Welcome Plane Spotters and aviation enthusiasts. In this guide we hope you will find some great pointers for spotting at Brisbane Airport. We love everything aviation at Brisbane Airport and we encourage you to share your great photos with us! When uploading to social media, make sure you tag us using #BNEspotters.
The Best Viewing
Fire Station: Near the Fire Station off Pandanus Ave. This is a great place to see RWY01 arrivals on touch down and roll out and is best from sunrise till 10am. We recommend using a camera lens of 70-300mm. Please keep in mind that this is an area where emergency vehicles access airside so please ensure the road and gate are kept clear.
Boronia Rd: This area is great for RWY01 approach or RWY19 departures up until 10am. We recommend using lenses from 50-400mm, depending on framing. This spot offers great shots of the undercarriage of aircraft. Please note that Boronia Road is home to a number of businesses so please ensure you use this area respectfully.
Acacia Street Loop (open 6am-6pm): The Acacia Street Loop offers great access to the runway to see RWY19 arrivals or RWY01 departures in the morning and afternoon. We recommend using 70-300mm lenses. For taxiway shots you may need a ladder or you can also take photos through the fence. If you’re using a ladder, please ensure you maintain a three (3) metre distance from the perimeter fence. This is a public space and free parking is also available.
Da Vinci Boulevard: This is a great spot to capture approaching aircraft on RWY01 from 11am onwards, with stunning colours of the sunset reflecting off the aircraft in the evening. We recommend using at least a 20mm lens and parking is available.
Brisbane Air Traffic Control Frequencies
- Do charge your camera battery, and make sure you have fresh batteries for your radio frequency scanner (you don’t want to miss out on anything)
- Do obey all road signage including parking, as well as any security signage and laws while in the airport precinct
- Do wear an appropriate hat and sunscreen when spotting at Brisbane Airport. There are no undercover areas along with very limited shade. Depending on the time of day and year, you might need insect repellent also.
- Do check the arrivals and departures page on our website to see when the peak aircraft movements are. You can also download a monthly timetable.
- Do remember to turn off your flash when taking photos of aircraft.
- Do comply with any requests from BAC Security staff or the Australian Federal Police.
Do be mindful of other plane spotters and don’t obstruct their view. Please also ensure you maintain a three (3) metre distance from the perimeter fence when using a ladder.
Other helpful information:
- Understanding air terms is critical when spending time around airports, for a great list visit www.studentflyingclub.com/air-terms.php
- A localizer is a radio navigation aid that helps aircraft land on the airport runway centreline radio frequencies for Brisbane Airport are as follows: Tower: 120.5, Ground: 121.7, Approach: 123.5 & 124.7, Departures: 125.6 & 128.3 . Laravale is spoken on your Brisbane air traffic frequencies every day, it's a small place south of Brisbane the aircraft track over when flying south.
- A squawk is a radio frequency number given to aircraft so the control tower can identify jets in the air.
- Runway and taxiway details: Runway 01-19 is a north/south runway, runway 01 is for approaches over the gateway bridge and is at a bearing of 015 degrees (the first two numbers giving the runway designation).
- Runway 19 is for approaches over the bay and is at a bearing of 195 degrees (the first two numbers giving the runway designation).
- Runway 14-32 is a east/west runway, runway 14 is for approaches from Sandgate (Bearing 140 degrees) and runway 32 is for approaches over the Port of Brisbane (bearing 320 degrees). Runway 01-19 is 3500 meters long and is capable of handling most modern aircraft A380 included. Runway 14-32 is 1700 metres long and handles up to B737, A320 up to 56000kg's.
- Taxiway Alpha and Taxiway Bravo are north/south taxiways and service runway 01-19, with taxiway Alpha being closest to the rwy and in alphabetical order to the terminals. Taxiway numbers are for east/west taxiways and numbers start from the northern end.
- Taxiway's Delta, Echo, Foxtrot and golf service rwy 14-32.
- Taxiway's Hotel and Mike service the maintenance hangars.
- Taxiway's Lima, Juliet and Papa service the old international terminal now known as the Logistics terminal. Taxiway Papa is the last remaining section of the old Brisbane runway before the Airport was moved.
Visit our Airport history page to find out more about the evolution of Brisbane Airport