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AvGeek Alert: There’s a new amenity-rich observation area at Charlotte Douglas International Airport

AvGeeks and airport viewing area fans now have a reason to plan a trip to Charlotte.

Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) has officially opened the new permanent Airport Overlook. The 600,000 square foot observation area features a comprehensive and expansive array of amenities to match the views.


About 3 miles from the main terminal area, the viewpoint provides plane spotters with an ideal location to view the airport, skyline and terminal. Of course, that’s what you’d expect from an airport observation area. That is also what four previous CLT views, dating back to 1937, have suggested.


However, the new Airport Overlook has a plethora of modern and very welcome bells and whistles.

First, it has LED lighting, plenty of paved and accessible parking for cars and buses, and an expanded food truck staging area. Additionally, Airport Overlook features pet relief areas, restrooms with baby changing stations, bike racks, picnic tables, and shaded areas to escape the sun.

There are also two age-specific aviation-themed playgrounds on site; they provide a safe runway for play and climbable structures, such as a miniature air traffic control station with a slide, a miniature fuel tanker, and a luggage cart.


Children and adults who are curious about flight history and want to know how planes and airports work can read the information board. These panels detail the types of aircraft flying in and out of the airport, and explain everything from why planes fly to how runways are built and named. A short history of CLT is included.

Visitors can also admire a retired U.S. Army fighter plane, the F-4 Phantom II, which flew during the Vietnam War and the Cold War. Additionally, they can spend time at the memorial dedicated to US Airways Flight 1016. That flight, traveling from Columbia, South Carolina to Charlotte, crashed near CLT on July 2, 1994, killing 37 people and injuring at least 20 others.


Jack Christine, CLT’s director of infrastructure, said in a statement: “The airport knows how important the Overlook is to the local community and we have worked hard to create a place where people All ages will enjoy it.” “This space showcases many displays and features that will educate, inspire and create lasting memories.”

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This is CLT’s fifth observation area. The first location dates back to 1937. The most recent location opened in 1989 and closed in October 2022 to make way for the airport’s North Circular Taxiway and a future fourth parallel Runway ; However, a temporary area was available during construction.

How to find CLT’s new Airport Overlook

Airport Overlook at Charlotte Douglas International Airport is about 3 miles west of the terminal, off Old Dowd Road at 5130 Airport Overlook Drive. Look for the blue and white tail markings.

There is currently no bus service between the airport and Airport Overlook, but if you want to visit the area during a long layover or before or after a flight, it’s a pretty cheap trip via Uber or Lyft.

Charlotte’s Airport Overlook is open daily from 8am to 10pm Admission is free.

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