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 10 years or so. Some, like Miami and Houston, had excellent viewing opportunities which are now off limits due to tighter security since 9/11, which in my opinion is an ineffective security measure. Others haven’t changed. In this guide you’ll see maps showing the best places for viewing and photography 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. Flightaware.com is the best free flight tracking website that I have found. Also, you can go to 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 spots 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.