On the way from Moscow to Manila I made a one-day stopover in Shanghai for planespotting in the second busiest China airport. Thanks to 144-hours visa-free transit and convenient Ramada Hotel at the airport, the stopover was easy and pleasant. Everything was fine except the spotting. In competition for the title of the most spotting-unfriendly big international airport, Pudong definitely will be among the leaders. In the vicinity of terminals the spotting opportunities are absent, known spots outside the airport on the threshold of runways 17 and 16 were out of use due to landing to the opposite threshold, so the only option was to try to find spotting locations in the terminals. Both terminals 1 and 2, located opposite each other, have the elevated driveways which, according to previous spotting reports, could be used to make pictures.
But the reality became less optimistic that expectations based on the info from the Web. All driveways are equipped with the fence made of dense metallic net with no place to put the lenses through. The driveway on both sides of T1 faced few rarely used aircraft parking lots behind the terminal building. From the northern driveway of T2 also only few parking lots are visible. But from the small place between the southern part of T2 and southern driveway there are few meters of pavement without net. Taxiway between T1 and T2 can be visible from there in the long distance and in very restricted angle. Luckily, both North and South sides of T2 have windows on the departure level. The same parking lots could be seen from there but with the better angle. The between-terminals taxiway also can be seen. So the majority of photos were made from these southern windows.
As to traffic, it is very dense and relatively variable in terms of airlines and liveries. Pudong is the home of China Eastern and Juneyao Airlines. Aircrafts of these two companies accounts for about the half of Pudong traffic. China Eastern is based in T1, and can be hardly catched on the apron from T2 windows. Juneyao use T2, and has the better chances to be pictured from spotting locations in T2. A lot of other Chinese airlines as well as many international carriers are also present at the airport.
Shanghai Pudong Brief Spotting Guide