The other half of my planespotting guide is devoted to identifying the different kinds of planes found at airports but now you might ask “where can I go to watch these planes?” I’ve developed this guide based on airports in cities that I’ve visited over the last 20 years or so. Some airports have officially designated observation areas while at others you can find the best views in parking garages and streets surrounding the airport. In this guide to planespotting locations I’ll point out the best spots I have found for watching and photographing aircraft with a map and a brief description. You can click on the map to go to a satellite view on Google Maps which shows the most up to date view of each of these spots. On each page there will also be links to my photos taken at each of these spots. Simply click on any of the links to the left to go to the page for that airport.

I have added a link on each airport page to go to Flightaware.com’s live tracking page for that airport. There you will find the current status of arrivals, departures, enroute flights, and scheduled departures as well as weather info and links to more information about that airport. Also, I have included links to live streaming air traffic control feeds where available at liveatc.net to listen to live ground, approach, and departure air traffic control radio for many of these airports and others around the world.

Some of these planespotting areas are officially designated observation areas but others are located off of busy streets. When visiting any of these locations, please observe all traffic regulations and be sure not to leave any trash behind. It is my hope that these spots (and new ones) will remain accessible for all who enjoy aviation and we can only preserve this by being discreet and not raising suspicion in areas near airport activity.

New! The “California Update” now includes pages for Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and San Diego. Also, pages now include links to live streaming air traffic control feeds where available on Liveatc.net.

Atlanta – Hartsfield-Jackson Int’l (ATL)
Atlanta – Peachtree-DeKalb Airport (PDK)
Austin – Bergstrom Int’l Airport (AUS)
Baltimore – Washington Int’l Airport (BWI)
Birmingham Shuttlesworth Int’l (BHM)
Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT)
Chicago – Midway Airport (MDW)
Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky Airport (CVG)
Dallas-Forth Worth International (DFW)
Dallas – Love Field (DAL)
Detroit – Wayne County Metro (DTW)
Fort Lauderdale – Hollywood Int’l (FLL)
Green Bay – Austin Straubel Airport (GRB)
Houston – Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
Houston – Hobby Airport (HOU)
Huntsville International Airport (HSV)
Jackson – Medgar Evers Int’l Airport (JAN)
Kansas City International Airport (MCI)
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
Louisville Muhammad Ali Int’l Airport (SDF)
Memphis International Airport (MEM)
Miami International Airport (MIA)
Milwaukee – Gen. Mitchell Int’l Airport (MKE)
Minneapolis – St. Paul Int’l Airport (MSP)
Nashville International Airport (BNA)
Metropolitan Oakland Int’l Airport (OAK)
Phoenix Sky Harbor Int’l Airport (PHX)
Raleigh – Durham International Airport (RDU)
Sacramento International Airport (SMF)
Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)
San Diego International Airport (SAN)
San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
Norman Y. Mineta San Jose Int’l Airport (SJC)
Santa Monica Airport (SMO)
Savannah – Hilton Head Int’l Airport (SAV)
Seattle – Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
South Bend Airport (SBN)
Vancouver International Airport (YVR)
Washington D.C. – Dulles Int’l Airport (IAD)
Washington D.C. – Reagan National (DCA)
Atlanta – Hartsfield-Jackson Int’l (ATL)
Atlanta – Peachtree-DeKalb Airport (PDK)
Austin – Bergstrom Int’l Airport (AUS)
Baltimore – Washington Int’l Airport (BWI)
Birmingham Shuttlesworth Int’l (BHM)
Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT)
Chicago – Midway Airport (MDW)
Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky Airport (CVG)
Dallas-Forth Worth International (DFW)
Dallas – Love Field (DAL)
Detroit – Wayne County Metro (DTW)
Fort Lauderdale – Hollywood Int’l (FLL)
Green Bay – Austin Straubel Airport (GRB)
Houston – Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
Houston – Hobby Airport (HOU)
Huntsville International Airport (HSV)
Jackson – Medgar Evers Int’l Airport (JAN)
Kansas City International Airport (MCI)
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
Louisville Muhammad Ali Int’l Airport (SDF)
Memphis International Airport (MEM)
Miami International Airport (MIA)
Milwaukee – Gen. Mitchell Int’l Airport (MKE)
Minneapolis – St. Paul Int’l Airport (MSP)
Nashville International Airport (BNA)
Metropolitan Oakland Int’l Airport (OAK)
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
Raleigh – Durham International Airport (RDU)
Sacramento International Airport (SMF)
Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)
San Diego International Airport (SAN)
San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
Norman Y. Mineta San Jose Int’l Airport (SJC)
Santa Monica Airport (SMO)
Savannah – Hilton Head Int’l Airport (SAV)
Seattle – Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
South Bend Airport (SBN)
Vancouver International Airport (YVR)
Washington D.C. – Dulles Int’l Airport (IAD)
Washington D.C. – Reagan National (DCA)