Charlotte, North Carolina, is a surprisingly good airport for layovers. Compact layout, easy to get between gates, friendly people, and no need to exit one bit of the airport + take a train + re-clear security (JFK, I'm glaring at you...). I know that North Carolina has a fair bit of aviation history, and CLT airport has quite a long history.

On a long layover in CLT (Charlotte) airport, is there anywhere you can go in / nearby the airport, to spend some time learning more about aviation and aviation history?


Why yes, there is! And it's well worth visiting!

The Carolinas Aviation Museum is located on the airport grounds, on the other side of the airport from the terminal. It's a ~5 minute taxi ride away.

You can see most of the highlights in an hour's visit, alternately if you're interested in aviation and want to watch the video pieces as well, you can easily spend over 2.5 hours there. Perfect for a layover!

The museum has a good collection of planes, from old to new, and the A320 "miracle on the Hudson" plane too. There's quite a bit of history, information on how flying works, loads of info on the US airways flight, and friendly staff. When you're done, they have a seating area outside where you can watch flights arriving and departing, as it's very close to the active runways.

It takes about 5 minutes in a taxi to get there from the terminal. There's currently (2015) a flat rate $14 fare from the airport to the museum or back again. You can pick up a taxi outside arrivals, and to go back the museum staff will call a taxi for you. On arrival into CLT, head to the Charlotte Information desk in the arrivals baggage area, and ask about the museum. They should be able to give you a discount voucher, and point you in the direct of the taxi queue.

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    Also, there is a free observation platform between runways 18C and 18R off of Old Dowd Rd, if you are just looking for somewhere to sit and planespot. If you have a long long layover (like 5+ hours), you could also go to the state transport museum in Spencer (50m drive), although the Uber might be a bit expensive. But otherwise, as the above poster said, you couldn't have picked a better airport to ask this question at!
    – aidanh010
    Oct 14 '19 at 2:49

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