Phil & Mel In The Afternoon

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A Boeing 737-A23 operated by American Airlines takes off on August 24, 2019. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Wright Brothers were the first to bring aviation to North Carolina with their historic flight at Kitty Hawk in 1903. The public’s fascination with flying has never really abated. Since the 1930s, Charlotteans have been making their way to the airport just to watch planes take off and land. Soon they’ll have a new place to catch the passing show.

WCNC-TV reports that Charlotte Douglas International Airport is building its fifth airport overlook since 1937. It will be located just to the west of the previous location on Marshall Drive, which closed last October to make room for new airport construction.

In addition to views of the runways and Charlotte skyline, the new overlook will offer paved parking, restrooms, picnic tables, two playgrounds, pet areas, as well as an area for food trucks. According to, the new site will also be home to a permanent memorial for USAir Flight 1016, which tragically went down near the airport in 1989. Thirty-seven people lost their lives in the crash.

Construction on the new overlook is scheduled to begin later this year and is expected to be completed by the summer of 2024. In the meantime, plane watchers can visit the temporary overlook at the corner of Old Dowd Road and Airport Overlook Drive.

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