SFO terminal designed to bring back romance of travel

April 6, 2011 7:43:13 PM PDT
What's old is new again at San Francisco International Airport. Terminal 2 is celebrating its grand re-opening this weekend, and the reconfigured space at SFO may change your perception of airport terminals.

The landing of a spaceship at SFO is a first, while a classic American Airlines DC-3 shows off as a counterpoint. More than 70 years of history to celebrate the new Terminal 2, the new home to American and Virgin America, and considered the most modern and sustainable terminal in the United States.

"An airport terminal designed to bring back the romance of travel," said airport director John Martin.

They will try to recapture the era with local restaurant stars and artwork. You can fill an empty water bottle and take it on board.

People were impressed by what they saw.

"We immediately felt we walked into a five-star hotel lobby that was just declared LEED gold standard in its environmental design," said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee.

The terminal was built in 1954 and has undergone a massive $383 million renovation.

"This is a big part of economic growth and economic development in the region and it is a big part of keeping down the costs for passengers to fly," said California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Newsom was on the plane with Sir Richard Branson that flew alongside Virgin Galactica's White Knight 2 which will take passengers into space.

"We're 12 to 18 months away," said Branson.

It's Branson's profile, to see adventure and challenge. During an exclusive interview, I asked him why he does it.

"The element of competition, the element of trying to get the technology right and then the element of just trying to see what one's capable of," Branson replied.

His newest project is a submarine that will go down 36,000 feet, developed by a Bay Area man.

"Enable people to explore the oceans, discover species that have never been discovered before," explained Branson.

Never his head in the clouds. Flights begin April 14.


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