Free Tours of the Orange County John Wayne Airport

This sounds like fun! Via lisamcgu on Milepoint, the Orange County airport offers free guided tours.

Tours begin at the John Wayne statue on the Arrival (lower) Level (bring your camera!). Groups view and receive explanations of how planes fly, the Wright Brothers flight, terminal architecture, historical photo displays, rental car areas, baggage carousels, airline ticket counter areas, security checkpoints, flight display monitors, paging, and skycap activity. The last stop on the tour is an area where the participants can view the airfield and planes taking off and landing. Due to heightened security, tour groups are currently NOT permitted entry to the secured side of the Terminal. (The FAA does not permit tours of the Control Tower. The Fire Station does not allow tours.)

Schedule your tour a couple of weeks in advnace, usually for 10:30 a.m. or 2:30 p.m. weekdays though it’s possible to do Saturday as well. The hour to hour and a half tour can be arranged for from 2 to 25 people, and the only expense is for parking at $2 per hour.

Very cool.

Do any other airports offer something similar?

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  1. At first glance, it sounds neat, but based on the website, they don’t offer a tour of any “behind the scenes” areas. It is all areas regular pax can access. I guess it would be something neat for the kids (if they have never flown before) but otherwise, I don’t see the appeal.

  2. I’m one of the volunteer tour guides at LGB, and it sounds like your daughter was one of the lucky ones, Ron. The tour usually doesn’t include the JetBlue airplane unless it’s a special occasion. Maybe someone in her class worked for the airline or something?

    Usually at LGB, we go out to a GA ramp and explain how airplanes fly. Then we walk over near the jet fuel tanks and the firefighters come over and talk about what they do. That’s always the highlight for the kids, especially since they turn on the hoses very briefly. After, we walk back into the terminal and talk more about the history. We end up on the observation deck (when it’s open).

    The tours of definitely geared more toward kids, but a lot of times we find the chaperones like it a lot more.

  3. @Cranky – I hope you don’t try to fill those kids’ heads with all that poppy cock about thrust and lift – we all know the reason that planes fly is that the captain has a magic wand and casts a spell of flight

  4. DEN used to offer a tour of the airport, but I do not know if they still offer the tours. When I went on the tour, ATC access was not allowed, as 9/11 had occurred about seven months before..

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