Friday, July 25, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

California rambling: Sacramento takes flight

AN AUTOMATED people mover transports passengers to their departure gates. Photo courtesy Sacramento County Airports

AN AUTOMATED people mover transports passengers to their departure gates. Photo courtesy Sacramento County Airports

By
From page A4 | February 06, 2012 |

A city’s first impression is often made by its airport, and with the completion of construction on Sacramento International Airport’s Terminal B, the capital city’s image is taking flight.

Flying through Sacramento has long been a breeze compared to most other California airports. Now, it’s both easy and pleasurable. That’s saying a lot, considering that air travel has the reputation today of being more of a hassle than fun. What makes the new terminal (which houses ticketing, gates and baggage claim areas for Aeromexico, Alaska/Horizon, American, Frontier, Hawaiian, JetBlue and Southwest) so hospitable is its thoughtful design.

Terminal B is loaded with considerate features that recognize it’s not easy flying these days, including: restrooms that accommodate carry-on baggage, plentiful departure gate seating, an integrated international arrival area, lots of outlets and USB ports to charge mobile phones, tablets and laptops, and quality restaurants the likes of Esquire Grille, Dos Coyotes and Jack’s Urban Eats, to give travelers a taste of local fare.

Corgan and Associates, in association with Fentress Architects, even thought of placing rocking chairs on the third floor transfer level to provide greeters an appreciated place to sit, as they wait for others to land.

As a result, the new terminal has been receiving acclaim, far and wide. PC World magazine recently ranked it as the fifth-most tech-friendly airport in the U.S., thanks to its abundance of outlets and free WiFi. Other design elements make it easier to pick up and drop off passengers, by using a multi-level design that separates departure and arrival traffic, easing congestion that was common previously. And, Sacramento International’s reputation for quirky public art continues with a massive red rabbit taking a whimsical leap into the baggage claim area… sure to evoke smiles after a tiring flight.

The 56-foot-long, 10,000-pound sculpture, designed by Denver artist Lawrence Argent is titled “Leap” and described by the artist as a metaphor for travelers arriving and leaping into the unknown. Jack rabbits are similarly common on the airport grounds, though obviously neither as red or as big.

Size matters inside the 670,000-square-foot Terminal B complex, whose daytime spaces – three times bigger than the 44-year-old terminal it replaced — are flooded with dappled sunlight. The interior of the new terminal evokes the tree-lined streets of downtown Sacramento. Redwood posts, reclaimed from an historical bridge that once spanned the Mokelumne River, form the terminal’s curved ceiling.

Drought-resistant landscaping, storm water management, low-energy lighting and low-flow plumbing have contributed to the new terminal’s goal to achieve a silver level LEED certification for its environmentally sustainable design and winning a $150,000 energy rebate from the Sacramento Municipal Utility District.

The $1 billion cost to build Terminal B was funded using airport revenue bonds, federal grants and operating revenue; 2,500 construction jobs were supported during the five-year time it took to build the terminal. No local tax dollars were used to fund its construction or for continued operation of the Sacramento County Airport System. As an enterprise fund, the airport must generate its own revenue to support its operations.

Sacramento International Airport serves as the front door to the greater Sacramento area and Northern California. As flight schedules and services expand, opportunities for economic development and tourism expand not just for Sacramento County, but also for El Dorado, Placer, Yolo and other counties throughout our region. The airport’s 130 daily nonstop flights to 28 cities in the U.S. and Mexico generates some $4 billion in economic benefit to the region, each year.

Of course, few passengers are satisfied by such numbers when they’re inconvenienced. The new terminal design minimizes wasted time or energy, though some new changes are confusing. Parking is one of them.

Signs directing people to park are unclear. The natural tendency is to drive to your departure terminal, but the only parking area now available at Terminal B is costly hourly parking. To park in mid-priced daily parking, you have to turn toward Terminal A and park in the multi-level garage between Terminals A and B, then walk to Terminal B via a suspended walkway.  Economy parking is in a large open lot near the airport entrance.

Confusion about how to find daily parking for the new terminal seems to be its only criticism expressed in reviews and on social media, as Sacramento International’s new Terminal B has made a very good first impression.  For more about the airport, visit sacramento.aero/smf.

John Poimiroo of El Dorado Hills is a travel writer who specializes in California destinations.

Comments

comments

.

News

 
Scaffolding issue makes for contentious meeting

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
District 2: Candidates debate jobs versus lifestyle

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

Accident: 1 bullet hits 2

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1

 
Help available for breastfeeding mothers

By Health and Human Services Agency | From Page: A3

 
El Dorado County School Board vacancy

By El Dorado County Office of Education | From Page: A8

 
.

Opinion

Popular science

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

 
The weekly Daley: A good time to be there…

By Chris Daley | From Page: A4

Something to think about: More than what you see

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A4

 
.

Letters

Support of Director Prada

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

 
Uphold the Third Amendment

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Bureaucracy

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Imagination Theater’s play

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Watch whom you’re calling ‘conservative’

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

 
Fake ‘small farms’ steal from residential EID customers

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

People of Placerville

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

 
Computer scam phone calls

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

.

Sports

Sports Scene: July 24, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

 
Quarter century later, Rypien wins ACCG again

By Andrew Hazard | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Outside with Charlie: Paddle time

By Charlie Ferris | From Page: A6

 
Midget Lites join tomorrow’s action

By Bill Sullivan | From Page: A6

El Dorado rallies for last-inning victory

By Mike Bush | From Page: A6

 
Rush sit a win from Series

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A7

Tasmanian Devils go undefeated

By Patty Pope | From Page: A7

 
.

Prospecting

El Dorado wines win in Amador

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B1

 
Things to do: July 25, 2014

By Democrat Calendar | From Page: B2

Suds entice the taste buds

By Krysten Kellum | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Rhythm and Views goes bluesy

By | From Page: B3

Have an Hawaiian vacation at Carson Road wineries

By Carson Road Winery Asociation | From Page: B3Comments are off for this post | Gallery

 
Summer fun is happening in Twain Harte

By Fire On | From Page: B4Comments are off for this post

Manzanita doubles the music

By Table Nectar And Manzanita | From Page: B5

 
Recording artist at Busby Cellars

By News Release | From Page: B6

Hands4Hope hosts school supply drive

By News Release | From Page: B6

 
Supergroup plays Harris Center

By Carrera Productions | From Page: B6

Artists invited to go western

By Art On The Divide | From Page: B7

 
Visit Tahoe artists during tour

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: B7

Reggae on the River celebrates 30 years

By Reggae On | From Page: B7Comments are off for this post

 
.

Essentials

Lake levels 7-24-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

 
Crime Log: July 11-13

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

Building permits 7/7-11/2014

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

 
.

Obituaries

Wallace Murrel Thomas

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
.

Real Estate

How to have a garden party, minus the whining

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS3

 
Most common mistakes homebuyers make

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

.

Comics

Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A9

 
Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A9

Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A9

 
Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A9

 
Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A9

TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A9

 
New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A10

Horoscope, Sunday, July 27, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A10

 
Horoscope, Saturday, July 26, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A10

Horoscope, Friday, July 25, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A10

 
.

Home Source

How to have a garden party, minus the whining

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS3

Most common mistakes homebuyers make

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4