Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) has opened an Interim Gates Facility at the south end of Terminal B.

The new $58m Gates 31-36 concourse has been designed and constructed to support existing and near-term passenger growth.

SJC Aviation director John Aitken said: “In the first quarter of 2018, SJC’s passenger traffic increased by 18.5% as compared to the same three-month period in the previous year. The rapid growth in projected customers over 2018-2019 highlighted the need for an interim facility to meet the increased demand.

“Thank you to our Mayor, Council, City Public Works and Airport staff, our airlines and concessionaires, and our design and construction teams for supporting the airport in delivering this project in such a short timeframe.”

The new Interim Gates Facility opening comes as the combined 30 gates in Terminals A and B were not sufficient to accommodate projected flight and passenger growth.

Following approval by the San Jose City Council in June last year, construction partners Hensel Phelps and Fentress Architects ensured the rapid design and completion of the facility in time.

Fentress Architects principal in charge of design Curtis Fentress said: “The new Interim Gates Facility offers a flexible and efficient terminal for the rapidly growing airport.

“By optimising daylighting opportunities and implementing materials complementary to SJC’s existing architecture, our design creates a warm and relaxing passenger experience for travellers to and from Silicon Valley.”

Gates 31-35 were turned over to Southwest Airlines, while gate 36 remains under construction and is expected to be opened by 1 November this year.

The facility is set to remain operational for five to seven years. Planning work will continue for the future Phase II Expansion of Terminal B.

The Interim Gates Facility will remain completely operational during the construction of the future project.