Watching the planes at ALB

plane landing at ALB

The view from the observation parking lot.

Going to watch the planes land at the airport isn't something you go to do -- it's something you go to be.

Whenever we drive by the observation area at the airport, the lot always seems to have cars in it. "What are all those people doing?" we've thought on a number of occasions.

So, we stopped by recently to watch the planes land. And you know what? It's kind of relaxing. At first it's all about waiting for the next the plane. But after awhile it becomes this sort of meditative thing as you sit there and stare off into the blue sky.

airport observation lot

We walked along the row of cars parked -- the lot was full this past Sunday -- and there were all sorts of people there: younger, older, with kids, with dogs. And everyone just kind of seemed chilled out, like they weren't really there to do anything. It was peaceful.

We would guess there's a somewhat different scene at the other end of the airport, along Route 7. We guess, because there's no official observation area and the land at that end is owned by the airport and marked "no trespassing." We would never recommend that you, say, park along Buhrmaster Road and watch the planes lift into the sky -- because that would be wrong. But we're guessing that it could be cool.


Well, if you park on Buhrmaster, be sure to stop at Control Tower across the street, get a nice, fat Root Beer Float, then pick up some nice veggies from Sharon's farmstand right near the corner.

Entertaining, relaxing, delicious and nutritious.

The airport should dispatch someone to the parking area every ten minutes during the evening and night to smash out the headlights of the inconsiderate folk who leave theirs on despite the signs asking them not to.

Other than blind rage at these motorists, sure. Tranquil is exactly the word I'd use.

Many people use it for a cell-phone waiting area - other airports have them - you wait there until you get the call that they and their baggage are ready to be picked up - you drive up front, pick them up and go on.

@hokie mom: That makes sense. (Though the first half-hour in the short-term lot is free.) Here's an article about these "cell phone lots" at other airports.

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For a decade All Over Albany was a place for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. It was kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who could help you find out what's up. AOA stopped publishing at the end of 2018.

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