Charlotte airport officials revealed plans this week for a permanent overlook with playgrounds, picnic tables, bicycle racks and other amenities. And that’s besides the “spectacular” views of take-offs and landings on Runway 18C/36C and a future fourth parallel runway, officials said. The city skyline and CLT terminals can be seen from the overlook.

The overlook is scheduled to open late next spring or early summer on airport land just west of the previous overlook off Marshall Drive. Pending City Council approval, construction is tentatively scheduled to begin late this summer or early fall. 

You could almost make it a day, as the overlook will include two age-specific playgrounds, along with picnic tables and benches and an expanded food truck area with 10 covered picnic tables. 

Overlook restrooms will include baby changing stations and pets will be welcome, too, getting their own relief area. You’ll also see an aircraft display and exhibits featuring Carolinas aviation history, plus a dedicated memorial to USAir Flight 1016, which crashed near the airport as the result of a microburst during a 1994 thunderstorm, killing 37 and seriously injuring at least 16.

The overlook will have 145 paved parking spaces; LED lighting in the parking lot and pedestrian areas; and shaded areas with trees and sails. A bus staging area also is planned. The overlook will be the fifth at CLT since 1937. The most recent one lasted from 1989 to Oct. 3, 2022, when it closed for construction of the North End-Around Taxiway and future fourth parallel runway. 

A temporary area opened at the corner of Old Dowd Road and Airport Overlook Drive and will remain until the new overlook opens, officials said.

This article appears courtesy of our media partner, The Charlotte Observer.

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