The 'Observation Deck' is in a bad location for viewing 5L/23R. It should be on the OTHER side of the runway, where there are NO buildings to obstruct 80% of the view! It's quite frustrating trying to watch anything at RDU these days.I went to the observation deck overlooking runway 5L/23R on the afternoon of 11/15/2009. It is a nice facility, but you can only see runway 5L/23R. The observation deck is on the side of a hill and below the RDU FSS building. Because of the rise of the hill and the bulk of the FSS building, you cannot see any part of 5R/23L from this Observation deck.
Unfortunately, most activity that afternoon was on 5R/23L, so I did not see much.
Here's a hint: You can park for FREE in the paid Exit Express station at the GA "General Aviation" building. The first FOUR (4) hours are FREE if you keep your ticket stub and use the same stub to exit at the gate arm reader.I could not access the other observation deck at the Crosswinds cafe because Hertz has all the parking spots in the area..
Great pics, Marshall!