Portland International Jetport
|Continent: North America||Country: United States||Region: Maine|
|Portland International Jetport|
|Overview map||Google Maps|
The Portland International Jetport is a regional airport located on the border between Portland and South Portland, Maine. The Jetport is a largely seasonal airport seeing heavy service from mainline jets in the summer, but light traffic from mostly Regional Jets in the winter. Spotting opportunities at the airport are limited, but there are a number of sites around the airport perimeter which offer views of aircraft movement.
Official Spotting Locations
South Dirt Lot (Mark Haskell Memorial Viewing Area)
The Jetport has set up an official spotting area to the South of the airport perimeter, a dirt lot just off of Westbrook Street and Aviation Blvd. The lot has recently been named, in memory of a PWM air traffic controller who was killed when his YAK-52 crashed at the Jetport in 2010. The lot is recognized by the airport and the local police department, and is frequently populated by plane watchers from all demographics. The designated spotting location can be identified by a large "spotting guide" sign which illustrates the basic aircraft types which frequent Portland. The official spotting area is not ideal for photography, as a large fence and a significant distance separate it from the runway. With a decent telephoto lens and a ladder or automobile to stand on photography is possible, as the sunlight almost always favors the Southern location. Apart from the fence, the view of the entire airport is more or less unobstructed, so it is a good place to park and simply watch aircraft. Example photos from the official spotting location (taken standing atop a vehicle with a 55-250mm lens) can be found below.
Other Spotting Locations
Jetport Plaza Road Circle
A roundabout where Jetport Plaza Road and Westbrook Street meet is a frequent stopping place for aircraft watchers. Like the approved spotting area, a fence separates watchers from the action, but a source of elevation (a car roof for example) can place you right in the middle of the action for photos. Additionally, the roundabout is much closer to the runway. The roundabout is heavily posted with "No Parking" signs, and local law enforcement frequently asks visitors to move up the hill to the approved spotting location. If you park elsewhere and walk to the fence line, law enforcement should not hassle you.
- JetPhotos.net sample photo: large
Parking Garage Rooftop
The top story of the terminal parking garage offers relatively good views of the airport action at all times of the day. Unfortunately, the runways and taxiways are backlit for all but the earliest summer hours. If your aim is to take photographs, an early morning (i.e. 5:30am-7am) trip is a must. For non-photographic viewing, the garage roof offers the most all-inclusive viewing of anywhere on the airport, save the terminal itself.
- JetPhotos.net sample photo: large
Traffic at the Jetport is very seasonal, varying from a bustling mainline destination in the summer to a sleepy RJ landing strip in the winter. Portland is served domestically by Delta, American, United, and their regional affiliates, as well as JetBlue. In the middle of the summer 737s, A320s, and MD-88s join a heavy mix of Regional Jets and corporate traffic.
Commercial Airlines and Aircraft
|American Eagle||CRJ-200 (operated by Air Wisconsin), CRJ-700 (operated by PSA Airlines), Embraer ERJ-145 (operated Embraer E170 (operated by Republic Airlines)|
|Delta Airlines||CRJ-200 (operated by Endeavor Air), CRJ-900 (operated by Endeavor Air)|
|Southwest Airlines||737-300, 737-700|
|United Express||CRJ-700 (operated by Mesa "Air Shuttle"), Embraer ERJ-135 (operated by ExpressJet), Embraer EMB-145XR (operated by ExpressJet)|
Facilities and Transportation
The Jetport is served frequently by the Portland Metro bus system and private taxis, and is easily accessed by automobile from I-95. A car is necessary for most all spotting around the airport, although sidewalks are present throughout Portland and South Portland. The main terminal features multiple restaurants both airside and landside, as well as public restrooms and an information booth.