Fort Lauderdale – Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
Click the map to go to Google Maps satellite view of this airport
The Fort Lauderdale airport has an Observation Area on SW 39th St. It is quite popular and offers a great view of planes landing or waiting to take off on runway 10L. This spot was closed after 9/11 but thanks to an extensive petition campaign, it was reopened although the holes in the fence designated as “photo use only” have been removed.
One spot that will not close is the parking garage. The east and west corner of the roof level of the Hibiscus Garage have been officially dedicated an “Aircraft Observation Area” by the airport authorities with signs posted and benches to sit. From this spot you will get a good view of the terminals on the north side and also runway 10L/28R. This location is also very good for photography because you are not too far away from the runway. You will get a good view of aircraft taking off to the east or landing & taking off to the west.
Another new location that has become popular since the opening of the south runway is the Greenbelt Park off of Griffin Rd (see map). This will give you a great view of traffic using runway 10R and does not require a long lens over 300mm to photograph. As with all of these spots, the best time to photograph is from fall to spring because the sun angle is lower and at any time of the day.
There is always a lot of traffic at the Fort Lauderdale – Hollywood International Airport. You’ll see every major and low cost airline in America and Canada here. Most of the aircraft are the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 type as well as regional jets. Most international airlines flying widebody jets use the Miami airport but Fort Lauderdale has seen an increase in international flights since the opening of the new runway, including Tame (Ecuador), Azul (Brazil), Avianca (Colombia), and Volaris (Mexico).