San Francisco Airport's SkyTerrace observation deck opens Friday

SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (KGO) -- San Francisco International Airport is opening a SkyTerrace observation deck to the public on Friday, offering flyers and visitors a chance to relax and watch planes take off.

Walk into Terminal 2, take the elevator or stairs up a couple of floors and you'll find the new SFO SkyTerrace opening to the public on Friday. The area is located prior to passengers heading through TSA security checkpoints so it is open to both ticketed passengers and airport visitors.

"We really wanted to carve out some space for the public to enjoy that's why we're standing here today, so it's great that we were able to work that into this project," said Doug Yakel, SFO airport spokesman.

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The $6.3 million, 3,000 square foot lounge is offering travelers and visitors alike a moment to relax, take a seat in a comfy chair, and soak in incredible views you can only find 50 feet above the tarmac.

There is still security to enter the SkyTerrace. Yakel confirms that airport security personnel will screen visitors to the SkyTerrace. Screening procedures will differ from TSA, however. Food and beverage will be allowed, but items like weapons will still be prohibited.

There are also 10-foot high glass security walls on the outdoor Observation Deck. There is a special reflective coating to protect birds.

The outdoor lounge chairs will be your new best friend the next time your flight is delayed or you have a long layover. Aviation fans will also enjoy the incredible views of planes taking off and landing from several runways.

"Not only can you go out and enjoy the airport of today, but you can really take a step back and enjoy the history of SFO while you're here" said Yakel.

The SFO Museum has installed a number of artifacts dating back decades - providing a connection to the deep history at the airport.

As the airport works to improve the overall travel experience for flyers, Yakel believes this is a step in the right direction.

"Travel has become very transactional, but there once was a time when it was very magical and we're hoping by allowing people to come out here and experience (the SkyTerrace) they can recapture a little of that magic."

The SkyTerrace is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. Smoking is not permitted.

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