Portsmouth International Airport at Pease
|Continent: North America||Country: United States||Region: New Hampshire|
|Porsmouth International Airport at Pease|
|Location||Portsmouth, New Hampshire|
|Airport type||Mixed-Use Public|
|Overview map||Google Maps|
The Portsmouth International Airport at Pease is a regional airport located just outside of Portsmouth, NH. Although the airport once offered service from Allegiant, Skybus, and PanAm III, there is currently no commercial service to the airport. Pease sees frequent military traffic, as it retains its military capacity as a New Hampshire Air National Guard base. Pease is also home to a corporate charter company utilizing Pilatus PC-12 aircraft, and sees frequent transient traffic from both civil and military users.
Official Spotting Locations
Other Spotting Locations
Grafton Drive Dirt Lot
The dirt lot off of Grafton Drive, just Northeast of the approach end of Runway 34 is the most popular aircraft viewing area at Pease. While this location is not officially designated for spotting, it is not uncommon to see a half dozen vehicles parked watching aircraft. Aircraft landing are slightly backlit in this location, but taxiing aircraft can be photographed in the early morning or late afternoon sunlight.
Port City FBO Parking Lot
The parking lot for the Port City Air FBO is separated from the ramp by only a fence. Some parked aircraft may be visible through this fence, as well as other fences around the Northeast side of the airport ramp.
- JetPhotos.net sample photo: large
Arboretum Drive and Short Street
Short Street is (much as its name implies) a small access road that runs to the airport perimeter fence. This is the only location for spotting on the Northwest side of the airport. Sunlight does not favor photography for arrivals at this location, but it offers a clear overview of the entire airport, as the airport is on an incline, sloping up to this location. The lighting is decent for shooting aircraft that are holding short, and a berm next to the parking area helps photographers shoot over the fence to a degree.
Pease Golf Course
The Pease Golf Course is directly adjacent to the approach end of Runway 34. This location has the best afternoon lighting of anywhere on the airport, and appears to be the most popular location on the airport for many spotters who upload to online photography websites. The golf course parking lot offers nice side views of approaching aircraft. On the golf course access road, there is also a small gravel patch parking and a larger pavement circle underneath the approach path of Rwy 34. Be careful not to block the mailbox on the gravel patch.
Peverly Brook Access Rd
On the West side of the airport, there is a short airport access road situated to the East of McIntyre Rd. Click on the Google Map link below. You are right by the airport perimeter fence, which you will have to shoot through or over. This location offers great lighting in the afternoon and evening of aircraft landing on runway 16.
- Flickr sample photo
PlaneSense, Inc. Parking Lot
On a small road called Flightline Road is the headquarters of the fractional-ownership company PlaneSense. Visiting Aircraft that are parked will often be right on the other side of the fence from here. This makes the lot ideal for long-exposures and close-ups. PlaneSense can be strict about who parks there though, so it is best to be in and out as fast as possible or during off-hours.
- JetPhotos.net sample photo: large
Pease has one Airline gate operated by Allegiant Air, which flies Airbus A320s from Pease to Places in Florida and Tennessee. A local flight school called Chi Aerospace operates a small fleet at Pease made up mostly of Van's RV-12s. Small GA planes, especially Piper Cherokees and Cessna Skyhawks are a very common sight. Military aircraft and military charters are the biggest users of Pease currently. Pease competes with the Bangor International Airport as a stopover location for transatlantic charters, but sees far less frequent visitors. MD-11s and 737s occasionally stop at Pease for fuel. International military aircraft will often stop at Pease for fuel, joining the regular Air National Guard KC-46 traffic, which has replaced the former KC-135s that used to be based here. KC-135 traffic is still not unusual, as Stratotankers from other states (usually Maine and Washington) arrive at Pease for a variety of reasons. Other common military planes include C-17s, KC-10s, and C-130s. PlaneSense, an aircraft fractional-ownership company, is also based at Pease, flying a fleet of 30+ Pilatus PC-12 aircraft, as well as a few Pilatus PC-24s as of 2018. Occasionally, an AN-124 will stop at Pease. About once per week, a C-5 Galaxy, usually with the callsign "RODD" will visit Pease to do touch-and-goes. RODD usually comes on Tuesdays, but not always. When high-ranking Executive-Branch officials visit New England, it is not uncommon to see a Boeing C-32 or C-40 arrive at Pease for fuel or as a backup plane for whichever VIP is in the area.
Facilities and Transportation
Pease has a small FBO building and an international terminal building, both of which lie dormant for the majority of the day. The terminal at Pease opens for charter aircraft to clear customs and for Allegiant, which resumed service at PSM in late 2013. There is no public transportation at Pease, all spotting must be done by automobile or bicycle.