The Albany International Airport
A Look at its Aircraft on Film

Tom Hildreth

Joining other commercial airports in the northeast that have had extensive improvements in recent years, the airport at Albany, New York (KALB/ALB) has some interesting features for the aviation photographer and spotter. Exiting I-87 (The Northway) at Exit 4, follow the airport signs to Airport Access Road. On the right, about 1/2 mile down the road, you will see a small linear parking lot. This lot excellent is for plane watchers, and I'm glad to report that from mid-morning on, arrivals on runway #01 can be photographed to good effect here. I'm not sure if they are still there, but a series of metal signs embossed with the images and information on specific types of aircraft operating from ALB were placed on poles here when the lot was first paved. A nice touch.

When the new terminal opened up, a large viewing area was made available on the second floor. It is essentially a huge glassed-in hall, and quite popular with air travelers and their relatives. If you can deal with photography through glass, this can be a pretty good spot around mid-day onward. Many of the following photos were taken there. We are fortunate that the glass at the newer airport terminals is not as heavily tinted as it is down south, and you can get pretty good results on film or sensor. Dark clothes and a rubber lens hood will help.

This is a B727 on approach to runway 01 from the parking lot on the way in to the airport

In years past, you could shoot aircraft taxying out for takeoff on runway #01 from the parking lot, such as this Allegheney Twin Otter below. Multiple fences have pretty well made this impossible today.

The terminal at Albany dares to be different in an industry where glass and gleaming metal are the dominant materials used in construction. The facade of Albany's terminal gives the impression of a pleasing brick edifice as seen below. It is true however, that as with many new airports, the terminal is nearly overshadowed by the huge multi-storey parking lot plunked right down in front of it.

Once inside, the halls and spaces gracefully follow the curved front of the building

On 25 November 2000 I took the shots below on Kodak Gold 100
Down the airstairs onto the tarmac, the flight is about to begin for these folks.

I could never predict what US Airways would be flying at ALB. Some visits it was a beehive of B1900Ds, other times the Dash 8 was on the ramp in strength as in this view.

And in this shot, we see one of the former

Here's a look at the activity on 30 May 2003 on Kodak Elite 200
This flight often was covered by a B.727, but here we see an MD80

Regional jets coming on strong by this date

From the observation deck, this is an MD departing on runway #01, in a shot that makes me like Elite 200 all over again

Some shots from 4 June 2005 on Fuji Astia 100F A Canadair CRJ Regional Jet of the short-lived Independence Air

This Northwest DC-9 was veteran of the airways

The latest version of the Canadair Regional Jet

American Eagle Embraer ERJ regional jet

And from 21 April 2006 A couple of shots on Ilford Delta 400 B&W

A final shot for the historians among us, a "Pocket Rocket" taken in the early 1970s

Hope you enjoyed the visit to ALB