Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

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Continent: North America Country: United States Region: Texas
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
Location DFW Airport, Texas
IATA code DFW
ICAO code KDFW
Airport type Commercial
Website http://www.dfwairport.com
Overview map Google Maps
Communications
Tower 124.15(West) 126.55(East) 127.5(East backup) 134.9(West)
Ground 121.65(East) 121.8(East backup) 121.85(West)
Clearance 128.25
Approach 119.875(West Arrivals) 125.025(East Arrivals) 133.525(East Arrivals) 133.625(West Arrivals)
Departure 118.55(East Departures) 124.825(North Departures) 125.125(South Departures) 126.475(West Departures)
ATIS 123.775 (Arrival ATIS) 135.925 (Departure ATIS)
CTAF/Unicom 122.95
Plane Spotting Hotels guide


Official Spotting Locations

Founder's Plaza

"Over the years, Founders' Plaza has become a favorite spot for families, aviation enthusiasts and Airport employees. The Observation Area offers magnificent views of many types of aircraft as they take off and land. In addition, the plaza provides convenient parking, picnic tables, telescopes, historic information, a commemorative monument and a radio that broadcasts air traffic control communications from the FAA tower."

The original Founder's Plaza adjacent to runway 35C has been closed. As of September of 2008, a new Founder's Plaza has been erected, which sits on the northwest side of the airport. Lots of good action can be seen here, of course, more AA/Eagle than you'd ever think is possible, but also this is where most of the international cargo and airline heavies arrive. Best in the afternoon/late evening.


Directions:

Exit at Highway 114 on to Texan Trail and head south towards the Airport. Founders’ Plaza is at Texan Trail and N. Airfield Drive.

Other Spotting Locations

American Eagle Hangar Parking Lot

It's a view of 18 R and L, closer to 18R which is the arrivals runway. You are west of the runway so afternoon light is best.

On the west side of the airport, taking Airfield Drive, you can turn onto the road that is opposite the Verizon area, where you turn onto a road that leads to the American and American Eagle hangar and an ATC control tower. If you follow the road all the way, veering left at the turn, you get into a parking lot in the American Eagle Hangar. There's no security check going here. I've heard that police are kind of rough, however, so stay in your car off and on. There's a big fence that is too tall to get over, so you have to shoot between the metal in the fence.

Skylink Train

The Skylink train, which is inside security, makes a full loop 50' above the ramp. This train has great views, and if you have about 15 minutes, it's well worth the ride to see all the terminals at DFW.

The Club at DFW

If you like the view from the train, you can get off at Terminal D and go to "The Club at DFW." This is a lounge run by Priority Pass, but they have a "pay per visit" fee and there's a coupon in "DFW People" magazine for like $25 per access. This magazine is located throughout the airport and in the parking ares too. The club has a view of gates D20-D30, including lots of AA heavies, and it facing runways 18R and 18L with a view of the cargo area and AA hangar areas too. It's a great view if you have money to burn! They have snacks and drinks for the thirsty spotter.

Airport Westin

Outside the airport is the Airport Westin on Highway 114. It is on short final to runway 17L and has a swimming pool area on top of the hotel. It has a great view. The area you are looking at from there incidentally is the area that the Delta L1011 crashed.

Grand Hyatt

Connected to Terminal D is the Grand Hyatt Hotel. Some rooms face out to Terminal D and 18R/L. Also for guests of the hotel, there is a pool deck on the 9th floor with excellent views of 18R/L and the Cargo Ramp and AA Hangars. The pool deck does have a glass partition going up the walls, but there are several chairs and tables to use to get over the wall. Guests of the hotel may also request a terminal pass which will allow access into Terminal D for food or shopping and access to all of DFW terminals without a ticket. Security checks are tougher with the terminal pass, but it is a good way to get into the terminal without buying a ticket.

Locations to Avoid

Location

Regular Traffic

  • AeroMexico (737-700/800) Seasonal
  • AeroMexico Connect (E-190)
  • Air Canada
    • Sky Regional (ERJ-170/190)
  • Alaska Airlines (737-700/800/900)
  • American Airlines (A319, MD-80, 737-800, 757-200, 767-200/300, 777-200/300ER)
  • American Eagle (CRJ-700, ERJ-145, ERJ-140, ERJ-135)
    • ExpressJet (CRJ-200)
  • British Airways (747-400)
  • Cayman Airways (737-300)
  • Delta Air Lines (737, 757, 767, A319/320, MD-80/90)
  • Emirates (777-200LR/300ER)
  • Frontier (A318/319/320)
  • KLM - Royal Dutch Airways (A330-300) Seasonal
  • Korean Air (777-200/300ER, 747-400)
  • Lufthansa (A330-300, A340-300, 747-400)
  • QANTAS (747-400ER)
  • Spirit Airlines (A319/320)
  • Sun Country (737-700/800)
  • TACA (E-190, A319/320)
  • United Airlines (A319/320, 737-700/800)
  • United Express (E-170, ERJ-145)
  • USAirways (A319/320/321, 737-400, 757)
  • Virgin America (A319/320)
  • WestJet (737-700)

Cargo

  • Airborne Express (757)
  • Air Cargo Germany (747-400)
  • Air China (747-400)
  • Asiana Cargo (747-400)
  • Cargolux (747-400/800)
  • Cathay Pacific Cargo (747-400/800)
  • China Cargo Airlines (747-400)
  • China Airlines Cargo (747-400)
  • EVA Airways (747-400, MD-11)
  • FedEx (757, 767, MD-10, MD-11)
  • Korean Air Cargo (747-400/800)
  • Lufthansa Cargo (MD-11)
  • Martinaire (Cessna Caravan)
  • Nippon Cargo (747-400/800)
  • Omni Air International (767-200/300, 777-200)
  • Singapore Airlines Cargo (747-400)
  • Southern Air (747-400)
  • UPS (757, 767, MD-11, A300)

MLB and NFL sports teams use DFW for their chartered flights.

Facilities and Transportation

To get to any spotting locations you'll have to drive. Cabs are available but the minimum charge for a cab is $12. I've rented a car for as cheap as $16, so it's worth it to get a deal on a rental.

External Links