Charlotte Douglas International Airport
|Continent: North America||Country: United States||Region: North Carolina|
|Charlotte Douglas International Airport|
|Location||Charlotte, North Carolina|
|Overview map||Google Maps|
|Ground||121.8 (180-359), 121.9 (000-179)|
|Approach||120.05, 120.5, 124.00, 128.32, 134.75|
|Departure||120.05, 120.5, 124.00, 128.32, 134.75|
City of Charlotte Airport Overlook
Probably the best all-around location for spotters. Located on the west side of the airport, near the threshold of 18C. Large parking lot, with benches and picnic tables. Good up close views, a great area for families and no hassles from police. Will sometimes be closed during elevated terror threat levels. It is not scheduled to close as the 3rd runway begins to operate later this year.
Located on Old Dowd Road. Open from 8:30am until 10:30pm. Light best from 1pm onwards especially if taking photos of 36L departures that mostly rotate way before the viewing area.
Carolinas Aviation Museum
For a nominal $5 entry fee (lower fees for students and seniors), you can use the photo stand near the threshold of 18L. Westward facing, this is an excellent location in the morning when the sun is at your back albeit a little small.
Located at the north side of airport. Just follow the signs. A great museum with a large variety of aircraft to see, and it's always good to support the museum by purchasing a gift from the shop.
If navigating from the Overview spot (see above) it's much easier to head out onto the Billy Graham Expressway to avoid going round in loops on the airport perimeter and then follow the signs round.
Other Spotting Locations
Old Dowd Road Fitness Trail
This meandering trail can get you some good "through the fence" views at various points around the west side. However, there is NO PARKING, so be prepared to park your car either at the overlook or some other legal spot. Police will generally leave photographers alone, but no guarantees.
A great location, especially when arrivals are from the south. While law enforcement has never bothered me there, the potential to be hassled is likely fairly high.
Located on Byrum Drive.
- JetPhotos.net sample photo: large
The GA ramp is right next to 36R and there is a break in a fence gate which offers some close in shots from just below the runway. Unfortunately, airport police will harass you if you take pictures from there (happened to me twice) though you are perfectly legal in that spot.
Locations to Avoid
The majority of the US Airways fleet: A319, A320, A321, A330, B737, B757, ERJ-145, E170, E190, Dash-8. Air Candada Jazz CRJ100/CRJ200. Airtran B717. AA MD-88. Delta DC-9, A319. Lufthansa A330 (winter), A340 (summer). Continental B737. Continental Express ERJ-145. Fedex and UPS Airbus. United A319/A320. Numerous coroporate aircraft and ANG C-130s.