Mesa residents have a new place to delight in aviation with the opening of a newly renovated aircraft viewing area at Falcon Field Airport.
The viewing area is located adjacent to the airport terminal building and air traffic control tower at 4800 E. Falcon Drive. It was dedicated in a brief ceremony June 29.
"This area offers Mesa residents of all ages an opportunity to share in the excitement of flight and aviation," said District 5 Councilmember David Luna. "It supports the City Council's priority of placemaking and cultivating unique, vibrant spaces for residents and visitors."
The viewing area is a capital improvement project funded by Falcon Field Airport. It is open daily and can be accessed directly from the terminal building parking lot. The sidewalk leading to the park is painted with authentic runway markings.
In addition to existing free binoculars and historic photographic murals, improvements include:
A clear plexiglass view fence facing out to the airfield
Benches for seating in front of the view fence, as well as picnic tables and chairs
Colorful canvas shade sails
Two airplane-shaped seats for children
New grass turf area
"Falcon Field is proud to contribute this special viewing area to Mesa," said Airport Director Corinne Nystrom. "It is the latest in our continued efforts to bring the community, youth and families to the airport and foster an interest in aviation so that future generations will want to pursue careers in the industry."
The historic photographic murals facing into the viewing area are among 16 murals that have been installed in recent years on buildings and facilities to commemorate Falcon Field's role as a training base for British Royal Air Force and U.S. Army Air Corps pilots during World War II.
"This viewing area is special not only because of its aviation theme, but also because it highlights our past while focusing on the promise of what aviation brings to the future of our community and its economic vitality," said Mayor John Giles.
With seating, shade and turf areas, the viewing area is an ideal spot to enjoy a picnic or bring children or visitors for a unique view of Mesa. For added fun, visitors can stop in the airport administration office during business hours for a free toy glider to fly in the park!