Seattle-Tacoma (KSEA) Spotting Guide

Hello, IFC,

I have been spotting for over a year at KSEA, and I found some pretty sweet spots! Here is a spotting guide for the airport.

Note: I will probably update this topic over time

KSEA is a very difficult airport to spot at, since there are no specific locations like at KLAX or Zurich. However, there are some places that work as nice little spotting locations!

These locations will be put in order from my favorite to my least favorite.

1

The Public Water Facility at North Sea-Tac

Pros:

This place is nice for many reasons. First of all, it is a park with a large grass area.
You can see planes on short final and the planes lining up for takeoff at 16L. Sometimes, you can see the touchdown smoke, but not always. With large arrivals on 16L, they fly right above you.

Cons:

This location has a few trees in the way, and in winter, the park is fairly muddy.

Pictures taken at this location:

image

2

Starling Drive

Pros:

This nice little unbusy street is right at the airport, a few feet from the touchdowns at 34L. You get a few feet from the aircraft, you can clearly see the touchdown (and hear it) and you can see larger arrivals fly across Mt. Rainier (a beautiful local mountain)

Cons:

This place has many tight fences, so I recommend bringing a ladder or stool (or shooting through the fence like me). This location is also a private drive for rich people going to their private jets, so if you become a nuisance, you will be shoo-ed out.

Pictures taken at this location:

image image

3

Delta Cargo Parking

Pros:

This location brings you 5 feet away from parked heavies (A330-300, -900, A350, 757, etc) and has a great view for precise shooting! This is a calm parking lot where you can take close-ups of aircraft.

Cons:

There is a fence, and the exit is easy to miss. The road is quite hidden. You can’t see takeoffs or landings, just parked planes, and keep in note, sometimes this location is empty!

Pictures taken from this location:
image image image

4

North Seatac Park.

Pros:

This is a park, Wow! What a surprise, right?!?
They also have a playground and BMX. You can see aircraft on final for runway 16R,C and L and you can have some fun, too!

Cons:

The park is kind of lightly sketchy, and there are trees in the way if you go to the wring spot. If you go to the right place, the trees yield a perfect path for shooting.
You can’t see touchdowns, and the park may be muddy in the winter

Pictures taken at this location:

image image

By @Captain_Merka

5

Angle Lake Park

Pros:
This is also a park! Ya don’t say?!?

This place is nice if you want to have fun while taking a few pictures, but really isn’t the best for spotting. This is better if you’re coming with kids/family or on a hot summer day.

Cons:
There are trees in the way, and the park is fairly far from the planes.

Pictures taken at this location:

image

Here is the map for the locations:

Thank you!

Remember that KSEA is great for variety and rare liveries, but you should bring a telephoto lens or some zoom.

Oh, and a Birb for @anon38496261

Thank You!

Robertine

19 Likes

image

Jk, lol 😂

Great pictures! You’re such an awesome spotter 👏

4 Likes

#BringBackBirBie

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#onlyrealbirbs

This is an excellent guide! I’m trying to convince my parents to let me use Alaska miles to fly there just for one day to spot 😅

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Thank you! Lol

I will add a real birb.

I’m sorry…

Just a sec.

#bringbackrealbirb

Yaasssss can’t wait 😂

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This will be very helpful when I go down there.

If you ever make one of these for inside the airport, I suggest adding the new N lounge to the list.

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I don’t know if I’m in a spot to say this but I wanted to add a few spots:

There is a warehouse parking lot you can spot in at (47°28’17.38"N, 122°19’7.04"W). 16R arrivals at about 70mm and 16L arrivals at around 250mm. This is an afternoon spot only.

Sample:

16L Arrival:

16R Arrival:


There’s a baseball field on the same road as the water tower (47°28’20.21"N, 122°18’47.21"W). You can park directly here as long as there’s no game. 16R arrivals at around 100mm. This is a morning spot. It’s sort of possible to shoot 16L arrivals but I would not advise it. There’s a very small gap in the trees and you have just a split second. If you’re shooting 16L this is an afternoon spot but I would not recommend it.

Sample:


Finally, there’s an auto shop to the south of the airport (47°26’14.50"N, 122°19’12.17"W). I went here on a weekend so I’m not sure how much the owner cares about spotters being there during work hours. 34L arrivals at around 100mm. This is an afternoon spot only.

Sample:

6 Likes

Can’t wait for us to go on Sunday!

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Yeah! Same! Are we going to spot 4?

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Sure. We can always move.

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Nice guide! Sadly, I live on the entire other coast, but it’s whatever. Maybe in the future I will use the guide haha xD

Nice pictures btw and stay safe from the “thing” :)

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Did he just say…

Jkjk lol thanks

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Say what???
😳

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Whattttt???

Lol

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image

Same here, we did a trip on SW and there are points left over and we don’t fly SW much. The problem is convincing them to let me use them.

I will definitely save this guide!

One question though, @Robertine, the second spot is really close to the airport, and I was wondering if it ever has issues with airport security?

2 Likes

No, only if you run around lol, I learned it the hard way…

It’s not security but some chill guy from the rich boi lounge.

The security at KSEA are super chill about it, they wave at me every time and sometimes we chat through the fence
:)

Ok that’s good to know, I will definitely have to try that out. Thanks

Out of likes sorry

1 Like