. Düsseldorf outdoor deck is pleasant fresh air deck for sporting low cost European operators
Shadownoss Station on the Manchester, England Metro Line. Its the station before the Airport.
Vancouver International Airport (YVR/CYVR) South Terminal viewing platform. Local commuter traffic right in front. Bizjets clearing customs also in front. Good unobstructed view of south runway (all take offs and some landings).
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