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KCLE Spotting Guide

Cleveland Hopkins International – KCLE Spotting Guide

Here you will find information about aircraft spotting at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE)

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) is the largest and busiest airport in the state of Ohio and a focus city for Frontier Airlines. In 2016, the annual passenger traffic at the airport was 8,422,676. Cleveland Hopkins is served by Air Canada Express, Allegiant Airlines, American Airlines, American Eagle, Delta Air Lines, Delta Connection, Frontier Airlines, Icelandair, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, United Airlines, United Express, and WOW Air. There is also the following seasonal charter service offered by Apple Vacations which is operated by Frontier or Swift Air, and Vacation Express which is operated by Frontier, Swift Air, and Xtra Airways. Daily Cargo operators are FedEx Express, FedEx Feeder operated by Mountain Air Cargo as well as UPS Airlines.

The airport was founded in 1925, making it the first municipality owned airport in the United States. It has been the site of several other airport firsts: the first air traffic control tower, ground to air radio control, and the first airfield lighting system, all in 1930, and the first U.S. airport to be directly connected to a local or regional rail transit system, in 1968. The airport was named after its founder, former city manager William R. Hopkins, on his 82nd birthday in 1951.

Click the ICONS in the map for more information/photos/directions and spotting information. Guide to map icons:

Click the camera icon for spotting/info/directions around Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE)
Click the Food/Drink! icon for food. Spotting sometimes requires a lot of time out in the sun. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water, and get food when you need it. I usually bring a cooler with water. More food locations can be found by following this Google map link: http://g.co/maps/u4gub
Click the Gas icon for gas. Most have convenience stores as well. More gas stations around KCLE can be found by following this Google map link: http://g.co/maps/5wurh
Click the Hotel icon for a place to stay if you are going to be here overnight. More hotels around KCLE can be found by following this Google map link: http://g.co/maps/39y4m

Random Photos from Cleveland Hopkins Airport (CLE/KCLE)


Passenger Aircraft you can expect to see (This list is a work in progress)
  • Air Canada Express (Air Georgian): Air Canada Express, operated by Air Georgian, offers four flights a day during the week and three on the weekends to Toronto-Pearson. The flights are flown by the CRJ-100 or CRJ-200.
  • Allegiant Air: Allegiant Air operates the A319 and the A320 to Cleveland serving 10 destinations including Austin-Bergstrom, Orlando/Sanford/Daytona Beach, Destin-Fort Walton, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Myrtle Beach, New Orleans, Punta Gorda/Fort Myers, Savannah/Hilton Head, and Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg. Allegiant’s Make-A-Wish livery on N218NV and its Visit Florida livery on N228NV are both frequent visitors.
  • American Airlines: American flies the A319, the 737, the ERJ-190, and the MD-80 to CLE. The 737 and the MD-80 fly to American’s largest hub at Dallas/Forth Worth, four times a day on weekdays and three on weekends. The A319 or the ERJ-190 are used twice daily to fly to the airline’s second largest hub at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, and twice a day to its fourth largest hub at Philadelphia.
    American Eagle (Air Wisconsin): operates thrice daily service to Philadelphia on its CRJ-100s or CRJ-200s.
    American Eagle (Endeavor Air): Endeavor operates throughout the day to Chicago-O’Hare on CRJ-700s.
    American Eagle (Envoy Air): Envoy operates throughout the day to Chicago-O’Hare on CRJ-700s, and to New York-JFK, New York-LaGuardia, and Miami on ERJ-145s.
    American Eagle (Piedmont Airlines): Piedmont offers daily service to Philadelphia on ERJ-145s.
    American Eagle (PSA Airlines): PSA serves Charlotte Douglas two to three times a day onboard a CRJ-900.
    American Eagle (Republic Airline): Republic serves Charlotte Douglas with an ERJ-175 and Miami with an ERJ-170 on a daily basis.
    American Eagle (SkyWest Airlines): SkyWest operates throughout the day to Chicago-O’Hare on CRJ-700s.
    American Eagle (Trans States Airlines): Trans States flies the ERJ-145 three times a day to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
  • Delta Air Lines: Delta operates a varied narrow bodied fleet in Cleveland. Spotters may see the 717-200, A319, A320, and MD-88/90 here. These aircraft serve Atlanta, Detroit, and Minneapolis-St. Paul.
    Delta Connection (Endeavor Air): Endeavor operates the CRJ-700 and CRJ-900 on flights to Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York–JFK and New York–LaGuardia.
    Delta Connection (ExpressJet Airlines): ExpressJet operates the CRJ-700 and CRJ-900 on flights to Atlanta, New York-LaGuardia, and Raleigh–Durham.
    Delta Connection (GoJet Airlines): GoJet operates the CRJ-700 and CRJ-900 on behalf of Delta Connection to Detroit.
    Delta Connection (SkyWest Airlines): SkyWest operates the CRJ-700 and CRJ-900 on flights to Detroit and Minneapolis/St. Paul.
  • Frontier Airlines: Frontier operates A320s and A321s at CLE, with services to Atlanta, Austin, Denver, Fort Myers, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Orlando, Phoenix, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Tampa. The airline also operates seasonal service to Cancun. A number of these routes are soon to be cut.
  • Icelandair: Icelandair will operate the 757 for direct flights to Keflavik International Airport in Iceland, four days a week, beginning on May 4th, 2018.
  • JetBlue: JetBlue operates thrice daily service to Boston on its ERJ-190s and daily service to Fort Lauderdale on its A320s.
  • Southwest Airlines: Southwest has the second largest presence at CLE after Frontier. It operates its 737-700s and -800s to the airport, regularly servicing Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago–Midway, Denver, Las Vegas, Milwaukee, Nashville, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, and St. Louis. It also offers seasonal flights to Fort Myers and Orlando.
  • Spirit Airlines: Spirit operates A320s and A321s with service to Atlanta, Boston, Dallas/Fort Worth, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Myrtle Beach, New Orleans, and Orlando.
  • Swift Air: Swift Air operates flights to Punta Cana every Monday on a 737 from May 21st to July 30th on behalf of Vacation Express. On Saturdays from May 26 to June 30, the airline operates flights to Montengo Bay.
  • United Airlines:  United operates its narrow body aircraft throughout the day at CLE, including its A319s, A320s, and 737s. The airline operates to Chicago-O’Hare, Denver, Los Angeles, Newark, Orlando, and San Francisco. It also offers seasonal service to Cancun, Charleston, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, and San Juan, either operated by mainline aircraft or its United Express affiliates.
    United Express (ExpressJet Airlines): ExpressJet operates the ERJ-135 and ERJ-145 to Boston, Houston, New York-LaGuardia, Newark, Milwaukee, and Washington-National.
    United Express (Mesa Airlines): Mesa operates the ERJ-175 on its twice daily service to United’s second largest hub at Houston-Intercontinental. It also operates the CRJ-700 for twice daily service to Washington-Dulles.
    United Express (Republic Airlines): Republic flies the ERJ-175 once a day between CLE and Newark, United’s third largest hub.
    United Express (Trans States Airlines): Trans States operates the ERJ-145 for thrice daily service to United’s sixth largest hub.
  • WOW air: WOW air will operate the A320 and A321 for direct flights to Keflavik International Airport in Iceland on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays arriving and departing between 23:00 and 01:00.
  • Xtra Airways: Xtra Airways operates charter flights on a 737 to Punta Cana on behalf of Apple Leisure Group.
Cargo Aircraft you can expect to see (This list is a work in progress)
  • FedEx Airlines: FedEx typically operates two A300-600 freighters from Memphis arriving at 05:45 and 18:00 on weekdays and on Saturdays, and between 18:00 and 19:00 on Sundays. The A300s depart at 07:45 and 20:15 Monday through Saturday. FedEx also operates daily 757 service to Indianapolis and Newark arriving at 06:30 and 04:40, both departing at 22:45.
  • FedEx Airlines Feeder (Mountain Air Cargo): Mountain Air Cargo operates the C208 Cargomaster to Erie. Rarely, an ATR42 or 72 services this flight.
  • UPS Airlines: UPS Airlines operates 757s, 767s, or MD-11s to Louisville. The MD-11 is most common, followed by the 767, the 757 is most common during the holiday season.
NASA Aircraft you can expect to see

NASA also has an operation here with a hanger. NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio researches, designs, develops, and tests innovative technology for aeronautics and spaceflight. Glenn Research Center designs game-changing technology for spaceflight that enables further exploration of the universe. It creates cutting-edge aeronautical technology that revolutionizes air travel. For its research, Glenn operates two S-3 “Viking” aircraft, a Twin Otter, as well as a T34-C Mentor, which currently does various in flight experiments. The Center also operates Learjet 23s and 25s, however these don’t fly often.

Business Jets you might see

Atlantic Aviation is the lone fixed-based operator on the field. Two Part 135 carriers, Sky Quest and Rite Flite, are based in the hangar. As well, a number of Part 91 operators including Sherwin Williams, Park Corporation, and Invacare, are Atlantic tenants. Delta Private Jets also manages one aircraft in the hangar and Aircraft Management Group also manages a number of aircraft based here. Also on the field are Parker-Hannifin and KeyBank’s corporate flight departments in their own hangars.
Constant Aviation, headquartered down the street from the airport operates a large maintenance repair and overhaul facility on the field.
The FBO brings a number of business jets including King Airs, the Embraer Phenom 300, the Beechcraft 400, the Cessna 560, the Cessna 680, the Hawker 800/900, and the Falcon 2000. Many of these aircraft are operated by Sky Quest, but also larger operators such as Wheels Up, Flight Options/Flexjet, and NetJets are frequent visitors.
Constant Aviation brings a number of Cessna 750 Citation X’s for XOJet maintenance as well as a variety of Flight Options/Flexjet aircraft and a number of Embraer business jets, most often the Embraer Legacy.

Unique Aircraft you might be lucky to see

During the football, baseball, and basketball seasons, various aircraft can be seen at CLE. As of now most large charters park on the cargo/freight ramp and are serviced by Atlantic. These charters include United and Delta A321s and 757s. Occasionally, Miami Air International, Eastern Air Lines, or Swift Air will operate a 737 charter as well, either to Atlantic’s ramp or the cargo ramp. Casino and vacation charters are common to Concourse A including Swift Air, Sun Country Airlines, and Xtra Airways.
In addition to the charter traffic at CLE, the highly ranked, expert care offered by The Cleveland Clinic, brings a number of interesting foreign aircraft, recently including Al Atheer’s A310, a Kuwait Air Force C-17, a Dubai Air Wing 737, and an Abu Dhabi Amiri Flight 747, and many more. The location of the airport also makes it a good entrance point to the US, in lieu of an overflight permit, also attracting interesting visitors including a TAG Aviation Falcon 7X and an Abu Dhabi 747 carrying horses to the Kentucky Derby.

Happy Spotting from OPShots!!

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