Airport Viewing Areas Offer Unique Space to Watch Aircraft

Photo above – RDU’s viewing area. Photo by Kenyah Johnson.

Many airports across the country, both commercial and general aviation, provide viewing areas to watch aircraft come and go.

From Mesa, Arizona’s Falcon Field to Raleigh-Durham International (RDU) in North Carolina, airplane lovers have a great place to comfortably and safely watch the action.

RDU’s viewing area includes a play area, seating and a picnic area. Photo by Kenyah Johnson.

In Mesa residents have a new place to delight in aviation with the opening of a newly renovated aircraft viewing area.

“Falcon Field is proud to contribute this special viewing area to Mesa,” said Airport Director Corinne Nystrom. “It is the latest in our continued efforts to bring the community, youth and families to the airport and foster an interest in aviation so that future generations will want to pursue careers in the industry.”

The viewing area is a capital improvement project funded by Falcon Field Airport. It is open daily and can be accessed directly from the terminal building parking lot. The sidewalk leading to the park is painted with authentic runway markings.

Falcon Field Photo.

In addition to existing free binoculars and historic photographic murals, improvements include:

  • A clear plexiglass view fence facing out to the airfield
  • Benches for seating in front of the view fence, as well as picnic tables and chairs
  • Colorful canvas shade sails
  • Two airplane-shaped seats for children
  • New grass turf area

The historic photographic murals facing into the viewing area are among 16 murals that have been installed in recent years on buildings and facilities to commemorate Falcon Field’s role as a training base for British Royal Air Force and U.S. Army Air Corps pilots during World War II.

With seating, shade and turf areas, the viewing area is an ideal spot to enjoy a picnic or bring children or visitors for a unique view of Mesa. For added fun, visitors can stop in the airport administration office during business hours for a free toy glider to fly in the park!

At RDU, great informational signs are provided, from ‘How Airplanes Fly’ to ‘Air Traffic Control’. Photo by Kenyah Johnson.

In Raleigh, families and aviation enthusiasts can enjoy sweeping views of RDU’s primary runway while watching planes and listening to pilot-tower communications at Observation Park. The park is a longtime favorite for kids of all ages and RDU was pleased to welcome them back last August after a temporary closure.

The park at RDU is free and no reservations are needed.