SonaSounds
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SFO to Get First Public Pre-Security USA Outdoor Observation Deck?

Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:57 pm

Hey all,

After years or rumors, SFO officially announced they are going to build a public pre-security observation deck after they demo their old air traffic control tower. I know other airports across the world have had observation decks for decades, but the USA has been far behind this, especially after 9/11. There has recently been lounges with observations decks and there were some pre 9/11 observation decks. But are there any current pre-security, public observation decks in the United States or is this truly the first in the USA in this modern time of aviation?

Should have fantastic views from on top of SFO's Terminal 2. Won't be as high as the old ATCT due to blocking the view of the current tower, but it should still be a great vantage point.



Renderings in the article: http://travelskills.com/2017/03/14/sfo- ... -platform/
 
Mryflyer
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Re: SFO to Get First Public Pre-Security USA Outdoor Observation Deck?

Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:21 pm

MRY, less than 100 miles away, has had one for decades... Presecurity, open air. Only change with 9/11 was to increase height of glass walls.
 
SonaSounds
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Re: SFO to Get First Public Pre-Security USA Outdoor Observation Deck?

Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:37 pm

Mryflyer wrote:
MRY, less than 100 miles away, has had one for decades... Presecurity, open air. Only change with 9/11 was to increase height of glass walls.



No offense to MRY, but MRY is almost a GA airport doing about 200k annual commercial passengers. Quite a few small airports have great viewing locations (which I love taking advantage of, including MRY!). I guess I didn't make myself clear as I meant airports that have a decent commercial aviation operation going....maybe 3+ million annual passengers?
 
FSDan
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Re: SFO to Get First Public Pre-Security USA Outdoor Observation Deck?

Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:51 pm

Cool! The pre-security observation deck at AMS is awesome! It'll be nice to have something like that in the U.S.
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Mryflyer
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Re: SFO to Get First Public Pre-Security USA Outdoor Observation Deck?

Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:19 pm

SonaSounds wrote:
Mryflyer wrote:
MRY, less than 100 miles away, has had one for decades... Presecurity, open air. Only change with 9/11 was to increase height of glass walls.



No offense to MRY, but MRY is almost a GA airport doing about 200k annual commercial passengers. Quite a few small airports have great viewing locations (which I love taking advantage of, including MRY!). I guess I didn't make myself clear as I meant airports that have a decent commercial aviation operation going....maybe 3+ million annual passengers?


Fair enough.... I was taking the question as written... I will say that I have watched some great landings and takeoffs from that deck including Air Force One (707 version with President Ford), the Blue Angels, and a QF 747. I doubt I'll ever get any closer than that on the SFO deck or any other for that matter....
 
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SFOA380
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Re: SFO to Get First Public Pre-Security USA Outdoor Observation Deck?

Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:25 pm

There will also be a public observation deck and rooftop bar at the Grand Hyatt. Grand Hyatt will sit adjacent to Boarding Area A and is breaking ground soon and opening in 2019.
 
MakeMinesLAX
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Re: SFO to Get First Public Pre-Security USA Outdoor Observation Deck?

Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:31 pm

Call me biased, but I believe the observation deck in the Theme Building at LAX is probably the best example in terms of visibility, etc. I have to qualify that statement, though, since it's only open one weekend per month at present.
 
cschleic
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Re: SFO to Get First Public Pre-Security USA Outdoor Observation Deck?

Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:43 pm

MakeMinesLAX wrote:
Call me biased, but I believe the observation deck in the Theme Building at LAX is probably the best example in terms of visibility, etc. I have to qualify that statement, though, since it's only open one weekend per month at present.


The schedule changed? It used to be every weekend.

Yes, MRY has limited service, but it's a great vantage point. Many airports have garages that can double as observation areas, although the one at FLL is designated as a viewing area and has benches (albeit concrete blocks) for sitting. Several others have observation areas away from the terminal.
 
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KTPAFlyer
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Re: SFO to Get First Public Pre-Security USA Outdoor Observation Deck?

Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:52 pm

Wouldn't it have been better if they used the old ATC tower itself as the observation deck?

But hey, that's just me.
 
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ERJ170
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Re: SFO to Get First Public Pre-Security USA Outdoor Observation Deck?

Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:58 pm

RDU has 2 outdoor observations, one overlooking each runway. The main observation isn't connected to the terminal but definitely gives great views.. probably about 500' from the runway.. the other observation deck is at the general aviation where you can actually walk on the deck over the apron and see GA and runway excursions.: and includes a restaurant and indoor seating.. kinda hard to top that...
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CantbeGrounded
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Re: SFO to Get First Public Pre-Security USA Outdoor Observation Deck?

Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:16 pm

KTPAFlyer wrote:
Wouldn't it have been better if they used the old ATC tower itself as the observation deck?

But hey, that's just me.


The old tower is a visual obstruction to the new tower, and is not seismically up to date, so it must be removed.
 
bioyuki
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Re: SFO to Get First Public Pre-Security USA Outdoor Observation Deck?

Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:18 pm

KTPAFlyer wrote:
Wouldn't it have been better if they used the old ATC tower itself as the observation deck?

But hey, that's just me.


I was up in the old tower before they started the demo. Not practical...the entire area is secure, with biometric security, since you're able to access other parts of the building. Also, the old ATC tower itself is tiny, you can't fit more than ~10 people up there at a time.
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CantbeGrounded
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Re: SFO to Get First Public Pre-Security USA Outdoor Observation Deck?

Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:18 pm

ERJ170 wrote:
RDU has 2 outdoor observations, one overlooking each runway. The main observation isn't connected to the terminal but definitely gives great views.. probably about 500' from the runway.. the other observation deck is at the general aviation where you can actually walk on the deck over the apron and see GA and runway excursions.: and includes a restaurant and indoor seating.. kinda hard to top that...


Per the article, SFO's will have a cafe and the photo indicates indoor and outdoor seating as well!
 
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ERJ170
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Re: SFO to Get First Public Pre-Security USA Outdoor Observation Deck?

Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:17 pm

Sounds great! Hopefully you will get that JetFuel smell too... it's like aviation meth
Aiming High and going far..
 
StrandedAtMKG
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Re: SFO to Get First Public Pre-Security USA Outdoor Observation Deck?

Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:55 pm

GRR says hi. (I mean, it's on the other side of the field from the terminal, but it's there.)
 
MakeMinesLAX
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Re: SFO to Get First Public Pre-Security USA Outdoor Observation Deck?

Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:56 pm

cschleic wrote:
The schedule changed? It used to be every weekend.

According to the LAWA website. That's a bit disappointing, but the Flight Path Museum (Tue-Sat 10-3) is a good alternative. The staff are very spotter-friendly.
 
timz
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Re: SFO to Get First Public Pre-Security USA Outdoor Observation Deck?

Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:04 pm

CantbeGrounded wrote:
The old tower is a visual obstruction to the new tower, and is not seismically up to date, so it must be removed.

Both old towers will be removed?
 
SonaSounds
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Re: SFO to Get First Public Pre-Security USA Outdoor Observation Deck?

Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:07 pm

ERJ170 wrote:
RDU has 2 outdoor observations, one overlooking each runway. The main observation isn't connected to the terminal but definitely gives great views.. probably about 500' from the runway.. the other observation deck is at the general aviation where you can actually walk on the deck over the apron and see GA and runway excursions.: and includes a restaurant and indoor seating.. kinda hard to top that...


I was in RDU a few months ago and didn't even know about this! I will have to check it out next time a fly through
 
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haynflyer
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Re: SFO to Get First Public Pre-Security USA Outdoor Observation Deck?

Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:10 pm

There is also one at Dulles located at the National Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center's Donald D. Engen Observation Tower. It is not open air however.
"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln
 
CantbeGrounded
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Re: SFO to Get First Public Pre-Security USA Outdoor Observation Deck?

Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:44 pm

timz wrote:
CantbeGrounded wrote:
The old tower is a visual obstruction to the new tower, and is not seismically up to date, so it must be removed.

Both old towers will be removed?


Yes - I think the other one was referred to as the 'shadow tower' by some folks here.
 
aaflyer777
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Re: SFO to Get First Public Pre-Security USA Outdoor Observation Deck?

Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:02 pm

MHT has an observation deck above the gate area
 
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ro1960
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Re: SFO to Get First Public Pre-Security USA Outdoor Observation Deck?

Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:12 pm

Shame it's going to be behind glass observation. Not good for photographing. ORY has one with glass walls and you get a lot of glare. Wires like at HND (or nothing) would be perfect.
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727LOVER
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Re: SFO to Get First Public Pre-Security USA Outdoor Observation Deck?

Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:15 pm

So we are clear, I believe the OP is talking about observation decks within the terminal, not at the end of runways accessible by car.


SRQ has 2. The one on top of the terminal sucks beyond belief. However the one on the east next to the terminal is nice.


Are the ones @ CLE & ABE still open?
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mpdpilot
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Re: SFO to Get First Public Pre-Security USA Outdoor Observation Deck?

Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:20 pm

This is pretty awesome news! I do however think that first is kind of a strong statement.

Santa Barbara has one, PHX has two unofficial open air viewing spots on the roof of the parking structures, though I suppose that isn't "technically" part of the terminal building.
One mile of highway gets you one mile, one mile of runway gets you anywhere.
 
ocracoke
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Re: SFO to Get First Public Pre-Security USA Outdoor Observation Deck?

Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:27 pm

SonaSounds wrote:
Hey all,

But are there any current pre-security, public observation decks in the United States or is this truly the first in the USA in this modern time of aviation?

/



Nantucket. Crosswinds restaurant. While not officially a "deck", this ground level restaurant at ACK does have a pre-security outdoor patio dining right on the tarmac area. You can enjoy your coffee or breakfast/lunch/dinner outdoors next to all the action. Any fod that gets blown into your meal is free.
 
GSPSPOT
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Re: SFO to Get First Public Pre-Security USA Outdoor Observation Deck?

Wed Mar 15, 2017 11:00 pm

Will DEFINITELY be planning excursions to SFO when that baby opens! I remember waaaay back in the day, I loved the outdoor observation decks atop the central concourses at both MSY and the old ATL (pre-midfield terminals). Heck, even my piddly old home airport at the time (MOB) had one on the 2nd floor of their old terminal, next to the NWS office.
Great Lakes, great life.
 
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tjwgrr
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Re: SFO to Get First Public Pre-Security USA Outdoor Observation Deck?

Thu Mar 16, 2017 1:50 pm

StrandedAtMKG wrote:
GRR says hi. (I mean, it's on the other side of the field from the terminal, but it's there.)


.....and under construction for a big expansion to be completed soon. Here's the renderings. #1 on the site plan is existing, everything else will be new, including restrooms, a covered pavilion and more picnic tables:

http://mathisonarchitects.com/portfolio ... wing-park/

Image
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UpNAWAy
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Re: SFO to Get First Public Pre-Security USA Outdoor Observation Deck?

Thu Mar 16, 2017 1:55 pm

PHX used to have a resteraunt called the Left Seat with views on the north Runway and taxi ways, over by Honeywell. Not sure if that is still open for Breakfast and lunch?
 
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lesfalls
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Re: SFO to Get First Public Pre-Security USA Outdoor Observation Deck?

Thu Mar 16, 2017 1:59 pm

YUL is a nice one I heard(it might not be in the U.S but quite a nice one for NA considering how there is a limited amount of them at major airports in North America):

http://www.thirtythousand.us/2012/07/25 ... MqaKtT3arU
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Indy
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Re: SFO to Get First Public Pre-Security USA Outdoor Observation Deck?

Thu Mar 16, 2017 2:10 pm

ERJ170 wrote:
RDU has 2 outdoor observations, one overlooking each runway. The main observation isn't connected to the terminal but definitely gives great views.. probably about 500' from the runway.. the other observation deck is at the general aviation where you can actually walk on the deck over the apron and see GA and runway excursions.: and includes a restaurant and indoor seating.. kinda hard to top that...


I love RDU. I wish I had time to check out the observation towers on my last visit. Too bad more airports don't have great viewing points like that.
Indy = Indianapolis and not Independence Air
 
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SFOA380
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Re: SFO to Get First Public Pre-Security USA Outdoor Observation Deck?

Thu Mar 16, 2017 2:19 pm

A bit off topic but ran into this article which talks about the design work taking place for SFO T1. There are a couple of new renderings as well.

http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/plac ... 2d40616990
 
727LOVER
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Re: SFO to Get First Public Pre-Security USA Outdoor Observation Deck?

Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:53 pm

Does LGB still have one?
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b777erj145
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Re: SFO to Get First Public Pre-Security USA Outdoor Observation Deck?

Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:35 am

KOKC is about to get one too
 
CantbeGrounded
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Re: SFO to Get First Public Pre-Security USA Outdoor Observation Deck?

Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:43 am

There's no mention of the potential amenities available on the proposed deck. Some of the technology that ZRH has is pretty cool. Outlets, Wifi, tables/chairs, at a minimum I assume but hopefully some aviation-themed ideas will surface.
 
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legacyins
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Re: SFO to Get First Public Pre-Security USA Outdoor Observation Deck?

Fri Mar 17, 2017 3:55 am

Would be nice if they would have ATC piped in.

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