Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Lost's Ideal Airport

For years now, I have wandered through San Francisco Airport's former International terminal with amazement. The building is deserted. Empty. Completely vacant. Yet it's location is directly between the massively busy United/American Terminal 3 and the hodgepodge of Terminal 1's Delta/US Air/Everyone else. That means that travel between the two inevitably requires walking through this cavernous maw of 1970's architecture, with only the sound of your footsteps and the squeaking of the wheels of your rollaboard to keep you company.

It's downright eerie, and strange, since every other terminal seems so overwhelmed with traffic and business. With it's central location, and easy gate locations, it's always strange that it lies there, dormant, in an otherwise modern busy airport. Heck, you even have to pass the Airport Police as you enter, as their station lives at the entrance. Nothing like armed police eyeing you suspiciously, wondering why you are willingly entering a deserted building, to make you feel welcomed and safe.

Looks like that's finally about to change. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Terminal 2 is finally looking at a revamp and reopening, complete with a shiny new anchor tenant, Virgin America, in 2 years. It looks like seismic retrofitting was the reason for much of the abandonment; nice to hear it now. My favorite, though, was this gem of a quote:
"...there will be an effort to make the terminal "as environmentally friendly as possible," to include not having aircraft use engines or auxiliary power units at the gate, so they can save fuel. Vendors will be required to obtain green business certificates from San Mateo County, and there will be preferential parking for hybrid cars."

Check out the obligatory attempt to try to get in with the green folks by talking about hybrids. Um, in case you haven't noticed, since about September 12th, 2001, parking at a terminal in any major airport is a big Homeland Security no-no. So, the "preferential parking" will be...where? The garage? You know, the same garage that services Terminals 1 & 3? Um...why is that a selling feature here?

Let's see if Virgin America can stop these statements from being too ridiculous and focus on building a terminal that will rival JetBlue's new Terminal 5 at JFK instead. Now that's the way to welcome old T2 back!



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