Aircraft Spotting Pages - Stewart International Airport, New York

This particular map comes from Google Earth, with modifications made to show the different spots around Stewart International Airport.

Spotting Locations

Spot A:  This is located off of New York Route 17K in the parking lot of the Hudson Valley Hotel & Conference Center.  It offers excellent views of traffic arriving into Stewart International Airport via Runway 27.  Traffic will pass you from right to left.  Any and all size lenses are recommended here depending on the traffic.

Recommendation:  Utilize this location from sunrise until late afternoon.

Facilities:  There are multiple fast food restaurants and convenience stores located within five minutes of this spot.

Spot B:  This is located off of New York Route 17K in the parking lot of a new business complex just across from Orange County Choppers.  It offers excellent views of traffic arriving into Stewart International Airport via Runway 27.  Traffic will pass you from left to right and this spot offers excellent close-up views of all traffic going into Runway 27.  Any and all size lenses are recommended here depending on the traffic.

Recommendation:  This spot may not be available during the week as the parking lot will be full with employees who work in the business complex.  Light is good from mid-afternoon to sunset.

Facilities:  There are multiple fast food restaurants and convenience stores located within five minutes of this spot.

 

Spot C:  This is located off of New York Route 17K in the parking lot of a business complex on Corporate Blvd.  It offers excellent side views of traffic arriving into Stewart International Airport via Runway 27.  Traffic will pass you from left to right.  Be sure to pull completely off the road and onto the gravel as big rigs tend to come down the road.  Lens requirements will vary depending on the aircraft but a Beechcraft Baron 58 fills up the frame nicely at 300mm.

Recommendation:  Utilize this location from late afternoon until sunset during sunny days.

Facilities:  There are multiple fast food restaurants and convenience stores located within ten minutes of this spot.

 

Spot D:  This is located on airport property and is located near Signature Flight Services on 1st Street; it is best described as being part of a gravel and dirt portion of Perimeter Road just before an entry control point.  The spot offers excellent views of departures from Runway 9 and arrivals onto Runway 27 as well as an opportunity to observe traffic on Runway 16/34, however, a tall fence is in front of you (the second example photo below is not that fence, that fence was set up for the New York Air Show).  A lens of greater than 300mm is needed for anything on Runway 9/27 and you can get away with a 300mm lens for traffic taxiing by on the taxiway parallel to Runway 9/27.  This spot is actually very close to buildings the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the New York State Police utilize and is a location that will draw high interest in law enforcement from both agencies so be careful when using this spot.

Recommendation:  While it may be tempting to do so, do not bring a ladder to this location in order to get above the fence.  If you must, utilize the tailgate of your vehicle or the bed of your pickup truck, if you have either.

Facilities:  There are multiple fast food restaurants and convenience stores located within fifteen minutes of this spot.

 

Spot EThis is located off of New York Route 747 and is not recommended for a stay of more than two minutes; it is essentially a spot just south of Runway 9 and requires you to pull completely off of the road.  It is useful only for Runway 9 arrivals.  Any and all size lenses are recommended here depending on the traffic.

Recommendation:  As it says above, it is not recommended to stop here.  Traffic on Route 747 tends to pass by at high speeds.

Facilities:  There are multiple fast food restaurants and convenience stores located within fifteen minutes of this spot.

Spot FThis is located off Cargo Road and is located on the airport property and adjacent to the FedEx ramp.  It can be accessed from Route 17K by turning onto Governor Drive, a left onto Enterprise Drive where it ends at Cargo Road.  This gives you a good view of aircraft parked on the FedEx ramp and excellent opportunities to capture Runway 27 departures and 27 arrivals rolling out.  This location faces south, so keep that in mind that you will be looking into the sun the entire day.  Lens requirements will vary depending on the aircraft but keep in mind the smaller the aircraft, the higher up it will be once it passes your position.  The photo below of Allegiant Air gives you an idea of where a larger aircraft will rotate, but was not taken at the exact location as Spot F due to the location being within the aerobatic box when the Patrouille de France flew a private show at Stewart; however it does show approximately where Spot F is located.  It was also taken at 300mm.  Because this is on airport property, you may be asked to leave by law enforcement or even contractors.

Recommendation:  Because you face the sun the entire day, it may not be worth stopping here unless it is a cloudy day.  However, it is the only location where you can capture Runway 27 departures.

Facilities:  There are multiple fast food restaurants and convenience stores located within fifteen minutes of this spot.

 

 

Prohibited Spots

Please note that all of the locations listed below are prohibited at all times.
They are only listed here because there have been many inquires about them over the years. 

  • The entrance to the Guard Ramp just prior to the entry control point is off limits.  It may provide an excellent view for Runway 27 arrivals but it is absolutely off limits to point a camera to anything anywhere near this location.

  • The ramp near Atlantic Aviation is off limits.  Photography is actually prohibited near Atlantic Aviation, it is not a rule but a company wide policy across all Atlantic Aviation locations, not just the one at Stewart International Airport.

  • Any locations along 1st Street past the Homewood Suites by Hilton is also prohibited as well as gaining access to the hangars by the New York State Police and the 2nd Aviation Detachment; this is considered federal property.

  • Any locations along Little Britain Road (New York Route 207) to obtain arrivals for Runway 34.  Most of the locations here are considered private property.

  • Newburgh Toyota on Route 17K is tempting for Runway 16 arrivals and 34 departures and is not recommended; the same also applies for locations along Route 17K near this runway.  It is much too dangerous to pull off the road.

  • Orange County Choppers isn't prohibited but is not recommended as their location sits below Route 17K and you will need a lens of greater than 400mm for any traffic, if you are able to see them come in on Runway 27.

Airshow Weekend:  During the days leading up to and during the New York Air Show weekend, Route 17K will be coned off on both sides by Runway 16 and all parts of Route 17K within easy reach of any location that overlooks any part of the Stewart International Airport.  The New York State Police patrol this very frequently and strictly enforces this.  Access to Spot D is closed off to everyone on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  Spots E and F would be inaccessible as both spots are within the aerobatic box for the airshow.

UN Week:  During one week in September, the United Nations General Assembly gets together in New York City and representatives from nearly every nation on earth gather together for several days to discuss world issues, current conflicts, and anything that may be on the table at the time.  Most of these representatives are the respective leaders of their nations and tend to fly into John F. Kennedy International Airport on board official military and state aircraft and either get flown to the United Nations building or are driven there via motorcade.  JFK rules state the respective aircraft cannot remain on the ground for more than three hours and so, must be flown elsewhere.  Many (but not all) of the aircraft will be ferried to and sit at the Stewart International Airport for a few days before having to fly back to JFK to pick up the respective world leader or representatives.

Traffic at Stewart International Airport

Stewart International Airport is a major international airport in the New York metro region and sees its share of daily traffic, but the number of flights that utilize the airport is but a tiny a fraction of what you would see at either Newark Liberty, LaGuardia, or Kennedy.  American Eagle and Delta Connection have at least one or two daily flights from Philadelphia and Detroit, respectively.  Allegiant Air operates in and out of the Stewart International Airport with several flights a week along with JetBlue Airways.  Norwegian Long Haul has recently started operations from several European cities (Belfast, Dublin, Edinburgh, to name a few) utilizing the 737-800 and once the airline has enough aircraft in its fleet, expect the 737 MAX 8 to appear at Stewart.

A large number of business jets of all sizes and manufacturers can also be seen into and out of the Stewart International Airport.  In addition, all types of general aviation aircraft are also prevalent at the airport.

Military aircraft are also present at Stewart International Airport.  Above I mentioned the Guard Ramp, and the New York Air National Guard's 105th Airlift Wing calls Stewart International Airport home.  The 105th Airlift Wing flies nine C-17 Globemaster III transports using the callsign POLO for local missions.  In addition, the Yankees of VMGR-452 reside at Stewart International Airport with several KC-130T Hercules tankers using the callsign YANKEE for their aircraft - this is not to be confused with the Connecticut Air National Guard's C-130H Hercules which also use the callsign YANKEE.  The 2nd Aviation Detachment of the United States Military Academy at West Point also bases several aircraft at the Stewart International Airport; these include a pair of Cessna 182s and several UH-72A Lakota helicopters.  There is no rhyme or pattern as to when the based units fly as their operations are strictly classified.

Security

To my knowledge, there have been no issues with spotters being asked to leave any location except during airshow week and airshow weekend.  The New York Air Show staff have asked the New York State Police in the years the show has been around to enforce a very strict no parking and no watching of the airshow policy for almost any location that is not inside the actual airshow grounds to ensure admission to the airshow is adhered to.

Please also note the red text by Spot D and Spot F, which are locations that are on airport property.

Finally, during UN Week, there is a chance of a heightened security presence due to the many foreign state and military aircraft that potentially could be on the ground at Stewart.  Keep that in mind as a reason you could be asked to leave.