San Antonio Int'l Opens New Terminal

Jodi Richards
Published in: 

The broad-based expansion program at San Antonio International Airport (SAT) took a giant step forward when the $120 million Terminal B opened at the end of October. The program also includes a $44 million bi-level roadway, $13 million central utility plant and $30 million consolidated baggage handling system. The projects are designed to work in concert to help the airport provide a higher level of customer service while reducing the operating expenses of an aging terminal.

The new 251,000-square-foot terminal is the result of a 1998 master plan that identified the need to replace Terminal 2, which last received "significant changes" in 1968 during the World's Fair, explains Frank Miller, director of aviation. The new eight-gate Terminal B replaces Terminal 2, which will be demolished. Terminal 1 will be renamed Terminal A and will receive a $25 million renovation, planning for which will begin in the next six to nine months, Miller reports.

Facts & Figures

Project: Terminal B

Location: San Antonio International Airport

Cost: $120 million

Size: 251,000 sq. ft.

Construction Manager at Risk: Clark/Byrne (joint venture of Clark Construction Group, LLC & Thos. S. Byrne, Ltd.)

Construction Manager/Project Manager: Jacobs

Consolidated Baggage Handling System: Vanderlande Industries

Details: Terminal B replaces previous Terminal 2, which will be demolished

Related Projects: $44 million bi-level roadway, $13 million central utility plant & $30 million consolidated baggage handling system

Material Details:

- 25,300 cubic yards of concrete

- 2,200 tons of rebar

- 264,000 lbs. of sheet metal

- 81/2 miles of piping

- 500,000+ sq. ft. of sheetrock

- 47 lineal miles of brick

- 60+ miles of conduit

- 70 miles of pulled wire

- 1,025+ tons of steel

- 55,000+ sq. ft. waterproofed

- 70,000+ sq. ft. fireproofed

- nearly 5 miles of caulking

- 21/2 miles of conveyor systems

- 1.065 million man-hours to date

When the 224,000-square-foot Terminal 2 is demolished, the site will provide more ramp space and, in the future, will likely be the home of a new Terminal C, which is not expected to be needed until about 2020, says Miller. SAT currently serves about 8 million passengers annually and is home to 15 airlines.

Clark/Byrne (a joint venture between Clark Construction Group, LLC and Thos. S. Byrne, Ltd.) served as the construction manager at risk (CMAR) for the Terminal B project. Jacobs held the program manager/construction manager contract for the expansion program with SAT's owner, the city of San Antonio.

Miller says the CMAR format, instead of a typical design-build method, was a good way to approach the project. "It allows the airport - as the owner - and the architect and the contractor an opportunity to start working together from the very beginning of the project," he explains. It also saves the airport money, Miller adds.

Under the CMAR model, all members of the Expansion Program Team worked side-by-side on the project, notes Lea Ann Jones, P.E., project controls manager for Jacobs. "Dealing with the day-to-day and having all hands on deck really makes a successful program and keeps the communication flowing quite easily," Jones says. "It makes a real team environment."

In addition to being very old, notes Miller, Terminal 2 had a constricted roadway system that was squeezed between the two terminal buildings. Going from one terminal to the other required a "fairly long walk," he recalls. The new Terminal B is now attached to Terminal 1 with a new bi-level roadway system, making it much easier for passengers to travel between the two. "With San Antonio being such a high conference site destination, it's important for us to be as customer-friendly as possible," Miller notes.

A high ceiling and expansive concourse create a large, more open feeling for passengers, observes Miller. Improved concessions offerings - including local brands - and more power outlets in the seating areas further enhance the customer experience, he adds.

With updated plumbing and electrical fixtures, the airport expects to reduce operating costs compared to the old Terminal 2. Part of a $1.7 million Department of Energy grant was used for solar panels to help offset costs and reduce energy consumption in the parking garage, reports Miller.

While San Antonio did not deploy common-use technology in the new terminal, Miller says the system was built with flexibility to increase capacity within the existing constraints of the building. There are also opportunities to add gates onto Terminal 1, he adds.

Retail & Concessions

About 16,000 square feet of the new terminal is devoted to retail and concessions. Offerings include four food courts, three specialty retail shops, a gift shop and two sit-down restaurants. The airport, which manages the concessions program in-house, engineered its requests for proposals to encourage vendors to bring in local concepts that provide a "sense of place."

HMSHost and joint venture partner Chelsea's Sandwiches of Texas have a ten-year food and beverage concessions contract with SAT. Under the contract, Terminal B will have a Rosario's Mexican Café y Cantina. HMSHost also combined Starbucks Coffee with local operator R Sala Bebida Botana Bar for the new terminal.

On the retail side, HMSHost has a ten-year newsstand contract with joint venture partner The Houston 8 LLC to open six newsstand locations in Terminal B and the renamed Terminal A.

The new 251,000-square foot terminal provides travelers with a more open feeling.

Architecture & Art

Outside the new terminal, a louver-type system on the front of the building provides shade from the western sun in the afternoon and keeps direct sunlight off ticket counters in the front lobby. "It helps with the sunlight, it helps with the heat, but it also provides an architectural finish on the front of the terminal," Jones says.

The project team leveraged local materials whenever possible, especially concrete for the roadway, parking garage and Terminal B, reports Jones. San Antonio has a tremendous amount of quarries, so aggregate and cement are readily available and cost-effective, she explains.

A local artist used brilliantly colored terrazzo and recycled glass to create works that appear on floors throughout the terminal.

Permanent art installations include a three-dimensional circular fabrication that hangs above one of the escalator lobbies. In addition, a band of windows around all of the holdrooms displays translucent glass images titled Missions of San Antonio. "You'll really feel like you're in San Antonio when you walk into the holdrooms," Jones says.

As the first and last impression of the region for many travelers, it was important to integrate the missions and Mexican heritage of the region, relates Rich Johnson, SAT's public relations manager. "The artwork is very representative of San Antonio," he says.

A local artist used brilliantly colored terrazzo and recycled glass to create works of art that appear on floors throughout the terminal.

The meet and greet lobby in Terminal B was another primary design consideration. The airport made it "far bigger" than the one in Terminal 2, Jones explains, to accommodate San Antonio's large military presence and active convention traffic.

Bags, Other Projects

Inside the terminal, a roughly $30 million consolidated baggage handling system brings all screening equipment from both terminals behind the building. Stimulus funds were used to help pay for the cost of the inline screening system, reports Miller.

The consolidated baggage handling system, designed and installed by Vanderlande Industries, includes five L3 scanners. It also features a conveyance system that allows passengers to check bags at the ticket counter instead of taking them to the TSA screening stations previously located in the airport's lobby. The bags then travel through security screening and out to the makeup units for the specific airlines.

Jones says the greenfield system provided a real opportunity for SAT to have a brand-new baggage handling system for the entire airport. "It's a very efficient system," she adds. "The bags, as simulated, won't be in the system any more than nine minutes."

A $13 million Central Utility Plan that will power Terminals A and B is also part of the expansion program. The utility project gives the airport the capacity to expand and will accommodate the needs of a new Terminal C when SAT is ready to begin that project - without having to tear up the airport again, Jones qualifies.

The $44 million two-tiered roadway system, completed at the end of March, is designed to relieve congestion from the upper level departure lanes and the lower level arrival and baggage claim area of the airport.

Construction Coordination

Initial stages of the project included underground utility work, which required tremendous coordination between public utility companies, the project team and the airport, Jones says.

Phasing was key during all aspects of the project because of the impact on the traveling public. "Before moving the road to a new configuration to continue construction, we really had to consider what the impacts were on the passenger - how to route the pedestrian traffic, how to put the signs," Jones explains. "And we had to do all of that work around the airport's schedule."

The roadwork portion of project included building a temporary bypass road, setting up temporary check-in stations and installing pedestrian walkways with lighting, rain protection and provisions to make them comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. "There were a lot of temporary scenarios that we developed, and those plans were established and then reviewed, rethought," Jones says.

As each phase of the roadway was constructed, the team had to consider practical aspects while also making it attractive, Jones notes. "We are the face of the city," she says. Even if elements were transient, they needed to reflect well on the airport and city. Art projects, for instance, were incorporated into the temporary pedestrian walkways to improve aesthetics.

Fortunately, Jones says, the Terminal B project was isolated, so there was less impact on the traveling public. On the other hand, she adds, only a very tight operating space was available between Terminals A and B.

Since construction began, the city has hosted the NCAA Men's Final Four, NCAA Women's Final Four and Alcoholics Anonymous convention with 55,000 attendees. "Working with Jacobs, Clark/Byrne and the Convention and Visitors Bureau, we really pulled it off, despite undergoing a huge [project]," Johnson says.


2022 Charlotte Douglas International Airport Report of Achievement

Giving back to the community is central to what Charlotte Douglas International Airport and its operator, the City of Charlotte Aviation Department, is about, and last year was no different. 

Throughout 2022, while recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, we continued our efforts to have a positive impact on the Charlotte community. Of particular note, we spent the year sharing stories of how Connections Don't Just Happen at the Terminal - from creating homeownership and employment opportunities to supporting economic growth through small-business development and offering outreach programs to help residents understand the Airport better.

This whitepaper highlights the construction projects, initiatives, programs and events that validate Charlotte Douglas as a premier airport.

Download the whitepaper: 2022 Charlotte Douglas International Airport Report of Achievement.



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