Airport officials reveal expansion plans for Sacramento's new Terminal B

10:19 AM, Sep 30, 2011   |    comments
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New Terminal B, Sacramento International Airport

SACRAMENTO, CA - Sacramento International Airport's new Terminal B has yet to officially open, and airport officials are already discussing expansion plans and the eventual addition of a Terminal C.

The official opening of Terminal B takes place Thursday, Oct. 6.

While it could be a couple of decades before plans materialize, designers are already looking ahead to travelers' needs in the late 2020s and 2030s, including a people  mover that connects passengers to three terminals instead of one.

When it comes to expanding the new Terminal B, airport officials have all the elements planned out, down to the salvaged wood from the Franklin-Thornton Bridge to be used on the ceiling.  A possible location for expansion would be at the south end of the new terminal, near the landscaping.

"We've envisioned basically a doubling of the size of the building which takes us just past the air traffic control tower and obviously that would happen after the control tower would be relocated," said terminal design team member Brent Kelly.

But don't expect to see any ground broken on the project until sometime around 2025. More likely to happen in the nearer future is an expansion of the people mover.

"The airport people mover system is designed to have two cars in tandem," said Sacramento County Director of Airports Hardy Acree. "Right now we're operating two cars together, but that capacity can be doubled in the future and the stations are designed to accommodate that, so we've built what we needed, but we designed it in such a way that we can expand it as demand increases."

A second people mover system will eventually be added, connecting to Terminal A, and someday to the proposed Terminal C.

The long-term plan is to make Terminal B the central hub for the airport.. As it stands, both terminals A and B have ticketing and baggage claim. But airport officials want to eventually move ticketing and baggage claim exclusively to Terminal B, and make terminals A and C satellite concourses, similar to what you see at other major airports, like Denver International.

There are also ideas to add more parking with direct connection to the terminal.

The current Terminal B concourse will also be expanded in the future.  Plans are to create 19 new gates in place of the 13 existing gates, with the possibility of creating 27 gates in the new terminal in total.

One more element of the expansion is the building of a new hotel at the airport.  The bidding process for the hotel is expected to start in the coming weeks. 

The previous hotel was torn down to make way for the expansion.


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