Aircraft Spotting Pages - LaGuardia Airport
The above map, with modifications, was provided by Google Earth.
Click here for the flight information for LGA.
About the Spots and What You Will See
Spot A: This is the most famous of all the spots around LaGuardia. This is a park known as Planeview Park, which is named appropriately because you can easily view the planes at LaGuardia! If you are coming from the west, get off the Grand Central Parkway at 94th Street, turn left at the light and get back on the Grand Central Parkway in the opposite direction and follow the direction for those heading from the east (or coming from the Van Wyck/JFK). If coming from the east (Van Wyck/I-678 North/JFK), exit the Grand Central Parkway at the Marine Air Terminal/Steinway street (Exit 5). At the light on the exit turn left, pointing you away from the airport. Proceed to the next light (23rd Avenue) and make a left. Planeview Park is on your left a few hundred feet down. Park anywhere along the fence there. You have an incredible view of Runway 4 arrivals and an equally good view of Runway 22 departures. Bring any and all lens sizes here. If you feel like watching, you can watch the departures from Runway 13 start their takeoff roll and from the distance, watch 22 arrivals. Runway 4 departures are also spectacular. As a word of caution, do NOT stand near the fence for any given length of time unless you are trying to get some pictures of planes on the ground - you can see Donald Trump's Boeing 727 sitting on the ground from Planeview.
Lighting at Planeview Park is usually only good in the morning hours. It is recommended that you DO NOT bring a step ladder to get pictures over the fence.
Photos from Spot A
Spots B, C, and D: These are various locations along the World's Fair Marina. To get there from the east, get off the Grand Central Parkway at World's Fair Marina/Citi Field exit. From the west, get off of grand Central at the Van Wyck/Whitestone Bridge exit, and then get off at the next exit, Citi Field/World's Fair Marina. Follow the small roads to the airport side. There will be multiple parking lots, some open and some not, for your to park in. You have good views of Runway 31 arrivals (straight-in and Expressway Visual approaches) and Runway 13 departures. You will need at least 300 mm anywhere along the Marina to get decent pictures. Move along the Marina to get slightly different views, which represent all three spots on the map. Occasionally you will see folks jogging around the marina. Don't be shy - show a good spirit and wave or say hi as if you were in a friendly neighborhood.
Photos from Spots B, C, and D
As far as what you'll see at LaGuardia, you will see mostly domestic carriers and a decent number of business jets. Carriers such as AirTran, American, Continental, Delta, Frontier, jetBlue, Spirit, United, and US Airways - as well as their regional carriers, which operate their regional jets and turboprops more than you'd see the larger jets - pretty much operate the majority of the commercial flights out of LaGuardia. Air Canada is your only regular foreign airline operating out of LaGuardia, and usually their Air Canada Jazz brand is seen more often than the mainline brand. The largest airplane you could see is a 767-300 from Delta, but they are rotated in every now and then. LaGuardia is restricted on airline flights within 1,500 miles of New York City, which is known as the Perimeter Rule, established mainly to reduce the number of delays at the airport.
Security around LaGuardia is practically hit-or-miss, with each of the spots equally checked upon regularly by the NYPD. I have heard of spotters (especially the locals) getting stopped at each of the locations, with some good results and some not-so-good results. I personally have not had any problems with security at any of the locations (I have visited each location at least once). 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, and ISP. As always, carry your ID.
There is a perimeter road that goes underneath the approach to Runway 4. Please keep in mind that this road is OFF-LIMITS to spotting of any kind regardless of the mode of transportation you are using. Yes, the road is outside of the airport fence, but it is still airport property and the Port Authority Police as well as the NYPD have arrested people for spotting along that road. It is a safety hazard - not just to yourself but to everyone who uses that road.
Restrooms and restaurants can be found in the Central Terminal at LGA. Be aware of cab fares as well as parking fees for any parking lots or garages.