Monterey Regional Airport in California has opened a post-security outdoor waiting area, adjacent to Gate 1.
The courtyard currently has about 35 seats to create a lounge feel where people can take food and drink they brought with them from home or the snack bar in the secure area inside. It is a self-serve, self-maintained patio with receptacles for people’s trash and is overseen by the facility’s custodial staff to make sure it stays tidy, with wait service planned for the future. Though the snack bar does offer liquor, it cannot be taken past a certain point and is not allowed out in the open courtyard yet. There is also a pet area in a far corner with artificial turf, pickup bag station, and a place to dispose of pet waste.
The same public address system that is used inside is connected to the courtyard area so people can hear when there is a call for boarding and all other pre-boarding announcements. In addition to the public address system, the Monterey Regional Airport will be posting a QR code that will connect the user to the airport’s flight information system for the timely monitoring of a flight’s progress and status for those who can’t quite make out what is being said over a public address system.
The courtyard is an extension of the interior waiting areas and is intended to afford those who prefer to wait outside a place to sit in the Monterey Peninsula climate. It is on the far-left side of the facility outside Gate 1, accessible only through one doorway as it is a secure area. The area is open to everyone who has gone through the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint on their way to fly out of the airport.
The area was originally designed to be used as a gate, but it was never used and never enclosed. The airport looked at that space as an opportunity to do two things. The first was to rehabilitate an underused area to expand seating for awaiting-departure travelers as the airport has become busier. Secondly, the repurposed area was intended to promote the Monterey experience by capitalizing on the favorable climate.
Mike La Pier, airport executive director, said, “The Monterey Regional Airport’s new outdoor post-security-check waiting area is bringing another option to those who would rather wait in the open air instead of an enclosed space. It’s unique to go through security and then be able to sit and wait outside. It’s a cool addition to the experience of the Monterey Airport.”