San Francisco International Airport Master Plan


City & County of San Francisco


San Francisco, California


1966, 1968

Dreyfuss + Blackford was involved in the planning and design of San Francisco International Airport (SFO) from 1964 to 1981.

From 1927 – when Mills Field opened with one graded dirt runway – until 1965, the airfield had expanded on a piecemeal basis.

In 1965-66, we prepared two different master plans for the airport expansion in conjunction with Quinton Engineers, Ltd. The first plan proposed a relocation of the terminal complex, the addition of a parallel instrumented runway for simultaneous Instrument Landing System approaches, and the addition of the freeway on the Bay side of the airport. This plan would have provided for continuous growth of the airport until airspace requirement limitations were reached. The second Master Plan, which was adopted in 1966, provided for the use of existing runways to be improved and lengthened, and for the expansion and improvement of the terminal complex.

Because new forecasts in air travel emerged the following year, a new Office of Airport Planning & Development was created and charged with developing a Definitive Plan for expansion. In a joint venture, Dreyfuss + Blackford and John Carl Warnecke & Associates, Inc., created the Definitive Plan in 1967. Six schemes were presented for additional buildings and services, designed to serve the maximum number of passengers allowed by the capacities of the runways and the freeway systems. The preferred terminal facilities scheme was refined and approved in 1968. The Definitive Plan was prepared in much greater detail than the Master Plan in 1966, and was adequate for the development of specific architectural programs.

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