SpottersWiki icon.png Many airlines have modified their schedules as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, please consult a flight tracking site such as FlightAware or FlightRadar24 or airline web sites for current flight information.
Some areas are restricting non-essential activities in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Please ensure that spotting is not temporarily prohibited by a local public health order before heading to the airport.

Des Moines International Airport

From SpottersWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Continent: North America Country: United States Region: Iowa
Des Moines International Airport
Location Des Moines, Iowa
Airport type Commercial
Overview map Google Maps
Tower 118.3
Ground 121.9
Clearance 134.15
ATIS 119.55

Official Spotting Locations

There is not an official spotting location at the Des Moines International Airport.

Other Spotting Locations

Parking Garage ($$$)

The parking garage at DSM gives you a view of landings on 23 and 31 and departures on 13 and 5. You can walk from the North side to the South side, depending on where the traffic is approaching and departing. Fees are $1 USD/hour. Security usually leaves you alone, because this is the place they will refer you to go and they allow photography here. At most times, you would be the only spotter at this place. You can take good photos of aircraft landing on both runways 23 and 31, as well as departures from runways 5 and 13. Park on the lowest level, and take the elevator, which is near the terminal drop-off area, or drive to the top.

Loading map...

Elliot Aviation Hangar (41.539198, -93.652294)

This is a great place that allows you to see landings and departures from all runways. Keep in mind, you will be shooting through a fence at this spot.

  • sample photo: large - Departing Runway 13
  • sample photo: large - Taxiing to Runway 23

Sw McKinley Ave (4800-5498 SW 42nd St)

This spot gives great views of aircraft landing on 13 and departing on 31 and 13. It's best to bring a step ladder if you want a little bit more height over the fence. Make sure to call DSM Airport Ops before coming here. Also, please try to stay 10 feet back from the fence, otherwise the Airport Ops will not like it.

  • sample photo: large - Departing Runway 31
  • sample photo: large - Landing Runway 13
  • sample photo: large - Departing 13

Cell Phone Lot

This area gives great views of aircraft landing on 31 and departing 13. When watching aircraft land on 31, make sure to stand on the concrete pillars to see over the fence. When watching aircraft depart 13, make sure to stand a ways back so you're not getting belly shots.

  • sample photo: large - Landing Runway 31

Dentist Office (2333 Sw McKinley Ave)

This area is great for catching landings from 23. Please be respectful of the property however, as the business that is on here has granted us permission to spot here if we do not cause a mess.

(No example photos available at this time.)

Electrical Power Products (41.518431, -93.677019)

This is a great spot to watch aircraft land on runway 5. You can park in any of the available spots in the Electrical Power Products lot. For better views, walk a little bit to the hill right next to it to avoid trees and poles.

  • sample photo: large - Landing Runway 5

Locations to Avoid

For the most part, the airport police at DSM are pretty cool with the spotters here. Just make sure to let DSM Airport Ops know if you go next to any of the places that are listed above with "Call DSM Airport Ops" at the bottom.

Regular Traffic

Commercial Airlines, Plane Type, and Concourse

Airline Aircraft Concourse
Allegiant Airlines A319, A320 A
American Airlines A319, A320 C
American Eagle CRJ-700, CRJ-900, E145, E170, E175 C
Delta Air Lines 717-200, 737-800 (Occasional) C
Delta Connection CRJ-900, CRJ-700 C
Frontier Airlines A320, A320NEO, A319 (Occasional) C
Southwest Airlines 737-700, 737-800, 737 MAX8 A
United Airlines A319, A320, 737-800, 737-900 A
United Express CRJ-200, CRJ-550, CRJ-700, E170, E175, A


  • Fedex: Airbus A300, Boeing 757
  • UPS: Boeing 757-200, Boeing 767