Miami International Airport (MIA)

MIA Airport Map

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

The Miami airport is a great place to watch planes at. Before 9/11 the length of Perimeter Road that is parallel to the south runway (9R/27L) was a great place to pull over and be very close to heavy jet action. Today that area is barricaded and traffic cannot stop, but if you drive west on Perimeter Road to near the approach end of runway 9 you will come to NW 72nd Ave. Turn right here and the road ends at the fence next to El Dorado Furniture. This spot can give you a great view of planes landing as well as holding in position for departure on runway 9. There are no photo holes in this fence and its not an officially sanctioned viewing spot, at least not yet, so keep this in mind.

The best spot at the Miami airport that was well known with planespotters around the world may be going away permanently. It is basically a small patch of grass next to the U.S. Customs building on NW 25h St. This is right up against the fence beside runway 12/30 and there are holes built into the fence labeled “Photo Use Only”. From this spot you can look at the holding points for both runway 8R and 12 because both runways form a “V” at their end (as shown in the map). You can also see aircraft landing on those runways. The holes are in a spot which makes for decent unobstructed photographs without a long zoom lens. Due to the trees and buildings around there you wont be able to watch the planes on approach or further down the runways – your field of view is somewhat limited for photography.  As of early 2020 this area is being redeveloped for a new taxiway and cargo facility so “the holes” (as locals call it) may be going away.  We do not know at this point if new photo holes will be made in the new fences when construction is complete.

American Airlines is the dominant airline here, but the Miami airport is a gateway to central and south America so you will see a variety of latin American carriers. There are also several European airlines that serve Miami including Lufthansa which flies the Airbus A380 daily during the tourist season. Photography is best in the afternoon due to the sun. Be aware that since MIA is in the heart of a big city the roads and freeways surrounding the airport property can be quite congested.