My son is obsessed with airplanes. I totally think he is going to be a pilot. That’s what we are hoping for anyways- ha! That would save us a ton of money in travel, am I right? He is a crazy little toddler that is always on the move, but when he sees an airplane he stops everything he is doing and just stares at it. I started thinking that we should take him to see airplanes take off and land. He would love that. But where do you go to see airplanes in southwest Florida? Here is a little list of places–
Lee County Port Authority
I contacted the Lee County Port Authority (known in our household as the Fort Myers airport) and they said they have two observation areas, one at Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) and one at Page Field (FMY).
The Observation area at RSW– this is located on the north side of the airport near Chamberlin Parkway on Air Cargo Lane. The area is fenced in and just off the road across from the runway and air cargo facilities. The area is marked with an “Aircraft Observation Area” sign. It’s open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Observers are asked to remain inside the fenced area and off the road.
The RSW Terminal– there are two atriums with floor to ceiling windows facing the runway in the terminal’s public area. There is cost for short-term parking.
The Page Field observation area– this is located on the southwest side of the airport on Danley Drive. There are “Aircraft Observation Area” directional signs on Danley Drive making the driveway to the observation area. The space is opn 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Also, FMY has two World War II aircrafts on display at Base Operations at Page Field located at 5200 Captain Channing Page Drive in Fort Myers. The North American T-6 Texan is located outside next to the main parking lot. The North American P-51 Mustang is hanging inside the terminal building. Parking at Base Operations is free.
Get more information about Lee County Port Authority airport here.
Punta Gorda Airport
I contacted the Punta Gorda airport and they suggested the airfield that is on Beechcraft Avenue closest to the Experiemental Aircraft Association building. Get more information about the Punta Gorda Airport here.
I contacted the Sarasota Airport and they suggested three spotting areas. Also, you can get a flight schedule for Sarasota Airport here.
Inside the terminal– going inside the terminal to the observation deck that overlooks the concourse gates and ramp area behind the glass is a great spott. It is located on the 3rd floor. To get there you would need to enter the terminal building to the left of the main overhang. Take the metal elevator in front of you to the 3rd floor. Get off the elevator, go right and take the door right after the restroom on your left. You will have to go through another door and then immediately take the door to your right to get outside on the observation deck.
On the east side of the terminal– Inside the terminal building is a little outside park with shaded seating on a little mound, overlooking a part of the airfield.
15th Street East– This is suggested by the Sarasota airport as the best place to spot airplanes. It’s referred to as Old 301 Blvd., right across from Honeywell & the SRQ Aviation Commerce Park. It is a sanded parking area right along the fence line of the airfield.