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OAK Enhances Travel Experience with Opening of New Gates and Public Artwork in Terminal 2

OAK Enhances Travel Experience with Opening of New Gates and Public Artwork in Terminal 2

Press Releases
November 14th, 2006

-- Second Public Area to Open in Airport's Multi-Project Terminal Improvement Program --

Oakland, Calif. -- The Port of Oakland opens today four gates in its new seven-gate concourse for San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport's (OAK) Terminal 2. The additional three gates will open in spring 2007. This is the second project of OAK's $300 million Terminal Improvement Program to open.

"The Terminal Improvement Program allows us to offer greater security, comfort and convenience to our passengers," said Port of Oakland's Board President Anthony A. Batarse. "Travelers using the new Terminal 2 concourse will find that it enhances their travel experience through Oakland. We are very happy to open this new building today and look forward to celebrating future milestones over the next two years as additional areas of the program are completed."

Beginning at 8:30 p.m. today, gates 29-32 will be open for terminating Southwest Airlines flights. The four gates will be open for both departures and arrivals beginning early-morning tomorrow. The additional three gates, 26-28, will open in spring 2007 upon completion of a phased aircraft ramp reconstruction project that has been under construction concurrent with the new Terminal 2 concourse.

Southwest Airlines passengers will enjoy an enhanced travel experience as they move through OAK's new 54,000-square-foot departures-and-arrivals building. Highlights of the spacious, state-of-the-art facility include:
* Comfortable waiting areas, offering views of the beautiful San Francisco bay and equipped with Herman Miller seating;
* Nationally- and locally-branded food, beverage and retail concession kiosks that are temporary until permanent facilities are constructed by spring 2007;
* Going Away, Coming Home, a work by world-renowned Oakland artist Hung Liu that spans 160 feet of windows and offers a visual representation of the journey each passenger experiences;
* A 200-foot-long, two-way moving walkway that runs the length of the artwork;
* One family restroom and two sets of restrooms which are bright, airy and easy to maneuver in. The eight-stall women's and two-stall/four-urinal men's are each equipped with ADA-compatible stalls and diaper changing stations, and are roomy enough for a traveler and his/her carry-on luggage or a young child;
* A stunning terrazzo floor that spans the concourse's main walkway and is an important long-term investment to support the over nine million Southwest Airlines passengers who travel through OAK each year; and
* Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building criteria has been incorporated into the design of the new Terminal 2 concourse.

These facility improvements are necessary to accommodate Southwest Airlines' growing number of passengers. With 142 daily nonstop departures to 21 U.S. cities, Southwest Airlines served nearly 60 percent of OAK's passengers in 2005. Now with its code share partner, ATA Airlines, Southwest connects travelers with the Hawaiian Islands.

"Southwest Airlines is a growth Company, and we are committed to growing in Oakland," said Marilee McInnis, Southwest Airlines spokeswoman. "These additional gates pave the way for the future growth of Southwest Airlines at San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport, and the well-planned public spaces provide a great airport experience for our Customers."

Despite opening of the new Terminal 2 concourse, Southwest Airlines will not realize an increase in gate availability until spring 2008. Upon today's opening of the first four gates in the new concourse, four of six gates in the existing Terminal 2 concourse will be closed for renovation. These four gates will reopen in spring 2007, at which time the remaining two gates will close for renovation. Renovation of the existing Terminal 2 concourse, which includes all new windows, carpet and utility infrastructure, and completion of the aircraft ramp reconstruction project are all planned for completion in spring 2008.

"We are pleased to open this new facility for use by our partner, Southwest Airlines," said Steve Grossman, Director of Aviation for the Port of Oakland, which owns and operates OAK. "Once the Terminal Improvement Program is complete, Oakland International will continue to be the airport of convenience with easy access, additional parking and more comfortable surroundings."

Beginning with first flights on Nov. 15, a full array of food, beverage and news concessions will be available to travelers. Starbucks will offer a full menu of beverages and pastries. HMSHost, OAK's new concessions management partner in the newly constructed facilities, will operate a news and gift stand offering newspapers, magazines, sundry items and grab-n-go sandwiches, salads and beverages. Also, Bay Area-based Andalé Mexican Restaurant & Bar will offer grab-n-go sandwiches and salads, Peet's coffee, and cocktail service featuring mixed drinks, wine and draft beer.

In spring 2007, all seven gates will be operational and permanent concessions will be complete. Passengers will have many choices, including a food court featuring California Pizza Kitchen, Fentons Ice Cream and Max's Eatz; Andalé Mexican Restaurant & Bar featuring sit-down service, a full-service bar, grab-n-go foods and Peet's coffee; local favorites such as Gordon Biersch and Auntie Anne's Pretzels; and a permanent Starbucks concession. HMSHost will also offer various branded retail shops such as See's Candies and Airport Wireless/Palm One.

Passengers arriving and departing OAK's new concourse are welcomed by the first major public art installation under the Port of Oakland's landmark public art policy. Going Away, Coming Home is a critically-acclaimed work by Oakland artist Hung Liu. It features 80 hand-painted red-crowned cranes, cited by National Geographic as symbols of luck and prosperity. The Oakland Museum of California was chosen by the Port to implement the new public art program.

This project is part of OAK's $300 million Terminal Improvement Program, which expands the existing Terminal 2 facility by an additional 108,000 square feet on two levels. In addition to the recently opened baggage claim area, it includes expanded ticketing and security facilities. Other improvements to the terminal roadway and curbsides will enhance access and ease traffic congestion in front of both terminals. Program completion is expected in 2008.

Turner Construction, the prime builder for the Terminal Improvement Program, committed to utilizing local businesses on 45 percent of the work at OAK. In addition, Turner exceeded its nationwide commitment to minority and women-owned businesses at 20 percent.

Project funding for the Terminal Improvement Program is through Port operating revenues, commercial paper, and revenue bonds; Federal grants; and passenger facility charges.

OAK has over 200 flights a day on 12 domestic and international carriers to 39 nonstop destinations, including Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, the Hawaiian Islands including Hilo, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Mexico and seasonal service to the Azores (Portugal), Sun Valley, Idaho and Vancouver, British Columbia. OAK served 14.4 million passengers and handled over 671,000 metric tons of air cargo in 2005. The airport is a revenue division of the Port of Oakland, an independent department of the city of Oakland. Visit oaklandairport.com for more information.