Airports

SFO Airport to name international terminal for Senator Dianne Feinstein

The San Francisco Airport Commission has approved a resolution to rename the International Terminal at SFO for the late Senator and former San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein.

The announcement responds to a proposed nomination submitted in November 2023 to the Airport Commission by The Dianne Feinstein 100-plus Committee, whose members include former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown and retired SFO Airport Director John L. Martin.

The Airport Commission carefully reviewed the proposed nomination and found that the following were “compelling reasons to honor the nominee recommended for consideration:”

  • In 1980 and 1981, as Mayor of San Francisco, Feinstein led the negotiation of a 30-year Lease and Use Agreement with the airlines that transformed the Airport’s business operation and provided for the construction of SFO’s first International Terminal that opened in 1983. The Agreement incentivized the Airport to establish itself as a leader among U.S. airports in concession revenue performance, providing the Airport with major capital financing capacity and a formula whereby the airlines and City share in the Airport’s business success. The Agreement provided for a new business structure which is still in place today that provides for 15% of SFO concession revenue to be shared with the City as repayment for its investment. The City has realized over $1 billion as a return from this 15% share since 1981. SFO remains one of only a handful of airports across the country with this structure.
  • From the Master Plan expansion of the new International Terminal to the BART-SFO extension and new Air Traffic Control Tower, Senator Feinstein played a leadership role in making the Airport the world-class facility it is today. Senator Feinstein led the charge to extend BART to SFO and, in a historic meeting, negotiated the agreement between the Airport, BART, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the airlines to bring the mass transit system directly into the International Terminal.
  • Senator Feinstein was a tireless advocate for SFO behind the scenes, including supporting SFO’s first in-line baggage screening system following 9/11, helping SFO access new FAA technology to improve safety and reduce delays, and providing federal agency resources in the aftermath of the Asiana crash.

What happens next

With the adoption of the resolution to rename the International Terminal for Dianne Feinstein, SFO will begin work with the Dianne Feinstein 100-plus Committee to develop an approach for implementation.

This will include collaboration on locations, design, and content to celebrate the legacy of Senator Feinstein relative to both SFO and the City of San Francisco.

There is no defined timeline for this activity, but the goal is to ensure the finished result captures the intent which led to the naming campaign.

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