The Airport Viewing Area is a Hidden Gem in Grand Rapids
For a different Grand Rapids park experience, head to the Airport Viewing Area!
Pack a picnic and watch planes take off or land or time your visit to take advantage of the food truck days.
GRR reports that on any given day as many as 300 aircraft may take off or land at the international airport so chances are there will be planes to see when you stop by.
Listen in at the Airport Viewing Park
When you visit the airport viewing park, be sure to tune your radio to 1650 AM.
You’ll be able to listen to air traffic controllers, pilots, and GFIA airfield operations staff as they coordinate aircraft into and out of Gerald R. Ford International Airport.
Will You See Planes?
If you time it right, you’ll be more likely to see planes take off and land at the observation park.
Check the flight schedule at grr.org to see when there will be the most activity and coordinate your visit with that.
Food Trucks at the Airport Viewing Area
Two Wednesdays a month, From May to September you can watch planes and enjoy some great food at the Airport Viewing Park this season.
In 2023, food trucks will be around on the first and third Wednesday of the month according to this schedule:
May 3 (10 am – 4 pm)
May 17 (4 – 8 pm)
June 7 (10 am – 4 pm)
June 21 (4 – 8 pm)
July 5 (10 am – 4 pm)
July 19 (4 – 8 pm)
August 2 (10 am – 4 pm)
August 16 (4 – 8 pm)
September 6 (10 am – 4 pm)
September 20 (4 – 8 pm)
Get Close to the Planes
This is one of the best places to watch planes take off — unless you’re actually boarding a flight.
This is a much more laid back experience – no TSA, no parking fees. Just a nice green space where you can bring a picnic and hang out with family.
Sunsets are Gorgeous at the Airport Viewing Area
The best part of the Airport Viewing Park is the scenery.
This is where you can get a closeup view of airplanes taking off and landing.
It’s fun to listen to the engines and seeing the different types of planes that come into and leave the airport.
You’ll see commercial passenger planes, but you’ll also likely see cargo ships and smaller, private planes as well.
It’s also one of the best places in Grand Rapids to watch the sunset.
How to Find the GRR Ford Airport Viewing Area
Finding the viewing area can be tricky.
Most people wrongly assume that they should drive to the airport to find the viewing area.
GRR International Airport Viewing Area is not accessed via the main airport entrance, though.
To find the Airport Observation Area, you need to approach the airport from the south, on Kraft. Kraft will dead-end at the viewing area entrance.
The airport observation park is located on Kraft Avenue, south of the airport.
Be sure to visit the Viewing Park Facebook page for more information.
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