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Plane Spotters

Welcome Plane Spotters and aviation enthusiasts.In this guide we hope you will find some pointers when it comes to spotting around Brisbane Airport.

Please Note: 


The Acacia Street loop viewing area will be closed from public access between Monday 6 and Sunday 19 October 2014 inclusive. We apologise for any inconvenience.


Tag us using #BNEspotters and you could appear below!


We love everything aviation at Brisbane Airport and hope you share your great photos with us! 


The Best Viewing


Fire Station: Baeckea St off Pandanus Ave – This is a great place to see 01 arrivals on touch down and roll out. Best to shoot here from Sunrise till 10am. Camera lens recommended is 70-300mm. Please keep in mind this is an area where emergency vehicles need access, so please keep the road and gate clear.


Boronia Rd: - Great for 01 approach or 19 departures up until 10am. Lenses from 50-400 (depending on framing). You can get photos of the undercarriage of the aircraft. There is lots of businesses in this area so please respect that.


Acacia Street Loop(After 11am): Acacia Street – There is parking in this area. Its great to see 19 arrivals or 01 departures in the afternoon. Lenses required 70-300mm. For taxiway shots you may need a ladder or shoot through the fence


Approach Runway 01 (Afternoon): Da Vinci Blvd – There is car parks to park in here. This is a great place to capture afternoon arrivals from, especially with the nice colours of sunset reflecting off the plane. Lenses of at least 200mm are needed.


Brisbane Air Traffic Control Frequencies

Brisbane Tower


 Brisbane Ground


Brisbane Departures


Brisbane Approach



Do's & Don’ts at the Airport


  • Charge your camera battery, and make sure you have fresh batteries for your radio frequency scanner (you don’t want to miss out on anything)
  • Obey all road signage including parking, as well as any security signage and laws while in the airport precinct
  • Wear a good hat and sunscreen as there aren’t any undercover areas or much shade. Depending on the time of day you might need some insect repellent too.
  • Check the arrivals and departures page on our website to see when the peak times are. You can also download a monthly timetable.
  • Remember to turn off your flash when taking photos of aircraft.
  • Comply with any requests from BAC Security staff or Australian Federal Police.
  • If you’re using a step ladder, be mindful of other plane spotters and don’t obstruct their view.


Other helpful info:


  • Understanding air terms is critical when spending time around airports, for a great list visit
  • A localizer is a radio navigation aid that helps aircraft land on the airport runway centreline radio frequencies for Brisbane Airport are as follows: Tower: 120.5, Ground: 121.7, Approach: 123.5 & 124.7, Departures: 125.6 & 128.3 . Laravale is spoken on your Brisbane air traffic frequencies every day, it's a small place south of Brisbane the aircraft track over when flying south.
  • A squark is a radio frequency number given to jets so the control tower can identify jets in the air.
  • Runway and taxiway details: Runway 01-19 is a north/south runway, runway 01 is for approaches over the gateway bridge and is at a bearing of 015 degrees (the first two numbers giving the runway designation).
  • Runway 19 is for approaches over the bay and is at a bearing of 195 degrees (the first two numbers giving the runway designation).
  • Runway 14-32 is a east/west runway, runway 14 is for approaches from Sandgate (Bearing 140 degrees) and runway 32 is for approaches over the Port of Brisbane (bearing 320 degrees). Runway 01-19 is 3500 meters long and is capable of handling most modern aircraft A380 included. Rwy 14-32 is 1700 metres long and handles up to B737, A320 up to 56000kg's.
  • Taxiway Alpha and Taxiway Bravo are north/south taxiways and service runway 01-19, with taxiway Alpha being closest to the rwy and in alphabetical order to the terminals. Taxiway numbers are for east/west taxiways and numbers start from the northern end.
  • Taxiway's Delta, Echo, Foxtrot and golf service rwy 14-32.
  • Taxiway's Hotel and Mike service the maintenance hangars.
  • Taxiway's Lima, Juliet and Papa service the old international terminal now known as the Logistics terminal. Taxiway Papa is the last remaining section of the old Brisbane runway before the Airport was moved.


Don’t forget about posting your photos at and you can see all Brisbane Movements at


Visit our Airport history page to find out more about the evolution of Brisbane Airport

Brisbane Airport background