Huntsville International Airport (HSV)

HSV Airport Map

Click the map to go to Google Maps satellite view of this airport

There is no official observation area at the Huntsville airport, but airport officials recommend the roof of the parking garage for watching planes. You’ll need a long lens to photograph though, except for the large cargo aircraft. Photographing traffic on the east runway is best from the afternoon, while the west runway is best in the morning. Other possible areas are the cargo ramp parking lot on the east side of the airport, off Wall-Triana Rd., just off the north end of the east runway along James Record Rd., and along Boeing Blvd. which runs along the south end of the east runway (see the spots marked with an “x” on map). Be aware that pulling over on any of these roads can get you a visit by Airport Police who find airplane watchers suspicious and there are “no parking” signs along James Record Rd.

Commercial traffic at HSV is light, mostly Delta Connection, United Express, and American Eagle regional jets, as well as some Delta mainline jets. There is a growing amount of freighter traffic using 747s as well as military training flights. During my visits to Huntsville I was fortunate enough to be able to photograph a C-5 and a few KC-135s & C-130s.  HSV is also a diversion airport for traffic headed to ATL when bad weather hits Atlanta and sometimes you can see some interesting traffic including international widebody jets that will stop for fuel and wait for landing clearance into ATL.