There’s a place in Charlotte that can provide hours of entertainment, and it costs nothing.
The place is a parking lot with benches overlooking the runways of Charlotte/Douglas International Airport. It provides a front-row seat to dozens of take-offs and landings every hour.
This overlook is not publicized, and more often than not, people find it by accident.
Those who take the time to pull into the lot are generally rewarded. In 2011, Charlotte/Douglas moved up one spot to the sixth busiest airport in the world in terms of aircraft movements, and watching the choreography of planes taxiing, landing and taking off gives an appreciation for how such a busy airport operates.
In an age of heightened security, it is somewhat rare to find a site devoted to getting people close to the action with relatively unobstructed views.