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The A-Team

Aircraft spotting locations

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While driving around today getting photos and coordinates for a bunch of new Waymarks, I drove by the local airport (YYJ). It was then that I came up with an idea for a new category: aircraft/plane spotting locations. There's already a category for trainspotting - Active Rail Locations - so I thought there might be room for its aircraft counterpart. At the above airport, there are 3-4 excellent spots for watching aircraft, with one being a dedicated spot created by the airport specifically for aircraft spotting and two parks under the runway approaches. I'm sure many airports have similar locations, both official and unofficial, where the general public can watch airport operations from outside the fence.

 

I think it meets all of the criteria:

  • Interesting/informative: There are a lot of people who enjoy watching aircraft (there are almost always people sitting in their cars at one of the spots at my local airport), and some of these locations can be pretty impressive even for those who don't normally watch aircraft (ie. right under a runway approach), so I think they'd be interesting.
  • Global: As I mentioned above, I'm sure most airports around the world have some kind of spot where one can watch the aircraft.
  • Redundant: AFAIK, no existing category would fit these locations, so it wouldn't be redundant.
  • Prevalence: Similar to Global above, most airports probably have at least one good aircraft spotting location.

 

What do you all think? Does this idea have merit? Are there show-stopping problems that I haven't considered? If there seems to be a generally positive response here, I'll create a group and start drafting up a proposal.

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I like the idea. In fact, there is one of these at the airport in my hometown. It was built as a memorial to two firefighting pilots who died when their plane crashed from mechanical failure. It provides a good, safe location for sightseers to view planes landing and taking off. Count me in!

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The biggest obstacle I see for this concept is that is is vague and subjective. Aircraft can be seen from multiple vantage points, especially around large airports. Just think how many places one could chose to watch aircraft around LAX! Are we talking landings and takeoffs only? How close to an airport does the location need to be, or can they be somewhere else? What about sites at or within an airport? This might be relevant especially for smaller airports. What about private airports? If the category is tied to airports, how many waymarks are allowed for one airport.

 

Maybe a description could be written that would address all of these issues, but it would be a challenge.

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Something that needs to be considered....

 

I know that at San Antonio International Airport, if you stop your car and start taking photos of aircraft you will soon find yourself surrounded by POLICE cars.

 

The plane spotting site would need to be a good distance from the airport, or Waymarking might be making the news quite frequently.

 

Just my two cents worth.

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Something that needs to be considered....

 

I know that at San Antonio International Airport, if you stop your car and start taking photos of aircraft you will soon find yourself surrounded by POLICE cars.

That's a very good point that I hadn't considered. The authorities don't have a problem with people taking pictures at the locations I described around my local airport, but I guess it could be a problem at other airports. For that reason alone, I think I'll abandon this idea. If the locations have to be far enough away from the airport so as to not cause problems with the authorities, it kind of defeats the purpose and there would be just too many uninteresting spots.

 

Thanks for the input, everyone.

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Thanks for the input, everyone.

 

It has been nice idea. I like these places. Here is best spot near Bratislava airport.

 

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