It may seem odd to some, but I love spending time at the airport. Sure, pilots and aircraft mechanics understand the allure of the airport. But the average Jane or Joe may think it a little peculiar that a grown man has an interest in going to the airport whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Part of that disconnect is that I, like most general aviation pilots, have an entirely different relationship with the airport than my non-aviation-oriented neighbors do. This divergence of views is perfectly understandable, really, because the word, “airport” is an entirely subjective term in the real world.
While I envision smiles and casual conversation over coffee with like-minded friends, my neighbors imagine long lines and metal detectors. On any given day I might wander out onto the ramp to inspect a new acquaintance’s airplane, yet the wider public thinks of crowded terminals, funky conveyor belts moving passengers past the throngs as if they were all just generic goods on an assembly line, and gate areas that are anything but inviting. [Read more…]