Saturday, May 9, 2009

Introduction to Hollywood/Ft Lauderdale International Airport

It has been a very uneventful week as far as special schemes or events (apart from one at the bottom of this entry), so I thought I would introduce you all to spotting at Hollywood/Ft Lauderdale International Airport (KFLL).

The airport itself is located just south of the city of Ft Lauderdale in the suburb of Hollywood. It is bordered by Interstate95 on the west side, US highway 1 on the east, Interstate 595 on the north and Griffin Road on the south. There really are only two spotting locations at FLL - the viewing park on the south west corner of the airport just off Perimeter Road and the parking garages at the terminals, which are on the south east side of the airport. The viewing park is best for landing shots and departure taxi shots for runway 9L and take off shots from runway 27R while the parking garage is best for take off shots from runway 9L, landing shots on runway 27R and then general taxi and ramp activity.

On the whole, FLL likes to keep activity on the east bound runways (9L and 9R), so the viewing park is the preferred spot. This is the viewing spot.

The park bench that is on the right side of the picture is usual the congregating point for photographers. From this point, you can shoot over the fence (usually with a ladder or standing on the bench) or through the fence for taxi shots. As mentioned before, FLL is bordered by I-95 on the west side, and the approach is right over the Interstate.

Unless the photographer has a very long lens and no heat haze, close up shots over the Interstate are not the best. We usually wait until they are over the threshold of the runway or close to touch down shown here (with the Frontier Hare tail scheme).

Most of the landing shots at FLL will be in the area of this shot. There are two taxiways for departures to taxi to the runway holding point and these afford great close up shots - as seen with this very shiny American B738 (if anyone knows any of the crew of flight 711 FLL-DFW on 5/8/2009 and they would like a larger shot of this - please have them email me!) as it taxies over the holding point to the runway.

The parking garage can allow for some great take off shots, particularly if it's a long take off role and the city of Ft Lauderdale is in the background. The hangars on the north side of the airport also allow a nice backdrop, as shown with this airTran B717 lifting off.

I hope this has given a little introduction to FLL where I tend to spend the majority of my spotting time.

I did mention one special spotting scheme - this week, after having missed it several times recently, I did manage to catch Southwest's 25th anniversary Silver One scheme.

Another week behind the camera lens over.....till next week.

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