Aircraft Spotting Pages - Republic Airport
The above map, with modifications, was provided by Google Earth.
About the Spots and What You Will See
Spots A-1, A-2, A-3: These are all located along New Highway. There are many places you can pull off of New Highway to watch operations, especially arrivals and departures from Runway 32 and departures from Runway 14. Rather than state that there is one spot on New Highway, three locations were given - these locations offer slightly different views, and I believe A-3 offers the best view, when you take the position of the sun into consideration. The best ways to reach New Highway is either from Conklin Street or Route 109. If you are coming from Route 109, you'll cross over the Southern State, and New Highway will bend sharply to the right. If you elect to go straight rather than right, you will reach A-3. While it is only a two-lane road, exercise extreme caution as there are drivers who are willing to go 70+ mph on the straight stretches of New Highway. Also, keep in mind that New Highway is not a highly maintained road, as it is full of potholes, bumps, and patches.
I cannot stress this enough - any and all spots along New Highway are still fine, but it has come to my attention that a very serious accident took place on the Wednesday prior to airshow weekend due to, from what I understand, a car hitting a section of road and losing control, taking out at least one car and putting at least two members of one family in the hospital. Initial reports state the family members are in stable condition, but I cannot stress how DANGEROUS New Highway can be. There is a very good chance that the driver who caused the accident was driving recklessly.
In addition to the spots, the American Airpower Museum can also be found along New Highway. The museum is noteworthy for having aircraft that are airworthy - namely a B-25, C-47, FG-1D, L-39s, P-40, P-47, and several T-6s. If you are lucky, you may even see these aircraft flying. However, during the airshow season (March-November), one or all of the aircraft may not be flying during the weekends, as they may have been booked for airshows across the country. The American Airpower Museum is open from Thursday through Sunday from 10:30 am to 4:00 pm. Don't attempt to spot from their parking lot during the closed hours. The three spots and the land surrounding them are very popular spots during the days leading up to the Jones Beach Airshow as well as the show days. See the additional notes section for more information.
You will also see a parking lot along New Highway for SheltAir. Do not park in their lot with the intention of spotting, unless authorized by the FBO manager. Many of the aircraft that park there and utilize SheltAir for services may not be photographed for privacy concerns.
Past the American Airpower Museum is a lot for Nassau Flyers. Again, do not park in their lot with the intention of spotting, unless authorized by the FBO manager. Many of the aircraft that park there and utilize SheltAir for services may not be photographed for privacy concerns.
Spot B: This is a rather new shopping center known as Airport Plaza. It is easy to access from Route 110. It is advised that you park in the lot set aside for Dave & Busters. This is a great spot to catch arrivals to Runway 19. However, you cannot view the airport from this location because of blast barriers along the perimeter fence.
Spot C: This is located near the Republic Airport Terminal. You can reach this spot by turning into the main airport entrance off of Route 110 (this will also be the same entrance for the 56th Fighter Group Restaurant) and heading towards the terminal. There is a parking lot just to the left of the terminal - or you could park in the terminal parking lot. When you face the terminal, there are some park benches to the left where you could sit and watch airport operations. This spot is great for departures from Runways 1 and 32. This is a very popular spot during the days leading up to the Jones Beach Airshow as well as the show days. See the additional notes section for more information.
All of the spots listed here are very popular spots during the days leading up to and including Memorial Day weekend due to the annual Jones Beach Airshow. Nearly all of the participating aircraft in the airshow (with the exception of any F-15/F-15E, F-16, F-22, and the 106th Rescue Wing's HC-130s and HH-60s) will stage from Republic Airport. If you intend on using any of the spots during airshow week and weekend, be aware of an unusually high volume of traffic on New Highway, as many people will attempt to take any and every spot they can find along New Highway.
AIRSHOW UPDATE: I cannot stress this enough - any and all spots along New Highway are still fine, but it has come to my attention that a very serious accident took place on the Wednesday prior to airshow weekend due to, from what I understand, a car hitting a section of road and losing control, taking out at least one car and putting at least two members of one family in the hospital. Initial reports state the family members are in stable condition, but I cannot stress how DANGEROUS New Highway can be. There is a very good chance that the driver who caused the accident was driving recklessly.
In addition, Spot C by the terminal will also be a prime spot to watch from during the days leading up to and including the Jones Beach Airshow. Depending on who is highlighting the airshow, the jet teams (Thunderbirds or Blue Angels) will be parked at the terminal.
With the exception of the US jet teams, all of the participating airshow aircraft (again, except for the aircraft listed above) will be parked on the ramps utilized by SheltAir and the American Airpower Museum. Exercise extreme caution when spotting at Republic Airport during the Jones Beach Airshow.
Outside of airshow week/weekend, you will see most larger aircraft utilize Runway 14/32, as it is the longest of the two runways. Every now and then you will see fighters (Hornets and/or Super Hornets) and military trainer aircraft (T-6A Texan IIs, T-39s, and/or T-45s) fly into and out of Republic, since those pilots may be visiting family in the area. Larger cargo aircraft (C-130s and C-17s) have used Republic as well and you will occasionally see chartered airliners (Boeing 717, 727, 737, 757, DC-9, and A320) operating in and out of there - mostly for vacation charter flights and sports (New York Islanders and other teams playing the Islanders).
It is not recommended to park alongside Route 109 to catch arrivals and departures from Runway 1. This is for the sake of safety, since Route 109 is a major artery in Farmingdale and motorists are known to fly down that stretch of road at over sixty miles per hour.
To the best of my knowledge, Republic Airport is a very spotter-friendly airport. There have been very few, if any, encounters with law enforcement here. As always, carry your ID. The Nassau County Police Department and New York State Police have jurisdiction over the areas that the spots fall under.
The folks at NYCAviation.com know all about each of the spots mentioned and check out their forums for anything and everything on JFK, LGA, EWR, FRG, and ISP.
There are multiple sit-down and fast food restaurants and retail establishments along Route 110 and in the shopping centers within five minutes of Republic Airport.