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.
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.
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.