AviationAddict
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RDU Observation Park And GA Terminal Deck

Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:47 pm

I know this has been mentioned several times before in other threads but I just got back from a trip to Raleigh and I had to mention how much I enjoyed the Observation Park and GA Terminal Observation deck at RDU. Granted, in the long list of fantastic spotting locations around the world the RDU park is probably pretty low but, just the concept is fantastic. I was amazed at how many families were there utilizing the playground and just taking the sights and sounds of the airport; it seemed like the local community has really embraced the park.

Other airports in the US could really learn something from RDU. I'm so use to dealing with BOS where you'll get arrested for stopping to read a street sign...an Observation Park would never fly at Logan. Beyond the park I was also really impressed with the new Terminal 2 at RDU; I hadn't flown through there since the Eastern Airlines days so I was blown away with the new space. Overall I was really impressed with the airport, Raleigh-Durham should be proud.
 
tarheelwings
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RE: RDU Observation Park And GA Terminal Deck

Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:55 pm

Quoting AviationAddict (Thread starter):
Overall I was really impressed with the airport, Raleigh-Durham should be proud.

We are, thanks for the kind words.

Quoting AviationAddict (Thread starter):
I was amazed at how many families were there utilizing the playground and just taking the sights and sounds of the airport

As someone who used to take his kids there when they were younger, I know exactly what you mean: it is a very family and spotter freindly airport.
 
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Moose135
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RE: RDU Observation Park And GA Terminal Deck

Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:32 pm

I was up to RDU to do some spotting earlier this year, and really enjoyed it. Nice facility, friendly folks at the GA terminal. I only wish they hadn't put that NCDOT building right in line with the touchdown zone for 23R...
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rduoodl
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RE: RDU Observation Park And GA Terminal Deck

Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:42 pm

All of my family asks to stop in to both whenever they are in town. The only wish is that the RDUAA would put in a little bit better playground. The kids love the mock runways and we love it because they can run out their energy late at night. Often we grab ice cream in Brier Creek and head over to see the freighters depart. The GA deck is a great option on days when the weather is not optimal and its usually empty. Also, when the NCAA teams fly out he kids get a kick out of how close they get to be to the players when they board. The teams walk out right underneath you after clearing security.

Have seen many people at the observation on dates. Great place for conversation and a walk after dinner.
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RDUDDJI
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RE: RDU Observation Park And GA Terminal Deck

Fri Sep 27, 2013 5:32 pm

The (new) Observation park is nice, but not as good as the old Observation park it replaced (in the late 90's). The old park was along the (now closed) road that runs parallel to RWY 5L/23R. You could sit in your car and have an unobstructed view of all the 5L/23R ops (from one end of the RWY to the other). I never quite heard exactly why they closed that road, but it was rumored that it was because RDU was considering a 3rd parallel RWY back when JI still had a hub there. Personally, I think a 3rd RWY was a pipedream and that it was really closed for security reasons.

Quoting rduoodl (Reply 3):
Have seen many people at the observation on dates. Great place for conversation and a walk after dinner.

The old Ob Pk was better for dates.   You didn't even have to get out of the car (hint, hint). That being said, I've taken dates to both of the parks. At the new park, I like how they have the ATC feed piped in out there. It would be nice if they had a screen that some sort of ASD info, so casual observers could see what was coming next.

Quoting AviationAddict (Thread starter):
Overall I was really impressed with the airport, Raleigh-Durham should be proud.

If you had flown in/out of Term 1, you might feel differently.  
Sometimes we don't realize the good times when we're in them
 
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AVLAirlineFreq
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RE: RDU Observation Park And GA Terminal Deck

Sat Sep 28, 2013 1:13 am

As for me, I can't believe RDU finally got around to putting in a cell phone lot. No more waiting at the Sheetz.
 
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casinterest
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RE: RDU Observation Park And GA Terminal Deck

Sat Sep 28, 2013 3:20 am

I have always enjoyed the lot with my kids. I also enjoy nice quiet Saturday lunches in the GA concession area.

Quoting moose135 (Reply 2):
I only wish they hadn't put that NCDOT building right in line with the touchdown zone for 23R...

Yeah that changes quiet a bit.

Quoting AVLAirlineFreq (Reply 5):
As for me, I can't believe RDU finally got around to putting in a cell phone lot. No more waiting at the Sheetz.

Why not just wait at the observation park? It is quicker to get to T2.
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