San Francisco International Airport’s $383-million Terminal 2 renovation project is representative of several developments unfolding at the facility – all of them good.

Terminal Development

Long slated to be built but put on hiatus after Sept. 11, 2001, the 575,000-sq-ft project signifies that SFO has more than recovered from the downturn that proceeded from that catastrophic day.

Targeted for LEED silver certification, the renovation effort shows that even an international airport as large as SFO can be a good steward of the environment.

And having generated nearly 600 construction-related jobs, with nearly half its renovation contracts going to San Francisco firms and 20% awarded to disadvantaged businesses in the area, the project is symbolic of just how much an airport can help drive local economic recovery.

“The project has created jobs not only for onsite people but at the businesses and manufacturing sites around us,” says Victor Perry, project director in San Francisco for general contractor Turner Construction Co. “We pride ourselves in hiring and using local firms. Some 48.75% of our contracts are going to San Francisco-based construction companies and subcontractors.

“Our goal for the contracts going to disadvantaged businesses was 15%, but we’re going to 20%. We’re kicking butt.”

Perry says that efforts to spread the contract largesse to local companies struggling in the recession was done “through the urging and collaboration” of Mayor Gavin Newsom and John Martin, director of the airport.

An $18-million portion of the remodeled facility’s baggage-handling system related to explosives detection will be paid for by federal stimulus dollars under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The renovations began in earnest in April 2008 and are on target for completion by March 2011. Plans call for expanding Terminal 2 from its present 10 gates to 14 to service domestic flights.

The 56-year-old structure had been refurbished in 1983 to accommodate international travelers but was closed to passengers 10 years ago after the opening of a new...