Latitude 34.209 Longitude -118.489
GROUND – 121.700
TOWER – 119.300 (Departure Runway 16R/34L)
TOWER – 132.325 (Departure Runway 16L/34R)
SOCAL APPROACH/DEPARTURE – 120.400,124.600,134.200,135.050
Van Nuys despite recent building work is still a very open airport and there are many places to stop around the airport to see all the aircraft parked. I would recommend navigating the airfield in a clockwise direction starting at the 94th Aero Squadron. Anybody coming off the 405 should exit at Roscoe and then turn left onto Woodley. I have listed the main spots for watching the action for any length of time and the places that are good for photos. Remember when you come to the lights at the Airtel Plaza do not turn right onto Vanowen instead go straight on and then turn right on Vanowen and this will take you to the Skytrails FBO and past the end of the runway. The next right onto Hayvenhurst will bring you back along the West side of the airport.
A. 94th Aero Squadron Restaurant (Raymer Street)
If navigating the airfield in a clockwise direction the first viewing area is the 94th Aero Squadron Restaurant. Good close up views of the holding point and all arriving aircraft when Runway 16R is in use. This location is located opposite the Heliflight hangers. Located to the left hand side are the fire fighting aircraft (which consist of two CL-415s and an Erickson S-64 Skycrane) which are based from July – November.
The restaurant is open from 11am although access to the outside area can be gained through the gates on the left hand side. Ideal for photos until 1pm.
B. Official Viewing Area (Waterman Drive)
The Official Viewing Area is located at the end of Waterman Drive and is open from dawn until dusk and is equipped with seats, tables and live ATC and it also offers some cover from the sun. It is situated opposite the Los Angeles Police and Fire Dept Helicopter hangers. To the right hand side of this are the fire fighting aircraft (which consist of two CL-415s and an Erickson S-64 Skycrane) which are based from July – November. Ideal place for photos until 1pm.
C. Airtel Plaza Hotel
Located just after Clay Lacy the Airtel Plaza is an ideal place to stay when in the area, It offers great views of the runways from the rooms and for those not staying at the hotel the large car park is ideal for spotting and is excellent for photos before 1pm.
My article on the Airtel Plaza which was published in Aviation News Monthly can be found at :
D. Skytrails Car Park
The FBO car park is good for photos of arriving aircraft when Runway 34L is in use and arrivals are from the South. This area is excellent for photos before 1pm.
E. Helinet Maintenance Car Park
The Helinet maintenance facility is located at the end of Hart Street. There is not much parking during the weekly work hours but almost empty in the evenings and at weekends. Great place for photographs when departures are departing from the South and using Runway 34L. This area is excellent for photos after 1pm.
F. Airport Police Car Park
The police car park is situated just off Havenhurst Avenue.. Turn right after passing Sherman Way before you get to Signature and follow the car park to the right and the fence line. This area is opposite the Airtel Plaza and is great for photos after 1pm.
G. Industrial Park Bins
The Industrial Park bins are located at the end of the road after passing the Condor Squadron. There is a brick building here which houses the industrial bins and you can climb on top of this structure and see over the fence. Ideal for photos after 1pm.
H. Railroad Crossing
Located on Roscoe Blvd adjacent to the Bob Hoover FBO. All arrivals can be seen from this point and it’s great for photos after 1pm but due to the blast fences that have recently been erected the view of the runway is now obstructed.