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Sky high enthusiasm: Plane spotters soar at TPA

TPA's plane spotters are a vibrant and integral part of the aviation community, passionately capturing the beauty and excitement of aircraft in action.

At the very top of Tampa International Airport’s parking garages, a passionate community of aviation enthusiasts has created a second home.

Armed with cameras and binoculars, these “plane spotters” keep a close eye on the more than 200 aircraft that use TPA’s runways each day – and they do it just for fun. Plane spotters are passionate about aviation and work hard to document the Airport’s unique aircraft. Thanks to their zeal for taking and sharing photos, they are often regarded as part of TPA’s ambassador community. 1920_planespotter2-960386

And TPA is a great place for them to take photos. The Airport’s parking garages offer nearly unobstructed views of the runways and one hour of free parking, giving plane spotters plenty of chances to spot aircraft coming and going from America’s Favorite Airport.

TPA is committed to being a plane-spotter-friendly community. You’ll often see TPA tagged in photos and videos that local plane spotters post on social media platforms, and the Airport routinely shares their images on its official accounts.

The Airport also offers the plane spotting community a virtual clubhouse at The Plane Spot, a Facebook group managed by TPA’s Communications Team that serves as a growing hub for aviation enthusiasts from around the world. Spotters come together at The Plane Spot to share their most captivating photographs, exchange stories and discuss the latest developments in the aviation world. 

One of TPA's avid plane spotters, Dave Williams, comes to the Airport several days a week. His passion for plane spotting grew out of his love for machinery. He has always marveled at how such a large piece of equipment blasts off into the air and keeps flying.

Dave is an active member of The Plane Spot, frequently posting photos and interacting with fellow aviation enthusiasts. He was recently featured in an interview by FOX 13 News to talk about his hobby. fox13planespotters2

“Spotting at TPA is a dream come true,” Dave said. “I never have to worry about being questioned about what I'm doing and I've developed some great relationships with both airport staff and other spotters.”

TPA is planning exclusive plane spotter events later this year to provide unique opportunities for the group’s members to witness aircraft up close and capture more unique photos and videos.

To stay in the loop about these exclusive events and learn more about aircraft on their way to Tampa Bay, join The Plane Spot Facebook group.