New observation area at Tacoma Narrows Airport opens June 3

Aviation enthusiasts will have a new place to take in the sights and sounds of an active regional airport thanks to Tacoma Narrows Airport’s new observation area.

The new area, also known as the Rotary Aviation Zone, features an ADA-accessible observation tower with a front-row view of the runway, a viewing shelter, and tables. Future plans include adding educational displays about aviation and the airport, additional lighting, and potentially a small mounted airplane.

The observation area is a joint effort between The Rotary Club of Gig Harbor, The Friends of Tacoma Narrows Airport, and Pierce County. The Rotary Club of Gig Harbor contributed approximately $25,000 toward the structures, while The Friends of Tacoma Narrows Airport contributed nearly $5,000 to the site. Pierce County contributed approximately $18,000 to pay for materials. Concept and volunteer work to build the zone was handled by The Rotary Club of Gig Harbor and The Friends of Tacoma Narrows Airport. The observation tower and viewing shelter were designed by Jim Castino, principal at Castino Architecture, while Oliver Magnuson and Randy Barcalow served as construction managers. Brett Marlo DeSantis of Brett Marlo Designs served as the site designer. The roofs of the observation tower and shelter were provided by Spencer Aircraft, Wayne’s Roofing, and Scott & From Co. Inc. Tacoma Narrows Aviation provided the fencing around the site.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the new observation area will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Weds., June 3, at the Tacoma Narrows Airport, located at 1202 26th Ave. NW, in Gig Harbor. Attendees should park in the airport parking lot near the control tower. The zone is located next to tower.

Pierce County’s Tacoma Narrows Airport is a regional airport that is used for small business jet travel and general aviation. The airport serves businesses, recreational flying, flight instruction, medical services, the media, the military, and law enforcement. There are approximately 62,400 operations at the airport each year. Pierce County also owns Pierce County Airport-Thun Field in Puyallup.