SFO's New SkyTerrace!

On Valentines Day (Feb. 14) after 25 years, SFO’s SkyTerrace opened to the public, meaning that spotters and passengers alike could access the new area. The SkyTerrace is in Terminal 2 before security, so it’s easy to access. The SkyTerrace is right in the center, where the 4 SFO runways meet. There is a light metal detector security check, so there’s no hassle to get in.


The SkyTerrace is also nestled on top of a gate area, so I caught many shots of taxiing aircraft, including this beautiful E175 taxiing to its gate. I now use that image as my wallpaper :)

Not included are beautiful videos of roaring takeoffs: Hawaiian A332, Air France B77W, British Airways B744, and of course, an Emirates A380.

PROS
This place is way closer to the runways than the former best location, Bayfront Park, in which the aircraft are super far away. Now, the SkyTerrace is here, and a place for everyone to spot closer than ever. It wasn’t just me there. Professional spotters and people just looking to watch planes before their flights piled up on the observation deck to watch roaring takeoffs and close-up taxiing aircraft.

CONS
The SkyTerrace is blocked on some of the right side by a gate area, which means that landings can’t be spotted until they are halfway down the runway and mostly done with their adrenaline-rush landing. Landings at the SkyTerrace are impossible to catch, because by the time the aircraft get there, they are taxiing on the runway to get to the nearest taxiway. It’s better to watch roaring takeoffs and close-up taxiing.

I definitely recommend this to any Bay Area spotters who want to catch close shots and takeoffs. It’s much better than Bayfront Park in every way (well, almost) and it’s going to attract a lot of attention in the future.

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Never knew this existed…

Frantically googles “flights LGW to SFO”

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Hey @ran next time you fly pray for a delay bc this ^

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I’m actually going there today 👀

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Looks great, probably much better than spotting from the train station.

How big is the terrace?

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I might go today @GlobalFlyer1 … when are you going?

@MapleAir221, where do you go to park? It’s always a hassle to park over there…

Oh yeah, I saw this… just haven’t had the time to go. Really would like to though!

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They just had to close Westfield garage for spotters. Unpopular the sky terrace isn’t good. Not the best views plus the glass provides glare.

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Same. I’m not even an SFO spotter and I’m disappointed. The struggles of shooting through dirty and/or reflective glass outweigh any benefit you would get over Westfield (not that there are any). Westfield was so good 🙁

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Yeah I was looking forward to spotting at Westfield this summer when I go for a spotting trip.

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I got permission to spot there, but then they closed it soon after ☹️

It’s not too bad a spotting area though, only issue is the glass and how it seems to get dirty pretty quickly.

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i parked just in a normal expensive airport parking lot

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Same I was going to go to SFO after I graduate HS but ig not anymore

Yeah and if you don’t have a ULH it’ll be difficult to shoot at any time of day

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Best time of day is late afternoon, when a lot of Europe-bound flights depart along with some Asia flights. The terrace is right in front of the area where most heavies rotate

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