Officials in Sacramento, Calif., unveiled plans  for a $1.3-billion expansion of Sacramento International Airport that they plan to begin construction on next year.

The Sacramento County Dept. of Airports detailed the plans dubbed “SMForward”—Sacramento International’s airport code is SMF—on Feb. 1. The expansion will be split into six projects to be built through 2027. These include the construction of a $391-million rental car facility, a $140-million pedestrian walkway connecting Terminal B to Concourse B, $380-million Terminal B parking garage, additional gates and amenities at Terminal A and Concourse B and other improvements for connecting to ground transportation.

“With record numbers of people traveling through SMF and the Greater Sacramento region’s growing economy that continues to create new opportunities, Sacramento International Airport is at a crucial intersection,” said Sacramento County Supervisor Phil Serna at a press conference announcing the expansion program. 

The county has already issued two RFQ&Es for the expansion. One seeks an on-call architectural consultant, while the other is for architectural and engineering consulting services for the pedestrian walkway and terminal expansions. Representatives from more than 50 firms attended an industry day presentation about the walkway and terminal expansions contract last November. 

Officials anticipate awarding both contracts this spring. A county spokesperson could not immediately say when they expect to go out to bid for the first construction contract.

The projects are the largest airport construction program in the county's history and implement parts of the airport master plan that county supervisors approved last year, says TJ Chen, deputy director of airport planning and development for the county. County officials say SMForward is the airport’s largest construction program to date designed to accommodate projected passenger growth.

Passenger totals returned to pre-pandemic levels in 2022 where the facility tallied six consecutive years of year-over-year record-breaking passenger growth through 2019. Forecasts show steady passenger growth averaging 4.3 percent annually through 2041.

The airport currently offers more than 155 daily nonstop flights on 12 domestic and international carriers to 36 destinations. 

“In addition to roadways and gates, the master plan anticipates the additional facilities and airfield infrastructure needed to meet the growing demand for air travel,” Chen said in a statement.

The county is financing the project with a combination of state and federal grants, plus user fees and municipal bonds issued by the airport.