San Francisco International Airport (SFO) has inaugurated the first nine-gate section of Harvey Milk Terminal 1.
Southwest Airlines and JetBlue flights took off this morning from the new Boarding Area B.
The construction of Harvey Milk Terminal 1 has been split into two projects of Boarding Area B (BAB) and Terminal 1 Center (T1C).
It has been named after Harvey Milk, who was the first openly gay elected official in California. The first phase of the terminal modernisation project entailed an investment of $2.4bn.
Harvey Milk Terminal 1 features floor-to-ceiling windows, which darken and lighten as per the intensity of sunlight, as well as circular openings that allow sunlight to enter the building.
With the opening of Harvey Milk Terminal 1, the airport will introduce a new gate numbering system that will help passengers to easily find their way from check-in to security and on to the flight gate.
At SFO, this new gate numbering system will be implemented across the airport to make connections between terminals more intuitive and logical.
The terminal has installed newly-designed information dashboards throughout the boarding area to offer easy-to-read information on flight times, gates, and adjacent amenities.
SFO Airport director Ivar Satero said: “Harvey Milk Terminal 1 sets a new benchmark for the airport experience, and serves as a tribute to the life and legacy of a pioneering civil rights leader.
“For millions of people around the world, SFO is the first impression of the San Francisco Bay Area, and Harvey Milk Terminal 1 showcases what makes our region great: a spirit of innovation, a focus on the environment, and most importantly, a commitment to diversity, equality, and inclusion.”
SFO is the first airport in the US to install a tote-based independent carrier system (ICS) to manage checked baggage.
The system at Harvey Milk Terminal 1 ensures that each bag is placed in an individually controlled tote. The baggage remains in from ticket counter check-in, through security screening, and out to its collection point for loading, with complete tracking and traceability provided along the way.