aogdesk
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Best Features For Airport Observation/Viewing Area

Tue Oct 09, 2007 8:25 pm

The company that I work for is planning to equip a small airport viewing area with benches, live ATC feed radios etc. I'm hoping that many of you A.netters who have been to the worlds best observation areas can enlighten me with some of the best features of airport viewing areas. What would be really cool to make the observation great for kids and adults?

Thanks!
 
gjsint172
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RE: Best Features For Airport Observation/Viewing

Tue Oct 09, 2007 9:45 pm

Just some off the cuff thoughts:

1) A compass on the ground.
2) A veiw as close to %100 of airport movements as possible.
3) Arrivals and Departures board. It would have to be protected from the elements and easily viewable.
4) Garranteed security relaxation (Probably would require going through TSA horse apples)

Respectfully
GJSINT172
 
ANITIX87
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RE: Best Features For Airport Observation/Viewing

Tue Oct 09, 2007 9:49 pm

I'd like to see a fully interactive set-up, and while it may be a little too far-fetched to include all of my ideas, how about the following?

1) Airport diagram

2) Weather reports and radar, maybe?

3) ATC audio through either headphones or speakers, though the former is probably more useful since only real aviation nuts will go for it.

4) NO GLASS!!!! I can't tell you how disappointed it is when you go up to an observation deck and there's glass blocking everything.

I'm sure I can come up with more, but that's it for now, as I haven't been to too many observation decks that leave much to be desired.

TIS
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pnwtraveler
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RE: Best Features For Airport Observation/Viewing

Tue Oct 09, 2007 9:51 pm

Advertise it or get someone to write an article in the local paper that is geared to the airport employees etc. YYZ had or has one but I can't recall the name. If you keep on the good side of the airport they may include it in their newsletter or website. YVR has a "Spotters Park" with picnic tables etc. and have talked about it in their PR Newsletter. If you go to www.yvr.ca you may be able to find it. Airline employees may actually drop by and the kids would love that. A good way to keep on the good side of the airport is to post signs asking people not to feed the birds. Make sure the trash is in covered bins. Flocks of seagull or birds make the airport nervous about bird strikes and make you very unpopular. Your local aviation supply store maybe interested in being involved or at least you can put a notice up advertising your venture.
 
bok269
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RE: Best Features For Airport Observation/Viewing

Tue Oct 09, 2007 10:11 pm

Quoting Aogdesk (Thread starter):
live ATC feed radios etc

That is a very cool feature. That will surely make it a hit.

As others have said, glass and fencing obstructing the viewing area makes it difficult to take pictures. Also, make sure all security personnel, be it TSA, Police, airport employees, as well as FBO's and other employees around the airport know about the spotting area, its purpose, and what people are going to be doing there. This will allow spotters to fully enjoy the space without having to worry about people misinterpreting what they are doing, which is a major problem in this day and age.

Best of luck and keep us posted!
"Reality is wrong, dreams are for real." -Tupac
 
Boeing74741R
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RE: Best Features For Airport Observation/Viewing

Tue Oct 09, 2007 10:17 pm

Some ideas for a viewing area...

*Good observation mounds to allow viewers to look over the fence and get a decent shot of a plane
*Play area for the kids - let's face it they are not going to stand there for hours on end watching planes
*ATC/live weather feed played over loudspeakers
*Food/drink counter, with maybe a separate shop selling aviation stuff etc
*Toilets
*Have an aircraft on display for the public - whether it's a small classic single seater or a 737-200
*Easy access, so ideally easy to get to from the main airport terminal, and maybe an extra stop for a local bus service/shuttle bus from airport terminal to viewing area

The set up at MAN is good. Although not perfect it is one of the best facilities in the UK and maybe some inspiration could be drawn from there?

Best of luck with the project!  Smile
 
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tjwgrr
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RE: Best Features For Airport Observation/Viewing

Wed Oct 10, 2007 12:56 pm

Ours here in GRR is an excellent viewing area. We have:

-Picnic tables
-Live ATC broadcast on low-power A.M. frequency
-Porta-John (a permanent structure with real toilets would be nice)
-Raised parking and picnic area so you look over the fence, not through it.
-Centrally located so entire airport operations are visable.
-Monitored by airport police with video surveillance and vehicle patrols.

Other good ideas I'd like to see:

-Food stand or a mobile food vendor to serve snacks, drinks, and sandwiches.
-Play area for kids.
Direct KNOBS, maintain 2700' until established on the localizer, cleared ILS runway 26 left approach.
 
aogdesk
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RE: Best Features For Airport Observation/Viewing

Wed Oct 10, 2007 4:37 pm

Thank you all, excellent ideas. We've got an excellent vantage point to start with, so it will be fun to pull together some of these ideas and make a true observation area, instead of just having makeshift parking lots and such.

Tjwgrr, you don't have any photos of the GRR observation area do you?

Thanks again all!!!
 
connector4you
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RE: Best Features For Airport Observation/Viewing

Wed Oct 10, 2007 5:09 pm

Quoting Pnwtraveler (Reply 3):
YVR has a "Spotters Park" with picnic tables

It appears that Vancouver will finally have a REAL OBSERVATION DECK by 2009. At least that's what a construction billboard display inside domestic terminal is bragging about. Hopefully is not gonna be one of those glass enclosed areas with post-security access only.

Had the chance to see Munich observation deck featuring a beautiful 180 apron viewing area, unfortunately all see-trough glass. It's definitely a no go for photographers! Needless to say the place looked deserted. No refreshments outlet on deck either. Sad to see brilliant ideas half way consummated
 
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tjwgrr
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RE: Best Features For Airport Observation/Viewing

Wed Oct 10, 2007 6:22 pm

Quoting Aogdesk (Reply 7):
Tjwgrr, you don't have any photos of the GRR observation area do you?

Aogdesk,

No photos of the viewing area itself- I can take a few in the next couple days and email them to you if you'd like.

PM me your email address.

Many of these were taken from our viewing area:

http://www.airliners.net/search/phot...0%2F%20KGRR%29&distinct_entry=true
Direct KNOBS, maintain 2700' until established on the localizer, cleared ILS runway 26 left approach.
 
bond007
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RE: Best Features For Airport Observation/Viewing

Wed Oct 10, 2007 6:32 pm

Quoting Tjwgrr (Reply 6):
Ours here in GRR is an excellent viewing area.

Yes, I agree this is a great area  Smile

Restrooms and food/drinks are always welcome. I like ATC, but for the 'professional' spotter, the AM/VHF feed is sometimes a little frustrating as 2 or 3 freqs are usually scanned .. but we have our own scanners so not an issue really. It's nice for the general public for sure.


Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
stylo777
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RE: Best Features For Airport Observation/Viewing

Wed Oct 10, 2007 6:47 pm

Quoting Boeing74741R (Reply 5):
*Good observation mounds to allow viewers to look over the fence and get a decent shot of a plane
*Play area for the kids - let's face it they are not going to stand there for hours on end watching planes
*ATC/live weather feed played over loudspeakers
*Food/drink counter, with maybe a separate shop selling aviation stuff etc
*Toilets
*Have an aircraft on display for the public - whether it's a small classic single seater or a 737-200
*Easy access, so ideally easy to get to from the main airport terminal, and maybe an extra stop for a local bus service/shuttle bus from airport terminal to viewing area

= ZRH Big grin
 
visityyj
Posts: 380
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2000 7:23 am

RE: Best Features For Airport Observation/Viewing

Wed Oct 10, 2007 9:28 pm

Quoting Connector4you (Reply 8):
It appears that Vancouver will finally have a REAL OBSERVATION DECK by 2009. At least that's what a construction billboard display inside domestic terminal is bragging about. Hopefully is not gonna be one of those glass enclosed areas with post-security access only.

YVR observation "room" will not be behind security but it will be fully enclosed by glass. Not a DECK at all, I'm afraid (you can now see it from airside as the scaffolding has been removed) but lots of glass.
 
Evan767
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RE: Best Features For Airport Observation/Viewing

Thu Oct 11, 2007 1:30 am

I love observation decks that are outdoors. It love the feeling of walking out on an observation deck in the morning, still dark, a little humid, and feel the jet blast breeze. What would be an even bigger bonus, is if you are more prone to weather wherever you are is to make half of it outside and half of it inside.

You might want to put up a few posters, with a few facts on aviation, etc. to attract a bigger crowd.
The proper term is "on final" not "on finals" bud...
 
NG1Fan
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Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2007 11:53 pm

RE: Best Features For Airport Observation/Viewing

Thu Oct 11, 2007 2:50 am

One of the best is at NGO Centrair Airport. Outdoors so you can smell and hear aircraft. Great view over the bay. Can be very windy. At the end of this really long open walk, you to the viewing platform - great view of apron movements on both sides and of course of the single runway.

NG1Fan
 
babybus
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RE: Best Features For Airport Observation/Viewing

Thu Oct 11, 2007 5:44 am

No glass! NRT rooftop terrace has nice views but due to the glass you might as well be watching it on TV.

ATC live feed. Nothing more exciting than hearing "cleared for take-off".

A Dep / Arr board so you can see where the aircraft is going to/from.

Heathrow used to have a good one back in the 70's / 80's.
and with that..cabin crew, seats for landing please.

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