Long Exposure of STL Airport from across the highway the evening before STLavDay
Airports across the U.S. are recognizing the value in opening up and partnering with local aviation enthusiasts (AvGeeks.) We have been delighted to recognize, encourage, and report on this trend. To that end, AirlineReporter recently featured two airports looking to forge relationships in their own unique ways. How can we tell that this is indeed a trend rather than a few random events? Now, even airports known for being aggressive are looking to thaw relations. While this should not come as a surprise to locals or anyone who has recently tried PlaneSpotting in the area, it’s worth stating: The St. Louis airport has a well deserved, longstanding spot in the “AvGeek unfriendly” category.
But the airport’s recent #STLavDay event suggests that may very well be changing.
A Continental 737 (N13716) lands into the sunset at IAH in late 2010 – Photo: JL Johnson
A few months ago, we brought you the story about how I was excited to begin attending ground school in pursuit of unlocking my life-long dream of learning to fly. I was excited, ambitious, and, in retrospect, naive. If you haven’t read that piece, it’s a quick read and contrasts nicely against this one.
Life’s path is littered with success and failure. And while we tend to hear more about success, failure is where some of the most valuable learning occurs. So this is the story out how, despite learning a lot while attending ground school, I flunked out.
This is a positive story. Trust me and read on…
We #AvGeeks are easy to please. Just give us a good view of the planes, and we’re golden. Too few airports in the US have official planespotting points, but San Francisco International (SFO) just made that situation a bit better. On February 6th it unveiled a new outdoor observation deck at the very tip of the international terminal’s G concourse.
How good is it? Very good. How close are you to the planes? Very, very close.
It’s post-security (AKA airside) so you need to be flying United or one of its Star Alliance partners to have access. But don’t worry landsiders: later this year SFO will open a pre-security observation deck in T2.
For now, read on for more info and photos from SFO’s new observation deck!
TPA Airport’s CEO Joe Lopano, an AvGeek!. – Photo: Ashley Iaccarino for Tampa Airport
How AvGeek-friendly is your airport? In many areas, it seems a lot more than in prior years. All across the U.S., the trend of airports opening up, being more engaging, and accommodating aviation fans continues in favor of the enthusiasts. This airport community engagement behavior is most deserving of praise, as there still remain some airports clinging to draconian, misguided harshness.
Two airports, Louisville (SDF) and Tampa (TPA), have recently caught my eye with their own outreach programs. They are doing great work, work that lays the foundation for others to adopt, and roll out on their own terms. At the end of the day, a safe airport is one with an engaged and well-informed general public. These airports get it. Does yours?