Monday, June 22, 2009

Pearson Airport Spotting Locations

I seem to see/hear a lot of requests for spotting locations around Pearson, but I haven't really found any good tools to help people out when they're looking. It would seem that there are a lot of folks who enjoy watching planes but don't visit the airport often enough to know where to go (or how to behave). This prompted me to put together a simple Google map to show where a few locations are. I think I've covered at least one location for every commonly used approach, but there are certainly more to come. I've also included some of the more prominent features within the airport (terminals and such).

Here's what I have come up with for my "Spotter's Helper" map. If anyone has suggestions, feel free to post them in the comments and I'll try to add what I can.

View YYZ Plane Spotting in a larger map


  1. Great work on the map! Thank you. I've just recently started going back down to Pearson to start plane spotting again.



  2. Great map. Thanks for the help! I'll be going back to Pearosn next week to check out the new spotting locations.

  3. Hey thanks for the maps, I was just wondering, when using, where it says the 'equip' (type of plane) for a flight, how do you know what type of plane it is, it seems to be in a bit of a code.

  4. You're very welcome! For the most part, and most other tracking sites use IATA (International Air Transport Association) codes for their equipment listings. There are a few websites that have full lists (just Google "IATA Aircraft Codes") so if there's a code you don't recognize you can search for it on those pages. Otherwise, you can understand the codes pretty easily without the full list once you get used to the patterns. You can usually use the first 2 characters as the aircraft model (i.e. 747) and the 3rd character as the series of that model (i.e. -400). This usually works but sometimes they are a little strange, such as 73H. The 73 indicates that it's a 737, but H tells you that it has "winglets". I know, some are a little strange. :)

    A few examples so you can see the patterns...

    • 744 is a 747-400
    • 763 is a 767-300
    • E90 is an Embraer 190
    • 333 is an A330-300
    • 346 is an A340-600
    • 388 is an A380-800

    Hope this helps, and happy spotting!

  5. hi - plane spotters at YYZ are mentioned in this blog. Sorry forgot to send earlier.

  6. Is the trail marked by the blue line regularly accessible and easy to navigate? Im thinking of heading there in the next day or so.

  7. Hi Thanos. As far as I know, that trail is pretty simple to navigate. It doesn't have many markings on it, but there is really only one way to go since it runs across airport property. Enjoy the trip if you get there!

  8. hi
    thanks for the helpful tips and map!
    I plan to go on my first plane spotting adventure soon at YYZ.
    I was wondering if you have any sample photos from the view of the parking deck?


  9. You're very welcome! The photos in my post about the visitors from Montreal are taken from the parking deck.

  10. hey man i have been wandering around pearson to find the uper parking area but i saw no where i can see the planes...please let me know where exactly i would find the upper parking deck and what terminal?

  11. Hi vince. If you look closely at the map (zoom in), this parking garage is actually not on airport property. It's off of Airport Rd./Northwest Dr.

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  13. Great work! I just want to see the emirates A380 land. Do you have an address with postal code to put on my GPS? Thanks!

  14. HI Ryan, Great blog. I love it when people share their passion! I haven't got a clue about air traffic and there is a certain flight I really want to see take off from Pearson as it will have my son aboard as he jets off to school for a year in England. Can you help? Thanks,

  15. Great map, excellent job! Which location is the best for overhead landings with clear view to touchdown? I'm new and want to do a video. Thanks, chris.

  16. Thank you so much for this map, you put a lot of effort and it really shows!