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Observation Decks In The U.S.?  
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22734 posts, RR: 20
Posted (8 years 3 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 4680 times:

On a recent trip to MSP, I discovered the observation deck above Concourse D. It's nice and quiet, and the views of the ramp as well as 12L-30R are pretty darn good. Do other airports in this country boast similar facilities? Despite being a frequent NW flier, I had no idea it was there.


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I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
55 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineJacobin777 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 14968 posts, RR: 60
Reply 1, posted (8 years 3 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 4673 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Thread starter):
On a recent trip to MSP, I discovered the observation deck above Concourse D. It's nice and quiet, and the views of the ramp as well as 12L-30R are pretty darn good. Do other airports in this country boast similar facilities? Despite being a frequent NW flier, I had no idea it was there.

SJC has one in Terminal C


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User currently offlineJsposaune From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 291 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (8 years 3 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 4652 times:

There's one at ABQ, right in the middle of the terminal. Pretty nice, from what I remember. (Its been 5 or 6 years)


There are no stupid questions....only stupid people!!!
User currently offlineAirwave From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 1117 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (8 years 3 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 4621 times:

In the upper level of the main terminal at ABE, there's both a terrace room and a cocktail lounge that (used to, at least) have views of the tarmac and the departure building. And they're both before security.

Of course, you'll be lucky to see much of anything--ABE isn't known for a high level of ramp activity, lol, but I figured I'd at least note it, haha.

Airwave  eyebrow 



When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all.
User currently offlineHawaiian717 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3188 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (8 years 3 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 4603 times:

Quoting Jsposaune (Reply 2):
There's one at ABQ, right in the middle of the terminal. Pretty nice, from what I remember. (Its been 5 or 6 years)

Yes. It's past the security checkpoint, so you'll need a ticket to get there. It's right where the A and B concourses meet, above the food court; stairs to access it are on both sides.

From what I understand it was designed for the pre-9/11 era when family meeting arriving passengers could go to the gate, this gave them somewhere else to sit, enjoy the view, and maybe buy some food and drinks.

A photo I took of it last year:

http://www.spotterswiki.com/index.php?title=Image:Abqobs-inside.jpg


User currently offlineHawaiian717 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3188 posts, RR: 7
Reply 5, posted (8 years 3 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 4595 times:

Monterey Peninsula Airport in Monterey, CA (MRY) also has an observation deck. It's outside, on top of the baggage claim area. There is a glass partition between you and the ramp, you can either shoot through it or settle for departure shots; most aircraft will be in the air by the time they reach the terminal building if they depart on runway 28L.

The left photo was shot on climb out, the right through the glass:


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Photo © David Mueller
MyAviation.net photo:
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Photo © David Mueller



User currently offlineComairGuyCVG From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 337 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (8 years 3 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4532 times:

Tri-City, TN (KTRI) has one Smile

User currently offlineMKEdude From South Korea, joined May 2005, 1011 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (8 years 3 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4513 times:

MHT has one, upstairs right before security.

Both BTV and LGB have excellent views from the bar.



"You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline." Frank Zappa
User currently offlineFutureFO From Ireland, joined Oct 2001, 3132 posts, RR: 21
Reply 8, posted (8 years 3 months 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 4438 times:

They were doing construcyion on the area around the one at TRI. Unfortuantely the Obs deck is a rare item at airports in the US.



Sean from MCO and SDF



I Don't know where I am anymore
User currently offlineRdu777 From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 221 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (8 years 3 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 4388 times:

There are two observation decks at RDU. The first on is outdoors looking towards rwy 23R/5L and is great for morning photos. The second deck is located on the second level of the new general aviation terminal and overlooks the Gen. Aviation flightline and rwy 23L/5R. This deck is great for afternoon photos. Both are wonderful in my opinion.

[Edited 2006-05-02 16:17:43]


Go Wolfpack!!
User currently offlineN864DA From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 259 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (8 years 3 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 4368 times:

HPN has an observation deck right above the terminal. It faces the main runway, 16/34 and the view is excellent though it is not always open. Another good airport with an observation deck above the terminal is ALB. That one is fully enclosed but the windows are very clean. The area itself is spacious and has benches. Takeoff shots from 1/19 are possible.

N864DA


User currently offlineF16arm From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 90 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (8 years 3 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4307 times:

Cvg also has one in con. B, one side overlooking the ramp and con. A and the south side overlooking 27/9, the app. end of 36R/C, the FBO, tower, and comair maint.


One weekend a month and two (cough, cough 45, 90, 120 days) weeks a year supports my habbit
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21529 posts, RR: 55
Reply 12, posted (8 years 3 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4284 times:

Quoting N864DA (Reply 10):
HPN has an observation deck right above the terminal. It faces the main runway, 16/34 and the view is excellent though it is not always open

Some photos from said observation deck:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/miyridian/101_0192.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/miyridian/101_0190.jpg

It does have a wire fence though, difficult to shoot through (I have a smaller camera so the lens was able to fit through the holes).

GRR has an enclosed observation deck, but traffic is very sparse. That's about all I can think of that hasn't already been mentioned.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22734 posts, RR: 20
Reply 13, posted (8 years 3 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4279 times:

Quoting F16arm (Reply 11):
Cvg also has one in con. B, one side overlooking the ramp and con. A and the south side overlooking 27/9, the app. end of 36R/C, the FBO, tower, and comair maint.

Where exactly are those? CVG is another airport I frequent (at least unless the DL hub disappears).



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineNateDAL From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 417 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (8 years 3 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4255 times:

The parking garages at IAH double as observation decks.


Set Love Free
User currently onlineHPRamper From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4037 posts, RR: 8
Reply 15, posted (8 years 3 months 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4235 times:

Quoting Hawaiian717 (Reply 4):
Yes. It's past the security checkpoint, so you'll need a ticket to get there. It's right where the A and B concourses meet, above the food court; stairs to access it are on both sides.

And elevator access as well. ABQ is great for spotting, better than most would expect. Plenty of USAF activity, F-16s several times a day as well as big military heavies occasionally.

Quoting ComairGuyCVG (Reply 6):
Tri-City, TN (KTRI) has one

To watch those Saabs, Dashes and the infrequent RJ ...one of the few decks I've actually been on.


User currently offlineDLKAPA From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (8 years 3 months 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4182 times:

ABQ also has two outdoor areas, one northwest of 3/21 overlooking the touchdown zone on 3, the other directly east of the touchdown zone of runway 17, facing that runway and the north side of the eastern concourse...which ever one that is.

And don't forget LAS, they're very spotter-friendly as well.


User currently offlineCXB744 From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 215 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (8 years 3 months 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4159 times:

The top of the terminal 4 parking garage at PHX is great for viewing both the north & south complexes, especially in the afternoon.

PS - I wish they would reopen the observation deck on top of the Encounter restaurant at LAX. Far chance.



What is it? It's A 747-400, but that's not important right now.
User currently offlineCVG72 From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 167 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (8 years 3 months 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4152 times:

The Udvar-Hazy center at IAD has one. It's not too bad, except for there wasn't a lot of traffic when I was there.

CVG72



Roll Tide // Next: UA/EV/LH CVG-EWR-FRA-DUS-MUC-EWR-CVG
User currently offlineJetpixx From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 845 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (8 years 3 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4092 times:

CLE used to have a great observation deck. When the airport first opened, one could traverse the entire roof of Concourse B. Later in the 70s and 80s, the deck was confined to the end of the concourse above where the Southwest gates are now. Currently, the outdoor area has been closed, although there is a small glass-enclosed room where you can get a few looks of the field, but since 9/11 it has not been the same unfortunately.

PDX does not have an observation deck, but it is nearly the same on top of the parking garages.

I have also visited the MHT deck as mentioned above - and that is a very enjoyable area. You can go there without having to pass through security, which is very nice.


User currently offlineCptSpeaking From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 639 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (8 years 3 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4079 times:

Quoting Rdu777 (Reply 9):
There are two observation decks at RDU. The first on is outdoors looking towards rwy 23R/5L and is great for morning photos. The second deck is located on the second level of the new general aviation terminal and overlooks the Gen. Aviation flightline and rwy 23L/5R. This deck is great for afternoon photos. Both are wonderful in my opinion.

 checkmark 
Your CptSpeaking  wave  from a 5 mi. final to 23R at RDU (on the ground wink  )



...and don't call me Shirley!!
User currently offlineFLY2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (8 years 3 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4079 times:

Quoting NateDAL (Reply 14):
The parking garages at IAH double as observation decks.

Same for MEX on the north garage and for PHX, although I've been told to put the camera away by f***ing rent-a-cops at both airports for taking pictures from the garage...  Yeah sure


User currently onlineHPRamper From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4037 posts, RR: 8
Reply 22, posted (8 years 3 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4021 times:

Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 21):
although I've been told to put the camera away by f***ing rent-a-cops at both airports for taking pictures from the garage...

That's because only terrorists take pictures of planes at an airport  redflag 

Quite lame.


User currently offlineTjwgrr From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 2425 posts, RR: 3
Reply 23, posted (8 years 3 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 3967 times:

A few photos taken from our viewing area at GRR:


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Photo © Steve Kempf - Jetwash Images
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Photo © Steve Kempf - Jetwash Images




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Photo © Doug Owens
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Photo © Steve Kempf - Jetwash Images



One I took:




Direct KNOBS, maintain 2700' until established on the localizer, cleared ILS runway 26 left approach.
User currently offlineCgnnrw From Germany, joined May 2005, 1145 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (8 years 3 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 3959 times:

Quoting Airwave (Reply 3):
In the upper level of the main terminal at ABE, there's both a terrace room and a cocktail lounge that (used to, at least) have views of the tarmac and the departure building. And they're both before security.

Of course, you'll be lucky to see much of anything--ABE isn't known for a high level of ramp activity, lol, but I figured I'd at least note it, haha.

MDT also has a small corner with windows set aside as an observation deck. Yes, on a busy day you count the endless RJs, Turbos coming and going. If you're really lucky you'll spot one of the 2 daily Air Ontario DHs from Toronto giving MDT that "international" flair.



A330 man.
25 DCA-ROCguy : ROC's concession atrium has great views of 10/28 activity and the ramp between the concourses. This area used to be open to the public, but since the
26 DCA-ROCguy : Speaking of ROC....anyone remember the restaurant in the atrium area of the old terminal? The floor was elevated three feet or so. Thus, even though t
27 Danairbus : BWI also has an observation deck behind the delta ticket counter.
28 AA61Hvy : DFW has an area, but not a deck per se. It's an area off the airport at the intersection of taxiway echo romeo, right near 35/17C. Awesome place. The
29 N766UA : I've been to CVG a dozen times in the past 2 months and haven't seen any designated observation decks.
30 DeltaGator : How do you get to these spots?
31 ComairGuyCVG : Cvg also has one in con. B, one side overlooking the ramp and con. A and the south side overlooking 27/9, the app. end of 36R/C, the FBO, tower, and
32 Post contains images HPRamper : Some of the best places for spotting at PDX aren't on airport property. 82nd Avenue runs directly past the end of 10R-28L, this is the runway the wid
33 SBN580 : SBN (South Bend, IN) has one, but it is not open air. It is a nice glass enclosed lounge with seating and piped in tower audio. There is also a photo
34 Cubsrule : Yes... at MSP, it's just a glass box on top of Concourse D. Nothing fancy except the great views.
35 717-200 : Here at SEA there isn't realy an observation deck but the Pacific Marketplace (post security) is a good place to watch the coming and goings of both o
36 Post contains links Anair80 : Here is the website: Crosswinds Cafe this one is by RWY 5R/23L, and the other one is by the main RWY, 5L/23R RDU Observation Park
37 United787 : What a great looking plane and livery, the only thing I like about NW is their livery, it is the best, by far. And the 330 is awesome looking, I hope
38 Cubsrule : DTW diversion, no doubt.
39 Post contains images FXramper : What about Skylink? I mean, your getting about 80% AA traffic, but I always get great shots riding around on that thing!
40 Tjwgrr : Although we do get the occasional NWA A330 diversion, that particular photo wasn't a diversion, but rather it was a training flight when NWA was firs
41 SmAlbany : I'm quite happy they did that! (I may go there tonight actually ... ) Another thing to mention is that they pipe in the ATC frequencies over the PA s
42 Post contains links and images SmAlbany : Well, here's an update: I did go to ALB on Friday. I marched in from the parking garage and went to go up the stairs to the Observation Deck ... they
43 United_fan : Yes,Jim. I remember that place. My parents used to take us there to watch planes in the 70's and 80's . Remember the heat-runs that ths kids stood on
44 Post contains links and images DCA-ROCguy : SmAlbany: Thanks for the link! I'm glad to read that they're expanding the balcony. I thought when I was last there in October 2004, they needed more
45 SmAlbany : That's a great site. Brings back memories for sure. I moved to the Albany area in 1973 and I remember them building the 1979 addition. They used to h
46 SLUAviator : ORD does have an observation deck at the base of the T2 ramp tower. Sadly, to get there you need to have a badge and know which is the right door as
47 Post contains images NWA757boy : RSW has a viewing area inside the airport, not an observation deck per se. It's before secruity and you can get views from all the concourses except t
48 Visakow : Haven't gotten around to alot of airports mentioned in thread but do know that Portland, OR, TPA & SMF all have decent views from parking structure. P
49 Bushpilot : ANC has ] one although not a great one in the new C terminal, a tribute to Ted Stevens ego, does overlook the AS ramp, and the 18-36 rnwy, and the wes
50 FCYTravis : Burlington, Vermont (BTV) has one, albeit entirely enclosed... they opened up the former control tower on the roof of the terminal building, carpeted
51 Post contains images DCA-ROCguy : The BWI observation area referenced by Danairbus is good, though it has tinted windows. It was better in the late '90s when the Smithsonian store with
52 Post contains images United_fan : Jim,I'll have to find it. It's in one of my mom's photo albums. I know it's a -100 from the oval #2 inlet. This was before we got 'jetways' in the ROC
53 777DadandJr : Air Ontario is not doing MDT anymore. Air Georgian now runs 3x daily to YYZ, using B1900's. No, really lucky was Me and Jr on Saturday, at MDT watchi
54 ComairGuyCVG : Jeesh, what a dork. I work at an airport and take a lunch break to watch more planes. I need a life. LOL
55 Cschleic : Great to see MRY mentioned....I spent many an afternoon there when I was a kid. Even now, you can get views over the glass from the top of the stairs
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