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Dekalb-Peachtree Airport

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Continent: North America Country: United States Region: Georgia (United States)

Dekalb-Peachtree Airport
Location Atlanta, Georgia
Airport type Public
Overview map Google Maps
Tower 120.9 281.5 127.2 [0630-2300 MON-FRI 0700-2300 SAT & SUN]
Ground 121.6 [0630-2300 MON-FRI 0700-2300 SAT & SUN]
Clearance 125.2 120.9
Approach 126.975
ATIS 125.2 120.9

The DeKalb-Peachtree airport is the primary General Aviation airport for the city of Atlanta, Georgia. Located approximately 8 miles Northeast of downtown, PDK handles the vast majority of corporate and light GA traffic in and out of Atlanta. Smaller GA airports such as Cobb County McCollum Field and Fulton County Brown Field act as relievers, but PDK's three FBOs, parallel runways, and proximity to downtown have made it the airport of choice for corporate Atlanta. Luckily, PDK's airport authority looks favorably on spotters and the surrounding community and have provided an excellent location for spotting and aviation recreation.

Official Spotting Locations

Aviation Recreation Area

Just below the airport's control tower is a small aviation-themed park including picnic tables, a playground, and most importantly an elevated grandstand for aircraft viewing. This aviation park is very popular with local families and aircraft spotters alike. On an average weekend it may be difficult to find a place to stand on the grandstand between the transient pilots, families with children, and spotters and enthusiasts all looking for a good view.

The park can be found at the end of Airport Road, automobile parking is available adjacent to the park in front of the Downwind Cafe and the Epps hangar.

When photographing from the grandstand, lighting is ideal from noon to sunset. Late afternoon (4pm-sunset) typically results in perfect crisp, clear lighting on any aircraft movements on the field. Aircraft taxiing on Alpha and Bravo can be effectively photographed with as little an 18-55mm kit lens. Aircraft movements on the 2/20s require longer lenses, 250-400mm for a close crop. The majority of large jet traffic will use 20L/2R, but almost every movement will taxi past the viewing area either taxiing out or heading to parking. If you get lucky and operations are using Runway 34, aircraft will be rotating directly in front of the viewing area, easily within the reach of 100-200mm of lens.

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Other Spotting Locations

Downwind Restaurant

The Downwind Restaurant is located directly adjacent to the viewing area, on the second floor of the Epps terminal building. The restaurant is open Monday through Saturday and offers reasonable food with an aviation theme. Sit on the outdoor deck and you'll be just feet from the airport at a second-story level. The views from the Downwind are similar to the viewing grandstand, but with additional elevation.

57th Fighter Group Restaurant

The 57th Fighter Group is a WWII theme restaurant located off of Clairmont Road, adjacent to the Runway 9 threshold. Biplanes over Atlanta operates from the back lawn of the restaurant and some picnic tables are available for aircraft viewing.

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Locations to Avoid

Do not park on Flightway Drive or at the Epps FBO parking. Police do not actively patrol around the airport, but will stop to investigate anyone at the fence.

Regular Traffic

PDK has no regularly scheduled traffic, but local and transient GA make the airport very busy on a nice day. On a typical weekend there are about ten jet movements per hour along with upwards of thirty or forty props. Jets range from ubiquitous CitationJets to Gulfstreams and BBJs. Many props are from local flight schools (a wide range of Cessnas, Pipers, and Diamonds) but the occasional warbird or high performance single will make an appearance. Fly-by-night cargo operators such as AirNet fly into PDK, but on no regular or scheduled basis. Some afternoons will be more exciting than others, but PDK will never be "boring."

Facilities and Transportation

PDK is approximately one mile from the Chamblee Station on the MARTA Gold Line, and is served by local MARTA Bus service. As with most destinations in Atlanta, it is probably easiest to arrive by car.