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Detroit Metro Airport

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Continent: North America Country: United States Region: Michigan

Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport
Location Romulus, Michigan
Airport type Commercial
Overview map Google Maps
Tower 118.40 East
135.00 West
Ground 119.25 Southeast
119.45 Northeast
121.80 Northwest
132.72 Southwest
Clearance 120.65
Approach 124.25 East Feeder
124.97 West Feeder
126.22 Third Feeder
125.15 East Arrival
124.05 West Arrival
128.475 Third Arrival
Departure132.025 East Jet
125.525 West Jet
ATIS 133.675

Detroit Metro Wayne County Airport (DTW), also known as Detroit Metro, is in Romulus, Michigan. It is the 12th largest airport in the world and largest in Michigan. It is one of Delta Air Lines' largest hubs. DTW is also a hub for Delta Connection carriers Endeavor and Compass airlines and a hub for low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines. Operated by the Wayne County Airport Authority, DTW has 6 runways, three terminals, and 158 gates. In 2005 DTW served 36,389,294 passengers.

DTW has 3 terminals, the McNamara, which serves DL and its partners, built in 2002, it brought a new name to DTW with its high-class feel. The McNamara has won several awards by trusted aviation sources. Many consider it to be one of the best terminals in the world.

DTW's second terminal is the L.C. Smith terminal. The L.C. Smith Terminal (or the Smith Terminal) opened in 1957, houses all other airlines (other than charters and Spirit internationals). The Smith has 32 gates. The Smith will be torn down and all airlines moved to the new North Terminal when the new terminal is complete in 2008.

DTW's last terminal is the Berry Terminal. The Berry has 4 gates and houses charter airlines and Spirit International (Cancun) flights.

Official Spotting Locations

The observation deck at the Smith is officially closed, no more official spotting locations.

Other Spotting Locations

Use Google Earth to find these nice spotting locations in and around DTW. [1]

Excellent viewing area located in hotel parking lot. The hotel is at the corner of Merriman & Wick roads, just across I94 from the threshold of 21R. Excellent photos of aircraft on short finals or early in takeoff climb.

On top of the MacNamara Terminal parking garage gives you runway 3L, you can catch DC-9 powerbacks on the drop off area on check-in level of the MacNamara. Big Blue Deck offers 21R. Over at the Smith you can catch US Airways gate operations on luggage claim level all the way down. On the arrivals level if you walk towards the construction you can get Spirit gates, taxing aircraft towards 22L. There are plenty of other spotting places at DTW, just wander around and you should find them.

Airside spotting at MacNamara terminal is nice as well. Be aware though that ALMOST all windows have a dot pattern. Apparently that is used to keep the heat out. Because of that, you only got limited options to take photos from. Basically, the only windows without the dots are between gate A76 and A78. From here you can see operations on all runways except 09R/27L. However photographs can only be had from 09L/27R. On the bright side, there is a busy taxiway in front of you with behind that the Smith terminal.

Another great spotting location is the Green Lot. There you will find yourself mere feet away from the wings of the airplanes taking off 21R. You will have to use around 25-35 zoom for larger planes, or 50-70 for smaller planes. The overall best place to spot I have ever found.

Locations to Avoid

When spotting out on Wick Road in the large field, do NOT stray towards the building (closer to the hotels), this is an FAA building and they aren't very happy about spotters near the building. They tend to leave you alone in the field though.

Spotting Locations Map

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Regular Traffic

There is always huge amounts of DL traffic because of it being one of Delta's largest hubs. Being that it is also a Spirit (NK) hub, you will see moderate amounts of NK as well. Visitors typically include A330's (from several airlines), 757's (both -200's and -300's), A319/A320/A321's, and an assortment of CRJ's.

Commercial Airlines, Aircraft, and Terminal

Airline Aircraft Terminal-Concourse
Air Canada Express CRJ-200 North-D
Air France 777-200(ER) McNamara-A
Aeroméxico 737-700 McNamara-A
Aeroméxico Connect E190 McNamara-A
Alaska Airlines 737-700 North-D
American Airlines A319, A320, 737-800, MD-90 North-D
American Eagle ERJ-145 (operated by Piedmont), E175 North-D
Delta Air Lines A319, A320, A321, A330-200, A330-300, A350-900, 717-200, 737-800, 737-900, 757-200, 757-300, 767-300 McNamara-A
Delta Connection CRJ-100 (operated by SkyWest Airlines), CRJ-200 (operated by Endeavor Air), CRJ-700 (operated by SkyWest Airlines), CRJ-900 (operated by Endeavor Air, SkyWest Airlines, and GoJet), E170, E175 McNamara-A, B, C
Frontier Airlines A319, A320, A321 North-D
JetBlue Airways A320, E190 North-D
Lufthansa 747-400 North-D
Southwest Airlines 737-700, 737-800 North-D
Spirit Airlines A319, A320, A321 North-D
United Airlines 737-700, 737-800 North-D
United Express CRJ-700 (operated by Mesa Airlines), E175 (operated by Mesa Airlines) North-D
WOW Air A321 North-D

Facilities and Transportation

Transportation between terminals is provided via buses for free. The buses will read "Terminal-Westin-Terminal" and are your typical hotel-type buses. Transportation to the Green lot and other remote parking lots is provided via 15 passenger vans. The vans will show the lots they can take you to/from.