Miami Airport Observation Decks expansion early 1960s

I recently came across some old kodachrome slides taken at Miami Airport in the early 1960s, that show the development and expansion that took place at the terminal and observation deck between 1962 and 1965.

From the two main images below, we can see that the gate area finger was doubled in width, which meant a new observation deck was added on the right side, at a slightly lower level, giving a view to the south side apron. They even had the thought to provide park benches for the comfort of the visitors to the deck.

Miami Airport observation deck March, 1962

Miami Airport observation deck March, 1962. Note the Pan American DC-8 and DC-6 parked to the right, and the Avianca Boeing 720 tail on the left side.

Miami Airport observation deck November, 1965

Miami Airport observation deck November, 1965. Noe the observation deck has been added to with a new slightly lower level deck on the right side, that is accessed by steps. The benches are a nice touch. Those were the days!

For an airplane lover, this must have been nothing short of heaven, as from these great viewing facilities at Miami airport spotters could easily see all the comings and goings as the airline industry was transitioning from props to jets. And what not a better place to see this from than Miami, which is where the classic Latin American airlines mixed company with American classics, including Pan American Airlines, which had a large maintenance base at Miami.

I have included two extra kodachrome images also taken at Miami from the observation deck. The earlier one dates from 1961 and we can see to the far North side of the field where Pan American Airline’s maintenance base is a propliner fan’s dream come true. It looks like a large number of the airlines Stratocruiser fleet is parked in storage, having recently been retired and are awaiting new owners. The brand new Panagra DC-8 and some Pan American DC-6s (which were still active) can also be seen in the distance at the maintenance base.

Miami Airport circa 1961

This kodachrome was taken at Miami Airport circa 1961, looking North as a Pan American DC-8 gets airborne. Note the rows of Pan American Stratocruisers in storage at the Pan Am facility, and the Panagra DC-8.

Miami Airport NOV 1965

Miami Airport NOV 1965 as viewed from the observation deck looking North. A National DC-8 gets airborne. Note the early 727 for Eastern lacks emergency exit outlines.

Unfortunately I do not know who took any of these slides. But I am happy to share them here for historical reference and appreciation.

Special thanks to Jon Proctor for sharing his excellent Miami observation deck photos below. Jon was lucky enough to make a few visits to Miami’s observation deck in the 1965 and 1971 to record the proceedings. It is evident that Miami’s obs deck was a gold mine!

Feb, 1965: National Electra N5017K rests at the gate. Note the empty observation deck above the aircraft. (Jon Proctor photo)

Feb, 1965: National Electra N5017K rests at the gate. Note the empty observation deck above the aircraft. (Jon Proctor photo)

FEB, 1965: Avianca Columbia Connie HK-184 as seen from the observation deck with afternoon sun. (Jon Proctor photo)

FEB, 1965: Avianca Columbia Connie HK-184 as seen from the observation deck with afternoon sun. (Jon Proctor photo)

Miami Airport NOV 1965

Miami Airport NOV 1965 as viewed from the observation deck looking North. A National DC-8 gets airborne. Note the early 727 for Eastern lacks emergency exit outlines.

March, 1971 Eastern Electra N5534 prepares for departure. (Jon Proctor photo.)

March, 1971 Eastern Electra N5534 prepares for departure. (Jon Proctor photo.)

February, 1965. Two Eastern Airlines Boeing 720s in the then new Hockey stick scheme at Miami airport as viewed from the observation deck. (Jon Proctor photo)

February, 1965. Two Eastern Airlines Boeing 720s in the then new Hockey stick scheme at Miami airport as viewed from the observation deck. (Jon Proctor photo)

March, 1971: National DC-8-21 N6572C was a Miami regular. (Jon Proctor photo)

March, 1971: National DC-8-21 N6572C was a Miami regular. (Jon Proctor photo)

February, 1971. Eastern Airlines big boy and little boy. Both were common at Miami once upon a time. (Jon Proctor photo)

February, 1971. Eastern Airlines big boy and little boy. Both were common at Miami once upon a time. (Jon Proctor photo)

April, 1977: Delta 727-100 N1635 at Miami. This aircraft came from the Northeast Airlines fleet. (Jon Proctor photo)

April, 1977: Delta 727-100 N1635 at Miami. This aircraft came from the Northeast Airlines fleet. (Jon Proctor photo)

March, 1971. A rare Pan American Boeing 707-121B N707PA pulls into the gate are at Miami as viewed from the observation deck. (Jon Proctor photo)

March, 1971. A rare Pan American Boeing 707-121B N707PA pulls into the gate are at Miami as viewed from the observation deck. (Jon Proctor photo)

Summary
Article Name
Miami Airport Observation Decks expansion early 1960s
Description
I recently came across some old kodachrome slides taken at Miami Airport in the early 1960s, that show the development and expansion that took place at the terminal and observation deck between 1962 and 1965.
Author
Publisher Name
Henry Tenby
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