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‘Plane spotters’ welcomed by TPA: ‘They’re an extension of our ambassador program’

TAMPA, Fla. - You will see them on the roof of the parking deck or in groups at Cypress Point Park; they always have their eyes on the sky and the planes coming and going from Tampa International Airport. These are plane spotters and aviation enthusiasts always watch what's overhead. "Plane Spotters are basically big plane nerds; they love planes, they love pictures of planes, they love to do plane photography. It's really kind of a growing phenomenon," shared Emily Nipps… ( More...

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jmilleratp 28
It's good to have an airport that appreciates photographers instead of sending the police after them to run them off.
Martie Williams 16
I remember the good old days when airports had observation decks. I loved the sound of those big radials coughing to life, and then the unearthly moan of the KYANG B-57s as they taxied past! One time, the COANG had a flight demonstration team at SDF to entertain us. I don't know if the were F-80s or T-33s, but it didn't matter.
That was a GOOD day at the airport
Anna Gray -7
You wouldn't if you were noise sensitive Autistic person. You would fall down and have a seizure or severe meltdown depending on how severe your Autism was if you were subjected to loud aviation noise. Aviation in its current state is a form of disability abuse for noise sensitive neurodivergent people.
arfadaily 7
But if you were an autistic noise sensitive person - and yes, I do have experience of this with two family members - then I would venture to suggest that plane spotting would neither be a sensible choice for a hobby, nor one that you would be likely to take up. Or am I missing something here ... ?
True. Engines have gotten quieter but they’re still loud, which some neurodivergent people like, too. Some day they’ll be quiet and the joy of witnessing them will be purely visual. Maybe tactile if you’re close enough :)
Gary Stone 1
Soon we’ll have solar powered airliners and jet fighters. Well, maybe not soon, but in the future. They’ll be real quiet.
Philip Lanum 1
The overreach is strong with this one. /s
victorbravo77 12
KALB always had a parking area to watch arrivals and departures. It's still there. My four-year olds and I would sit in the bed of my pickup and eat french fries.
Sean Awning 11
KBNA also has a planespotting area over by the cargo ramp. They also have a sign that warns against feeding the birds.

I also miss the days when airports had observation decks. Spent one Thanksgiving Day at Logan, watching the runways from the viewing area under the control tower. Didn't imagine the privilege would ever end.

If you live near enough to an airport that allows planespotters, go before someone prohibits it.
Peter Fuller 1
Along with the observation level, KBOS Logan also had a bar and lounge up high, just under the tower cab, a great place to have a beer and watch planes before or after a flight. Both the bar and the observation deck are gone.
YSSY has Sheps Mound and of course the top deck of the northern car park. The observation deck in the terminal has been closed for years
VK2VC 11
My grandson is already hooked!
James New 5
TPA is my home airport. I sometimes take this place for granted. When I see it rated as one of the best airports, I'm reminded of how fortunate I am. It's nice to see the airport authority being so welcoming to these enthusiasts.
Doug Zalud 4
I remember growing up, my parents would take me to KCLE, and we would just pull off of the side of Brookpark Rd to watch planes. At night, couples would park there to "watch the submarine races."

Later, an observation lot was put in near the 100th Bomb Group restaurant. It was in a nice elevated spot where you could see everything. Eventually, it was padlocked because of the underage drinking that occurred at night. Finally, it was bulldozed for the runway expansion, after the restaurant was moved. The parking lot at the Bomb Group's new location was actually better because it was higher. The new building was set up to observe the airport observations. The Bomb Group went under, and has been replaced by a new owner. It's called The Aviationist.

Concourse B had an open observation deck that was perfect. It was centrally located, and everything would go by. Sunlight was perfect for photography until late in the day. It's still there, but it's closed off now since 9/11.

There used to be a control-line model flying field on the south side. Lots of space to park, and watch planes coming in from the south. That disappeared when they built an office park.

Since 9/11, There's been an on again/off again battle with the police. Sometimes they chase people away. Other times, they just drive by slowly. There's still some places to watch from, but it's not always well received.

Considering the aviation history of the area, being the home of the old National Air Races where everyone who was anyone attended, it kinda sad.
Rich Marton 3
It didn't click until I read "Brook Park Rd". I too remember our parents packing up the family and taking us there to watch the planes take off and land. I was too young to remember any details - that was over 60 years ago. It was something for a working class family to do back in the 50's. I left Ohio in late 60's but still consider it my home.
Bob Harrington 2
Hoping somebody at KSEA takes note...
Most relaxing thing. They need to set up brew pubs on the top of parking garages. Cmon, KPDX, make it happen!
Matt Smith 1
Used to live in Palmdale, CA. A privately-owned dirt lot on the corner of Sierra Hwy and Ave N. was the spot to watch anything taking off from AF 42 runway 25. Always crowded when something "allegedly" might be flying. (My B747/Shuttle pic on Flightaware was taken from there.)

When the owner died and his wake was held there, urban legend is that the USAF flew a missing man formation over him. I'd love to know if that's true or not.

Agree about police harassment from publicly accessible property. I got run off from the East side of Kahului (OGG) on Maui for watching planes. Even had my Aerospace Company Badge with me.
Decosse 1
KLAS has an observation area off Sunset Rd, easily accessible. It has (or at least had) a low power radio station so you could hear the tower and planes talking. I go occasionally and learned when the pro or at least very serious spotters start gathering at the fence, something interesting is incoming. I was lucky enough to snap a photo of an incoming Edelweiss A340 a few years ago that was a staff pick.
Bill Overdue -3
In the sea of wokeness, an island of common sense! Perhaps there is hope! Oh wait, this is Florida! Carry on!


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