The announcement follows 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 nomination and found that the following were “compelling reasons to honour 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. The agreement incentivised SFO to establish itself as a leader among US airports in concession revenue performance, as well as delivering a new business structure that is still in place today. This provides for 15% of SFO concession revenue to be shared with the City as repayment for its investment. The City has received over $1bn 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 (Bay Area Rapid Transit-SFO) extension and new air traffic control tower, Senator Feinstein played a leadership role in making the airport the facility it is today. According to the airport operator, Feinstein led the charge to extend BART to SFO and, in an 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 its 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 in 2013.
The next steps
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.