Home Airport Spotting Guide Spotting at DeKalb Peachtree Airport, Atlanta

Spotting at DeKalb Peachtree Airport, Atlanta

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The major draw for most enthusiasts visiting Atlanta is Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport – one of the world’s busiest, and home to Delta Air Lines with its massive fleet of jets.

However, Atlanta itself is home to quite a few other airports, mostly serving private and general aviation operators. The busiest of these is DeKalb-Peachtree Airport, located in the northern suburbs of the city.

This spotting guide was part of my recent trip to Atlanta.

[Read My Atlanta Trip Report]


About De Kalb-Peachtree Airport

DeKalb-Peachtree is Georgia’s second-busiest airport, so is worth a visit.

Built as a military aviation training base known as Camp Gordon during World War I, and later as Naval Air Station Atlanta during World War II, this site has a lot of history.

Following the war, it was developed into a civilian airport. It never really got into airline service, but continued in its role as a place for pilot training.

This has adapted with a strong general aviation presence, and today the DeKalb-Peachtree is used by many biz jets and props every day. There are a lot of based light aircraft.

It has two FBOs (Fixed Base Operators) on site, Signature Aviation and Atlantic Aviation, which each handle many daily movements.


Airport Layout

DeKalb-Peachtree has three active runways:

  • 3L/21R
  • 3R/21L
  • 16/34

Most of the aircraft parking areas, aprons and hangars are located on the western side of the field.

Signature Aviation’s facilities are on the northern side, however.


Spotting at DeKalb-Peachtree Airport

The spotting grandstand at DeKalb Peachtree

Thankfully DeKalb-Peachtree is a very spotter friendly place, and provides facilities to watch aircraft movements.

At the centre point of the airfield, underneath the tall control tower, is the Doc Manget Memorial Aviation Park, named after the airport manager which oversaw the airport’s post-war development.

This site includes an open area of grass, with park benches, a shelter (the sun can be intense here!) with restrooms, a playpark for the kids and, most importantly, a small raised grandstand for watching and photographing aircraft movements (above the fence).

Its position means it is close to the taxiways and runways, so movements are within reach of a 200-300mm camera lens, and with binoculars you can identify most of the nearby parked aircraft, and those at Signature.

From the Aviation Park you can walk along to the main administration building (there are views inside some of the hangars too), where the Downwind Restaurant is located (website). This is a great place for some food and drink, and it also has windows and a balcony overlooking the airfield.

Downwind Restaurant at DeKalb Peachtree.

Many of the airport’s parking areas are away from this central area – particularly for based light aircraft. To see them you can walk along the airport’s main access road, as well as Hardee Ave which runs north towards Chamblee MARTA metro station.

Another spotting option is the 57th Fighter Group restaurant (website) to the south-west of the airfield. It has a large parking area and outdoor seating overlooking the two main runways. The restaurant also has a preserved aircraft outside. Located at 3829 Clairmont Rd, Atlanta 30341, you’ll ideally need a car or taxi to get there.


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Alan Williams July 26, 2023 - 6:20 pm


How did you get to de Kalb from the main Atlanta airport. If it was by taxi (Uber) how long did it take and cost?



Matt Falcus July 27, 2023 - 12:00 pm

Hi Alan, to get there I took the MARTA Metro from ATL domestic terminal to Chamblee (30 minutes), then walked 15 minutes to DeKalb. This costs $2.50.
To get back to my hotel at ATL, I took an Uber, which cost $35 and took 30 minutes.


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