An improved Observation Gallery at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI Marshall) is now open to the public. The acclaimed public space was temporarily closed in June 2012 to accommodate construction of a series of terminal enhancements. The work included improvements and new exhibits for the Observation Gallery and the installation of Sky Azure, a new food and beverage concession.
“The Observation Gallery is an important part of the travel experience for our passengers,” said Paul J. Wiedefeld, Chief Executive Officer of BWI Marshall Airport. “The improvements feature new and updated exhibits that showcase Maryland’s rich aviation and aerospace history.”
Similar to the outdoor observation deck that was part of the original Friendship International Airport, the Observation Gallery was first created in 1995 to offer views of airport operations. The public space included a number of exhibits related to aviation and air travel, including large sections of a Boeing 737-200 aircraft.
The updated Observation Gallery displays new objects and exhibits, including a 28-foot tall sounding rocket provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and a half-sized model of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory’s Solar Probe Plus spacecraft.
The existing aircraft parts are presented with new information and diagrams. A new photo mural near the aircraft cockpit displays a pilot’s view when landing on Runway 33L at BWI Marshall. New binocular viewers were installed to allow visitors to clearly view airport operations. The Observation Gallery provides new children’s play equipment and an updated Maryland Youth Art Gallery. Information about air traffic control procedures and the regional airspace are presented on a large structure that includes a model of Maryland One, the Southwest Airlines specialty aircraft. A large display case presents models from aircraft manufacturers and aviation museums from across Maryland.
The BWI Marshall Observation Gallery features other passenger amenities, including charging stations and the new Sky Azure cocktail lounge. Sky Azure is an 800-square-foot food and beverage concession that offers small plates along with a broad selection of local craft beers, international wines, and hand-crafted cocktails. Sky Azure is available for private party rental with a full catering menu.
The BWI Marshall Observation Gallery is located on the upper level of the Airport between Concourse B and Concourse C. The space is located before the security checkpoints, and is open to the public.
Improvements to the Observation Gallery were part of the overall B/C Connector Program. Construction of the terminal enhancements began in June 2012 to modernize the BWI Marshall passenger terminal and to provide new services for travelers. A new, 9-lane security checkpoint and a secure connector between concourses B and C opened in April. Other projects in the construction program are continuing, including enhancements to Concourse C and the creation of new food and retail concessions.