When I was a little boy, I begged and pleaded with my dad to bring me to Boston's Logan Airport to watch planes land, take off, and move about the runways and taxiways. Back then, you could go outside to an observation platform and get up close to the planes. That was in the 1960's when outdoor observation decks were common at airports. While once a standard feature at many airports, these decks slowly started disappearing in the wake of security concerns and the need for more terminal space.
Lately, it seems a resurgence is in the works world-wide. This chart shows you where to find observation areas, many of them in the open air, offering easy access from the terminal building. (While there are many "plane spotter" vantage points near airports, our survey covers observation decks located at or within the main airport buildings.) So rejoice fellow aviation geeks, and anyone wishing to get a whiff of fresh air--or jet fuel.