Aircraft Spotting Pages - Martin State Airport
The above map, with modifications, was provided by Google Maps.
About the Spot and What You Will See
Spot A: This is the only spot to watch aircraft at Martin State Airport. To get here, follow MD 150 to Wilson Point Road and make the second left towards the control tower. There is ample parking. Situate yourself in front of the control tower but do not cross the restricted area in front of you - there is no need to. There are also two park benches located here and also an outdoor speaker that pipes out the tower frequency so you do not need a scanner.
You are able to walk to the left and right of the control tower and still be behind the restricted area. If you choose to do so, you will need a scanner since the speaker does not reach that far. Keep in mind that there are multiple airport vehicles that will park in front of you so be mindful of that as well as their movements as well as aircraft being parked in front of you. Do not photograph the aircraft with people in and around the aircraft.
Recommendation: Being as there is only one runway at MTN, all of the operations will occur right in front of you. Runway 15/33 is right in front of you and any size lens will work here. Light is good late morning until sunset as you face approximately NNE. Smaller aircraft like Cirrus SR20s and Cessna 150s will require a full 300mm while larger aircraft such as business jets and A-10s will require less lens. Small aircraft will likely have rotated long before they reach your position if Runway 33 is in use.
You will need to exercise patience while at MTN as while the airport is one of the busiest in Maryland, there will obviously be times where there is no action.
In addition to the spotting location here, there is also the Glenn L. Martin Maryland Aviation Museum at this location. It is only open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.
Facilities: There are multiple fast food restaurants and convenience stores located within ten minutes of this spot. There are also multiple retail establishments in the same area.
First four photos are operations off of Runway 33, including a departure, low approaches, and turning off by the tower.
Last two photos are Runway 15 departures.
Martin State Airport serves a wide variety of general aviation and commercial operators. Martin State is home base to many helicopter operations including local news helicopters WJZ Channel 13 and WBAL Channel 11, Medevac services Express Care 1 and Helicopter Transport Services, and the aviation units for the Maryland State Police, Baltimore County Police, and the Baltimore City Police.
In addition to all of the general aviation, business jets, and helicopter operations listed above, the 175th Wing of the Maryland Air National Guard is located on the other side of the airport. The 175th Wing flies the A-10C Thunderbolt II and frequently fly training missions from their home base. The A-10s use a wide variety of callsigns but frequently use RAVEN in normal training operations. Currently the 175th Wing has many jets and personnel deployed to support Operation Inherent Resolve and few jets and personnel stayed behind to support local training missions.
While the example photos above depict an F-22 Raptor and an F-35A Lightning II, these were take during the weekend of the Baltimore Airshow. See below for more information about the airshow and Martin State Airport's contribution to the airshow.
Every year since 2012 the Star Spangled Spectacular is held over the Baltimore Harbor and features many military performances as well as civilian aerobatic pilots and one of the major parachute teams. These performances have in the past included the Blue Angels, the F-16 Demo Team, CF-18 Hornet, and much more. All of the aircraft stage from the Martin State Airport and in 2016, the airport is hosting an open house on October 15-16 to coincide with the airshow in the Baltimore Harbor and Maryland Fleet Week. This allows visitors to get up close and personal with the participating aircraft and as described above, some AMAZING photo opportunities of the aircraft as they depart MTN. The 2016 airshow is to be highlighted by the Blue Angels, the F-22 Demo Team, the F-35A Demo Team, the CF-18 Hornet Demo Team and much more.
Many spotters have spent hours at MTN and have reported no issues with taking photos here. In fact, it appears that the airport employees seem to be used to people taking photos of airplanes at MTN. Basic rule of thumb is to not photograph any aircraft with people in the same shot regardless if it is crew or passengers and to stay behind the fenced area. As long as you do not interfere with operations at the airport you will be fine.
Also, since the Maryland Air National Guard has a presence at MTN, do not photograph their infrastructure. You can photograph the A-10s but only the A-10s.