b'Long Beach Airport56 LGB | MSO | PIT | SFO FACILITIESThe Great Outdoors is Even PHOTO: MATTEO GASTEL, VESTREGreater During a Pandemic BY SCOTT BERMANWhen Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) unveiled theOn Deckdetails of its $1.4 billion Terminal Modernization ProgramGiven the perennial appeal of watching aircraft land and take off, a few years ago, one feature marked a striking designthere is a long history of observation decks at airports. John F. departure for the airport. Plans included four expansive open-airKennedy International, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International and terraces teeming with greenery and easy access to nearby indoorTennessees Tri-Cities Airport are just a few that have offered such concessions.spaces for years. This is a novel, unique move for PIT, andThe $415,000 outdoor deck Missoula a rarity for most U.S. airports, says ChiefInternational (MSO) opened in 2014 proved to be Development Officer Paul Hoback. There aresuch a hit that the Montana airport is in the midst no other significant, deliberate outdoor spacesof adding another one. People come to [this at PIT, which is why the new outdoor terracesarea] to be outdoors, so it has been very well are essential to our modernization vision. received, explains MSO Director Brian Ellestad. Together, the four open-air areas, will offerPAUL HOBACK BRIAN ELLESTADThe airports existing 1,200-square-foot passengers 90,000 square feet of outdoor space above anddeck, located near Gate 3, includes a bar, moveable outdoor beyond the 700,000 square feet of other terminal renovations. Costfurniture, and low glass walls that provide expansive views of the for the new outdoor areas is estimated at $7 million. Two terracesairfield and mountains beyond. will be located before the TSA checkpoints, and two after. Guests will access the landside terraces from PITs new public meter/ Ellestad explains that anticipated passenger growth and an greeter area on the second-floor arrivals level. Ticketed passengersassociated need for more holdroom space inspired him to initiate will access the post-security terraces from the main concourse levelthe project, and the timing ultimately proved to be spot on. of the new terminal, to the west of the existing central core. Passenger volume at MSO grew 53% between 2013, when the deck project began, and 2019, when the airport served a record The ultimate goal is to provide an amenity to airport guests,900,000 passengers.particularly past security, to reduce the anxiety that often accompanies air travel, Hoback explains, adding that access to fresh outdoor airWith more growth projected, the airport included a second, will boost well-being for passengers and employees alike.$300,000 outdoor deck in its $72 million terminal project that is expected to wrap up later this year. The new 1,500-square-foot The new outdoor areas will be landscaped with regional treesdeck will feature full-service food and beverage concessions, an and vegetation, a design theme foreshadowed with tree and rockoutdoor fireplace and outdoor seating. arrangements near the new terminal entrances. [It] represents the surrounding landscape of the western Pennsylvania region,Tim Damrow, deputy director at MSO, notes that the new introducing guests to the beauty of the area, says Hoback.amenity will provide passengers with fresh air and great views while they wait to depart. Moreover, he describes the project as a great The outdoor terraces and other terminal renovations are slated tolow-cost investment that adds needed space during the peak debut in 2025.summer travel but can be decommissioned in winter.March | April 2022AirportImprovement.com'