For years, San Diegans have observed airplanes overhead at the San Diego International Airport. Often, locals will stand on top of their cars or peer onto the runway with only a single security fence separating them from the action. Recently, the Airport Authority has designated a half-acre park area to satisfy the local fascination with aerospace. The park is designed as a landform that has the appearance of “flight take off” and has a similar structure to that of an airplane just before flight. The angled landform is 16 feet higher on the south end than the existing grade and offers a close-up view of the airplanes.
The landform is divided down the middle into two sections: airside and landside. The airside “wing” is a cantilevered element that extends over the ground plane. This observation area is planted with a variety of native grasses and offers the park user an area to sit and watch the airplanes as they ascend and descend. The landside has a variety of native trees, shrubs and ground cover edged with a wide walkway and custom benches on the west side. The grade change is accommodated by a series of gabions. The park also provides a shuttle stop for the general public to access Terminal 1 and 2 as well as San Diego’s mass transit, Amtrak and Coaster.