-- First Area Completed in Airport's Multi-Project Terminal Improvement Program --
Port of Oakland, Southwest Airlines and Turner Construction staff jointly dedicated today Oakland International Airport's (OAK) new Terminal 2 baggage claim building. The Port of Oakland owns and operates OAK. This is the first project of OAK's $300 million Terminal Improvement Program to be completed.
"The Terminal Improvement Program allows us to offer greater security, comfort and convenience to our passengers," said Port of Oakland's Board President Kenneth Katzoff. "We are very happy to be dedicating this new building today and look forward to celebrating future milestones over the next two years as additional areas of the program are completed."
"We are convinced that the Terminal Improvement Program will not only sustain the airport, but it will enhance Oakland International's vital contributions to the region's economy," Katzoff added.
Soon, Southwest Airlines arriving passengers will enjoy this new 27,000 square foot state-of-the-art building. Facility highlights include the following:
-Each of the three brand new carousels has enough capacity to handle baggage from two Boeing 737 jets, the only type aircraft that Southwest Airlines operates;
-The stunning terrazzo floor located throughout the building is an important long-term investment to withstand the over nine million Southwest Airlines passengers and their luggage who will travel through this building each year;
-An 8 foot-by-21 foot video wall will soon feature finished works by Bay Area artists commissioned by the Port of Oakland. The selected artists include Rebeca Bolinger, Arthur Carson, Mateen Kernet, and Hank Willis Thomas and the Cause Collective. A short video representing the final pieces being produced was shared today. Finished works will be programmed into the video wall as they are completed;
-New restrooms with adjacent entrances which are bright, airy and easy to maneuver in. The 17-stall women's and five-stall/seven-urinal men's are each equipped with ADA-compatible stalls, and are roomy enough for a traveler and his/her carry-on luggage or a young child. Diaper changing stations are provided in each; and
-Two down escalators, a staircase and an elevator, all adjacent to each other, offering more capacity to quickly transport travelers from arrival gates to baggage pick-up.
In time for the peak summer travel season, OAK travelers will soon enjoy this modern, efficient and expanded new arrivals area. Airport staff will open the new Terminal 2 baggage claim building at a later date to be announced.
Begun in 2004, the Terminal Improvement Program is designed to add even more convenience, security and service to the travel experience. In Terminal 2, the program encompasses a new seven-gate concourse and waiting areas; expanded ticketing, security and baggage claim facilities; and a modern, centralized food, beverage and retail shopping area. Additional improvements to the terminal roadway and curbsides will improve access and ease traffic congestion in front of both terminals. Program completion is expected in 2008.
OAK's existing terminals were originally designed for approximately eight million passengers annually. OAK served 14.4 million passengers in 2005. Port of Oakland Director of Aviation Steve Grossman said, "Once all these improvements are complete, Oakland International will continue to be the airport of convenience with easy access, additional parking and more comfortable surroundings."
With 138 daily nonstop departures to 20 U.S. cities, Southwest Airlines served nearly 60 percent of OAK's passengers in 2005. Now with its codeshare partner, ATA Airlines, Southwest connects travelers with the Hawaiian Islands. Oakland is Southwest's fifth busiest airport in terms of daily departures. Southwest began serving OAK in May 1989.
Turner Construction, the prime builder for the Terminal Improvement Program, committed to utilizing local businesses on 45 percent of the work at OAK. In addition, Turner exceeded its nationwide commitment to minority and women-owned businesses at 20 percent.
Project funding for the Terminal Improvement Program is through Port operating revenues, commercial paper, and revenue bonds; Federal grants; and passenger facility charges.
OAK has over 200 flights a day on 12 domestic and international carriers to 39 nonstop destinations, including Atlanta, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, the Hawaiian Islands including Hilo, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Mexico and seasonal service to the Azores (Portugal), Sun Valley, Idaho and Vancouver, British Columbia. OAK served 14.4 million passengers and handled over 671,000 metric tons of air cargo in 2005. Visit oaklandairport.com for more information.