Sunday, 1 November 2009

Charlotte, North Carolina

Apologies to those of you following my blog, but I have been away on holiday, and whereas I would like to think that I am a reasonably dedicated person, some things are more important than blogging!

Still, I am back refreshed from 2 weeks visiting family in the US. Despite being a very relaxing and welcome holiday, amazingly we visited no less than 7 states, namely New Jersey, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia! I personnaly squeezed in an 8th, with a flight Florida to visit the NBAA (National Business Aircraft Association) Convention being held in Orlando.

One of my finds during our travels was the aircraft viewing area at Charlotte International Airport. The US has never really understood the concept of aircraft spotting and aircraft photography, treating as they do their airlines and aircraft much as we do our bus services. But despite this the authorities at Charlotte have allocated a sizeable area for the likes of the aircraft spotter/photographer, and I have to say, it probably ranks as one of the best viewing locations that I have ever been to! So here are some photo's that I took.

Pictures from the top:

A queue of aircraft jostle for position for departure.
Above left...US Airways Embraer 195 on short finals.
Above right...Northwest Airlink Embraer 170 touches down (downtown Charlotte in the background)
Above....Northwest Airbus A319 on its take off roll.

Left...Delta Connection Embraer 170 just about to touch down.

Surprisingly Charlotte ranks as the 9th busiest airport in the world in terms of aircraft movements (that puts it ahead of Heathrow, Frankfurt and Tokyo to name but a few). This is largely due to its position as one of the two main operating hubs for US Airways (the other being Phoenix). There are a number of international flights serving Charlotte but the majority of services are domestic, and a good 40-50% of
these, gathered from my limited time there, are operated by regional jets in the 40-70 seat category. Hence Charlottes somewhat lower ranking of 26th in the world in terms of passenger numbers.

Right...US Airways Bombardier Regional Jet on very short finals while a company Embraer 170 awaits take-off clearance.


  1. That's a lot of aircraft and only a snap shot. Why exactly are we ruining our countryside with windfarms?

  2. It was indeed only a snapshot. Charlotte averages over 1,400 aircraft movements per day, and whichever way you look at it, thats a large carbon footprint! It is interesting that despite the recession people do still appear to need to travel from A to B as quickly as possible and the fastest affordable means is by air. The "green" brigade may well advocate the use of wind turbines as the favourable energy provider, despite their proven inefficiency (both in power generation and cost) and yet they still go on holiday to the Algarve, Florida or wherever, without the slightest concern to their impact on the environment. I think for many of them its fashionable to be "green" and support so called renewable energy projects. In reality of course, nuclear energy is one of the greenest of all power sources, not to mention the most efficient and one of the most cost effective.