Although it will likely go unnoticed by most in the LGBTQ community, this weekend marks the passing of an era.
A popular city attraction known as the Airport Overlook, which serves the city at large with stunning views of an array of various aircrafts landing from and taking off for destinations all around the globe, will close (after more than 30 years in operation) as Douglas International Airport makes way for a new runway.
As of October 3 the Airport Overlook, in the location it has been in since 1989, will close, although airport authorities say another location will be found to provide city residents and visitors the opportunity to experience planes, runway lights and more.
While no one really seems to be able to pinpoint when the Charlotte Airport Overlook became a destination spot for some in the city’s gay male community, it appears to date back to at least a few years after its initial opening on what was then Old Dowd Road. According to historians in the LGBTQ community, prior to the opening of the current airport there was a similar popular spot not far from the previous Douglas Municipal Airport that closed in the 1970s
Over the years the secluded nature of the Overlook allowed it to develop into a sort of pop-up lover’s lane for just about anyone: straight and gay couples looking to share quality time in a unique setting, and a place where gay men looking for casual encounters or something more could connect.
The richness of history and evolution of accepting culture between various communities that have enjoyed visiting the Airport Overlook has been particularly fascinating. In its earlier days rough moments – mostly generated by opportunistic politicians – sometimes resulted in friction between the straight community and gay men who frequented the location.
In more recent years, however it hasn’t been uncommon to see individuals from the gay and straight communities exchanging conversation, more often than not about the various planes taking off and landing.
At press time a new location or opening date had not been confirmed, but in a release from the airport authority this past June airport management confirmed the new location will remain on Airport property and somewhere in close proximity to where it has been. It will reportedly include paved parking lots and an expanded food truck staging area.
Keep in mind, if you want to go for a final visit, the last full date it will be open is October 2.