BAC Insiders Tour: SFO

SFO International Airport reflects the City itself: small but mighty.  In its compact 2,500 acres of developed land, it manages to move more than 50 million passengers a year, employ 31, 000 staff, and ease traffic congestion for its 2,300 parking stalls.  This week, the Bay Area Council and 20 Bay Area business leaders took their special tour by meeting new General Manager Ivar Satero, who discussed SFO’s future. This included focusing on domestic travel, and continuing support of traffic and transportation decongestion by promoting relationships with BART, Uber and Lyft.


SFO’s runway is a precise, geometrically intricate diagram, like a multi-level game of frogger, with planes able to take off and land within seconds of each other. Included at this busy airport are three fire stations, a complete repair facility, marine facility, and Coast Guard office. Baggage claim is run by computers, with just one individual overseeing brightly-lit monitors that give an overview of every baggage conveyer.  Automation has significantly decreased incidents of baggage being lost or misrouted.


A stroll through LEED Gold certified Terminal 2 illustrates why it is the model for future airport check-in design. After the check-point, passengers are surrounded by soothing artwork in a very large, spacious lobby that leads to mid- to high-level shopping, cafes, and mini-museums.  Another overall goal for SFO is utilizing space and “flow” to direct passengers to where they need to enter or exit the airport.  Combining efficiency to enhance passenger experience by coordinating execution with state of the art technology, SFO International stays current, relevant, and continues to lead the way to better air travel.

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