Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport

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Continent: North America Country: United States Region: Alaska


Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport
Location Anchorage, Alaska
IATA code ANC
ICAO code PANC
Airport type Commercial
Website http://www.dot.state.ak.us/anc/index.shtml
Overview map Google Maps
Communications
Tower 118.3 257.8
Ground 121.9 338.25
Clearance 119.4 323.1 128.65
Approach 118.6(250-330 ABV 1500 FT) 118.6(331-045 ABV 2500 FT) 119.1(250-330 1500 FT & BLO) 119.1(331-045 2500 FT & BLO) 123.8(206-249 ALL ALTS) 126.4(046-205 ALL ALTS) 257.9(046-205 ALL ALTS) 257.9(206-249 ALL ALTS) 290.5(250-330 ABV 1500 FT) 290.5(331-045 ABV 2500 FT) 363.2(250-330 1500 FT & BLO) 363.2(331-045 2500 FT & BLO) 134.1
Departure118.6(250-330 ABV 1500 FT) 118.6(331-045 ABV 2500 FT) 119.1(250-330 1500 FT & BLO) 119.1(331-045 2500 FT & BLO) 123.8(206-249 ALL ALTS) 126.4(046-205 ALL ALTS) 257.9(046-205 ALL ALTS) 257.9(206-249 ALL ALTS) 290.5(250-330 ABV 1500 FT) 290.5(331-045 ABV 2500 FT) 363.2(250-330 1500 FT & BLO) 363.2(331-045 2500 FT & BLO) 134.1
ATIS 118.4
Departure122.95

Anchorage can be best described as the crossroads between Asia and North America. Located approximately halfway between the Pacific Rim and the U.S. Midwest and East Coast on the Great Circle, most heavy freighters make their fuel stop in Anchorage. In addition, both FedEx and UPS have a hub here.

Heavy freighters are just one of things that make Anchorage an interesting place to visit for the aviation enthusiast. Here, you will also see classic props and 737 freighters. Nearby Lake Hood floatplane base also offers excellent spotting opportunities.

Official Spotting Locations

South Terminal Observation Deck

This is inside the South Terminal, behind security check. It is located on the corner of B and C Concourses, one level up (Level 3) from the main check-in and gate level. Airport directory shows it as “Native Art Collection” on the level 3 mezzanine.

Viewing is through large windows with most facing west and a small area facing north towards the C gates. Look for Alaska Airlines Combi load and unload at Gate C0 right next the observation deck. Lighting is good in the morning through midday.

You can also get a nice view of the transient cargo ramp from here.

Other Spotting Locations

Atlas/Polar Air Cargo Overview

Formerly Northwest Cargo, Atlas and Polar Air Cargo now parks here. Boeing 747-400LCF Dreamlifter (operated by Atlas) also parks here.

This is a morning spot for Runway 33 departures or Runway 15 arrivals. Lighting is good from sunrise to about noon. A medium telephoto zoom (70-300mm) is sufficient for jets and large props, a large telephoto (300 to 400mm) is needed for small props.

Park your car either next to the street or the open dirt area as shown on the map. There are no signs, except the large open dirt area and some airport concrete barriers. Walk along the trail next to the airport fence line for about ¼ mile. As you approach the end of the fence, you will see the Polar/Atlas Cargo ramp. Turn left and go up the hill to get an unobstructed view of Runway 33/15.

  • Airliners.net sample photo: medium large (Runway 15 arrival)
  • Airliners.net sample photo: medium large (Runway 33 departure)
  • Airliners.net sample photo: medium large (Runway 33 departure)

South Airpark

This is a morning/midday spot for Runway 7 arrivals. Lighting is good through mid-afternoon. Unfortunately, with the newly extended Runway 7R, most all arriving aircraft turn off before they reach this spot, making heat haze a big problem for photography when trying to shoot across the runway as they turn on to the high speed taxiway.

If you are just spotting tail numbers, all arrivals and departures can be viewed from here.

Park your car at the end of S. Airpark Pl. Walk up the hill to the dirt path. You might want to stay near the top of the hill so that the fence does not obstruct your view.

Do not drive your car up and park on this dirt path. There is a sign warning you this is a restricted area. Just walk up from the street.

These shots were taken before the runway extension. Most planes do not taxi by here anymore. This is a good spot to watch traffic movements, but cannot be recommended for photography.

  • Airliners.net sample photo: medium large (Runway 7R arrival)
  • Airliners.net sample photo: medium large (Runway 7R arrival)
  • Airliners.net sample photo: medium large (Runway 7R arrival)

Point Woronzof / West Access Road

This is an afternoon spot for Runway 33 departures or 15 arrivals. Lighting is good from mid-afternoon to evening. This is where most of the signature Anchorage shots are taken.

As you approach this spot on Point Woronzof Road, you will see a gate marked with a warning sign. If there are no emergencies or high threat levels, the gate will be open and you can drive on through. The sign on the gate says this area is open between 6 am and 11 pm. Park your car in the open dirt area on the fence side of the road (but not too close to the fence – there is a sign to remind you). Walk up the path up the hill across the street.

Here you can get rotation shot of Runway 33 departures with mountains and the cargo ramps in the background. Or, if Runway 15 is in use, you can get approach, touchdown, and lineup and wait shots right in front of you.

If Runway 33 is in use, either a 70-300mm or 100-400mm lens will be useful. Some early rotations will require the extra reach of a 400mm. If Runway 15 is in use, you will be something even wider than 70mm for a side shot of a 747. Other than that, 70mm+ is sufficient here.

You can drive south along West Access Road and seek out other spots along the road – especially if Runway 33 is in use and you prefer an earlier rotation shot. You can park your car anywhere next to the street and explore the view from the various hills along the road.

  • Airliners.net sample photo: medium large (Runway 33 departure)
  • Airliners.net sample photo: medium large (Runway 15 arrival)
  • Airliners.net sample photo: medium large (Runway 33 departure)
  • Airliners.net sample photo: medium large (Runway 15 arrival)

Point Woronzof / West End Road Corner

This is an afternoon spot for aircraft positioning and starting their takeoff on Runway 33. Just over 100mm is needed for a 747 side shot and 200mm for a 737 side shot.

This location is at the corner of Point Woronzof Road and West End Road, where Point Woronzof Road ends and turns west becoming West End Road. Here, a set of concrete barriers protects the corner and an airport gate. Park your car along the concrete barrier on the side facing the airport fence. Use a small step ladder, or climb on the top of the concrete barrier so that the aircraft wheels are not partially obstructed by the grass. Alternatively, you can also go across the street, up towards the trees where it is slightly more elevated.

Locations to Avoid

In general, spotting is friendly throughout Alaska. However, the golden rule is do not stand, photograph, or park your car next to the fence. The Airport Police will stop and warn you and remind you of the signs warning you of the same.

At the Runway 7 South Airpark spot, do not drive your car up the dirt path. Instead, park your car at the end of the street and walk up the hill.

Spotting Locations Map

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Regular Traffic

These are seen regularly during daytime hours:

  • Alaska Airlines - (737-400/700/800/900)
  • Alaska Central Express (B1900)
  • ConocoPhillips (737-200 w/gravel kit, 737-700)
  • Delta Airlines (757-200)
  • Era Aviation (B1900, DHC-8-100/200)
  • PenAir (Saab 340)
  • United Airlines (737-800/900)

Cargo

  • Air China Cargo (747-400)
  • Asiana Cargo (747-400)
  • Atlas Cargo (747-400)
  • Cathay Pacific Cargo (747-400/800)
  • China Airlines Cargo (747-400)
  • China Cargo Airlines (747-400)
  • EVA Airways Cargo (747-400/800, MD-11)
  • Everts Air Cargo (DC-9, DC-6, C-46, EMB-120)
  • FedEx (777-200, ATR-42F, C208, MD-10F, MD-11F)
  • Korean Air Cargo (747-400/800)
  • Lynden Air Cargo (L-100 Hercules)
  • Nippon Cargo (NCA) (747-400)
  • Northern Air Cargo (737-200 w/gravel kit)
  • Polar Air Cargo (747-400)
  • Singapore Cargo (747-400)
  • UPS – (747-400, MD-11F, 767-300)

Facilities and Transportation