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Los Angeles International Airport

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Revision as of 07:07, 6 December 2005 by Tommy (talk | contribs)
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Continent: North America Country: United States Region: California
Los Angeles International Airport
Location Los Angeles, California
Airport type Commercial
Website []
Overview map [,-118.405838&spn=0.060406,0.118721&t=h&hl=en Google Maps]

Official Spotting Locations

Theme Building

Shut since 2001.

Other Spotting Locations

International Terminal

The Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) has a food court upstairs which is not in the secure area and overlooks the North-South taxiway affording close encounters with the heavies. Photography is possible through the glass but you need a 25-80mm zoom or similar, and reflections are a problem. In theory movements on both sets of runways can be logged here with suitable optics, but there have been instances of 'enthusiastic' spotters causing the customers to freak out and call security. Discretion and restraint are necessary if you intend spending any time here.

Imperial Hill

In the city of El Segundo. A small roadside park at the intersection of Imperial Avenue and Sheldon Street. A few tables and seats, for other facilities you need to walk down the hill to the small shopping plaza. Bus service from the airport - Redondo Beach route (496 I think).

All movements on the South runways can be logged here although care must be taken not to miss those arrivals which turn off early. Some photography possible when traffic is westerly, few arrivals come far enough down although spectacular departure shots can be had with a long (300-400mm) lens. On the rare occasions traffic is landing to the East this is one of the finest locations in the land. Aircraft taxiing on taxiways B and C in the general vicinity of the American Airlines hangars, American Eagle remote terminal building, taxiways Q and S, and the Tom Bradley International Terminal can be photographed from here with a sufficiently powerful lens (300-400mm).

In-n-Out Burger

At the corner of Sepulveda and Westchester, 10-15 minutes walk from the airport. Small grass area across the road from which all movements on the Northern runways can be seen. Limited photography as arrivals are almost directly overhead, and you are facing South.

There is a multi-storey car park with good views from the top floor. No photography signs are present, and you will likely be told to leave.

Westchester Boulevard

Some other possibilities in the same area as the In-n-Out. A bridge about 1/4 mile West provides good photos but anyone standing there is very visible. Two car parks either side of Sepulveda, one at ground level (E) the other a multi-story (W). None of these locations are very satisfactory for a long stay.

Proud Bird Restaurant

Off Aviation Boulevard beside the approach to the Southern runways. Good landing shots but care must be taken to avoid lampposts and trees. Take the B parking shuttle from the airport.

Cargo Area

There are 2 parking lots off the first and second cargo roads respectively. Hanging around either of them will attract the attention of the police sooner or later but OK for a quick shot of anything parked at DHL or FedEx.

Radisson Hotel

There is a lounge on the roof of the hotel, step outside and shoot from the rooftop.

Locations to Avoid

Westchester Bridge

See above.

Cargo Parking

Patrolled frequently by not-very-friendly LAWA police.

Regular Traffic

Facilities and Transportation