By Mike Schuh

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Increasing competition is causing airports across the country to upgrade their terminals.

As Mike Schuh reports, BWI-Marshall is looking to its past to be the only of its kind in the future.

Who knew that an idea popular in the propeller age would make a comeback?

“We used to come out here on Sundays, just come down here to watch the planes. It was a day trip,” said Paul Wiedefeld.

When BWI-Marshall was Friendship Airport, crowds packed the outdoor observation deck. But as airports modernized with more security, passengers were sealed off.

“This is exactly where they would have been. This is the original terminal right here, the original concourse,” Wiedefeld said.

Wiedefeld now runs the airport. He’s overseen most of the recent renovations and says there’s more to come.

For instance, the last dark security cave? Its days are numbered.

“We’re trying to bring the airfield into the terminal, so when you’re in the terminal you can see the plane,” Wiedefeld said.

People’s anxiety goes way down when they know where their aircraft is, when they know where their gate is.

The new deck will be open, airy and bright–with a view to where the cool stuff is.

When this new checkpoint by the international terminal is built, “you’ll be able to see the aircraft,” Wiedefeld said.

Not only from security but from an outdoor observation deck, bar and restaurant.

It will be the only one of its kind in the country.

“And then to the left it will be open to the public wherever you want to sit,” Wiedefeld said. “You’ve got to be constantly thinking about what’s the next challenge, what’s the next opportunity so that’s why you’re always doing this.”

Changes this traveler says she will appreciate.

“To be there and watch it from the outside of the plane in is really thrilling,” said Cyrilla, a passenger.

That deck should open in 2016. The only catch is: It’s on the other side of security, so you need a ticket to get there.

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