Aircraft Spotting Pages - Norfolk International Airport

The above map was provided by Google Earth and modified to show the location around Norfolk International Airport.

Click here for the flight information for ORF.

Traffic at Norfolk International Airport

Norfolk International Airport is the fourth busiest airport in all of Virginia, serving the entire Hampton Roads region, which includes the cities of Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Newport News, and Hampton, among others.  The three major airlines in the United States and their regional carriers all have multiple daily flights into and out of Norfolk as well as multiple flights a day from Southwest Airlines and a handful of flights from Allegiant Air.  Business jet and general aviation traffic is also very common here as well as cargo traffic from both FedEx and UPS.

Most of the commercial airline traffic will utilize Runway 5 or 23 due to its length; most smaller aircraft will tend to use either Runway 14 or 32, but keep in mind that 5 or 23 will likely be in use most of the time.  If the winds favor the shorter runway, airline traffic will still utilize the longer runway.

During periods of no activity, it is possible you may see military aircraft practice touch and go landings at Norfolk International Airport.  This is exceptionally rare.

About the Spots

While Zinger Aviation Media has not been to Norfolk International Airport for spotting, the locations listed below were provided through research, actual scouting of the airport prior to a pick-up, and information from friends.  There are currently no example photos from each location.

Spot A:  This is a dedicated airport observation area located on Robin Hood Road.  Take I-64 West Exit 281 or I-64 East Exit 281A and follow Robin Hood Road as it parallels Runway 5/23 and it will be right before the road bends to the left.  Park in the lined spaces; be mindful of your parking as there are only about a dozen or so parking spots and it is a one-way parking lot.  This provides an excellent view of all airport operations on Runways 5 and 23 and distant views of Runways 14 and 32.  Any and all size lenses are recommended here and keep in mind there is a displaced threshold for Runway 5, so aircraft landing on Runway 5 will touch down very near your position and anything departing from Runway 23 will have already cleared the airport fence in front of you.

Recommendation:  This spot is good from mid-afternoon until sunset due to the position of the sun.  Also, while it may seem tempting, please do not bring a ladder.

Facilities:  There are multiple fast food and sit-down restaurants within ten minutes of Norfolk International Airport.


Spot B:  This is listed for reference only and is not recommended.  This spot is located on Miller Store Road, which does go by the approach end of Runway 5, but this two-lane road only grass shoulders and there is no room to pull off.  In addition, the side of the road opposite of the airport perimeter fence has a ditch and it is not recommended.

Also in this area is the off-ramp from Interstate 64 West mentioned above for Norfolk International Airport.  While the off-ramp (Exit 281) gives an amazing view of Runway 5 arrivals and Runway 23 departures, it is far too dangerous to pull off onto the grass for any amount of time.

Recommendation:  As stated above, it is not recommended to visit this location due to safety reasons.

Facilities:  There are multiple fast food and sit-down restaurants within ten minutes of Norfolk International Airport.


Spot C:  This unlisted spot is located near Amphibious Drive and Gunston Hall Road in Norfolk.  This puts you about a half-mile or so from Runway 23, and while it is noted here, it is not recommended.

Recommendation:  It is not recommended to visit here as Norfolk has seen a fair bit of crime over the years.  While crime can happen anywhere, it is best for your safety to not visit this location.

Facilities:  There are multiple fast food and sit-down restaurants within twenty minutes of this spot.



Zinger Aviation Media has not visited any of the locations here, but it is assumed that Spot A is hassle-free.  As always, carry your ID.