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Charlotte Douglas Airport overlook to close during new runway construction

The overlook at Charlotte Douglas, a popular spot for aviation enthusiasts and families on sunny days, will be relocated to make room for a new runway by 2028.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The overlook at Charlotte Douglas International Airport will be relocated for construction on a proposed new runway, airport officials said. 

The overlook, which is just off Old Dowd Road on the north end of Charlotte Douglas, is a popular spot for aviation enthusiasts and families looking to spot planes taking off and landing with Charlotte's skyline in the distance. 

Charlotte Douglas plans to begin construction on a fourth runway, which will close the overlook during that time. In a statement to WCNC Charlotte, the airport said the current overlook will remain open until the new area is open to the public. There is no timetable for when the new overlook/observation area will open but the airport says the new project will begin by 2028. 

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Credit: WCNC Charlotte

The new 10,000-foot runway would be parallel to the other runways on the west side of the terminal. The project also includes end-around taxiways on the north side of the airport, as well as expansion to concourses B and C. A portion of West Boulevard will be relocated on the airport's south side to make room for the runway and end-around taxiways.

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To access the existing CLT Airport Overlook

From Interstate 485

  1. Take Interstate 485 to Exit 6 for West Blvd
  2. Travel a thousand feet east on West Blvd before making the left turn north onto Wallace Neel Road
  3. After 2.5 miles, Wallace Neel Road becomes Old Dowd Road. Continue straight. You're traveling on a perimeter road that goes around an airport runway. 
  4. One mile after continuing onto Old Dowd Road, turn right onto Airport Overlook Drive. (If you encounter a roundabout, you've gone too far. Circle around and return to Old Dowd Road.
  5. Half a mile down Airport Overlook Drive, you will encounter a small intersection marked by four antenna towers. At that intersection, turn left to enter the CLT Airport Overlook. Do not continue past the antennas, which are located on restricted airport property.

From Interstate 85

  1. Take Interstate 85 to Exit 32 for Little Rock Road.
  2. Travel south on Little Rock Road following signs towards the main entrance of Charlotte-Douglas International Airport.
  3. Cross over Wilkinson Blvd. to enter the main airport entrance on Josh Birmingham Parkway.
  4. When safe to do so, merge into the right lane. (You will be exiting within less than half a mile.)
  5. After passing the Cell Phone Lot, merge into the right turn lane towards the entrance of the Long Term Parking Lot 1. Instead of entering the parking lot, continue straight onto Old Dowd Road.
  6. You will proceed into a traffic circle. Take the first exit out of the traffic circle to continue on Old Dowd Road. 
  7. Just over half a mile from the traffic circle, turn left onto Airport Overlook Drive.
  8. Half a mile down Airport Overlook Drive, you will encounter a small intersection marked by four antenna towers. At that intersection, turn left to enter the CLT Airport Overlook. Do not continue past the antennas, which are located on restricted airport property.

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