If you are looking for an awesome place to watch big jumbo jetliners land in San Diego, this is your place. Laurel Airport Parking is a 9 story (I think) parking garage located about 1,500 feet from where the jet’s tires hit the tarmac at San Diego International Airport.
After doing some research, I’ve found the folks at Laurel Airport Parking don’t care for people using their facility as entertainment. I can absolutely understand that too. When I visited, I paid my daily $9 and proceeded to the very top. It’s an older building, so the fit is tight and a little low. Once I arrived at the roof I grabbed my 17-35mm lens, opened up Flight Aware and anxiously waited for the next airplane to land.
A few minutes later I saw landing lights in the distance. From what I saw on Flight Aware, it was a Southwest Airlines 737. Not the biggest jet but certainly no Cessna 150. The lights got brighter as they passed over San Diego’s Balboa Park and I saw the outline of a jumbo jet. Finally I could see it coming toward me on top of the Laurel Airport Parking building and I positioned my camera just right to catch it. WOOSH!!! Right over my head, I felt like I could touch it though the jet was still a hundred or so feet above my head.
My experience at the top of the Laurel Airport Parking garage felt like the scene in Wayne’s World where Wayne and Garth laid on top of Garth’s Pacer and watched the airplanes fly over. What an awesome place… but be careful and respectful if you go there.