Thursday, April 28, 2011

Runway Usage

I see quite a few people planning outings to YYZ and one of the common things I see is the plan to use the Wendy's location (the approach to runway 23 goes right overhead). I agree that this is an excellent location, but just be aware that there is no guarantee that landings will be over your head here all the time.

Runway usage is primarily based on wind direction. That means that, if the wind is blowing in a different direction, they may be landing aircraft in a different direction.

My advice would be to keep an eye out while you are on your way to the airport and try to spot some aircraft to see which direction they are landing in. Chances are, if the weather is not unstable or stormy, they will continue to land in this direction for a while. This will tell you if it's worth while going straight to the Wendy's location.

The good news is that there are a few different options if they are not landing in this direction. Have a look at my spotting tips map before you head out just in case the Wendy's location doesn't work out for you. You can still enjoy a great spotting trip, even at a different location.

Good luck, and happy spotting!


  1. Hi,I would like to know that if i don't have a car, is it impossible to planespot when the airport is using Rwy 33L/33R ? thanks :)

  2. Well, not impossible, but it wouldn't be easy. It would involve quite a bit of walking, and you would most likely get bothered by Security or Police. They may consider it suspicious if they see some random person walking along the service road near an active approach.

  3. Yesterday I was in a hotel I believe not far away from the airport and I had a car, and I didn't know there was such a good spot (runaway 23)!
    Of course I could have checked on the internet for that!

  4. I'm looking to get some footage of planes taking off from Pearson. While I've looked at your maps (Which are great by the way), I was hoping to find an area where I could view planes taking off from head on. Are there any areas to get that view? Thanks!


  5. Hey Annonymous. Your best (and probably only) option for catching anything head-on would be the spot on my map labelled "Over-head 05 Approach", but you would have to go to this spot while aircraft are landing/taking-off towards you on runway 23. There is a clear, open view at this spot looking straight down the runway. There is a chain-link fence there so you may have to record through it or over it. Pretty much any other spots are either lower than the runway so you can't see, or there is a jet-blast wall in your way so you would be on a bit of an angle. Hope this helps, and good luck! Ryan

  6. Planes landing north south today. Will a380 land north south at 4 at which runway. Where best can I spot it?