Another View: Airport’s expansion was, and is, right move

Special to The BeeNovember 25, 2012 

As a former Sacramento County supervisor, I am proud to have led the effort to build a new terminal at Sacramento International Airport to replace the outdated original terminal. Choosing to build the terminal we did was, and continues to be, the right choice for Sacramento. ("Sac airport provides a lesson"; Dan Walters, Nov. 19)

Our new terminal has a major positive local economic impact. With a larger capacity for airport travelers, Sacramento can accommodate more tourists, bringing in revenue for our region. The design and layout allows us to expand for the future so that we have a terminal that will serve us for decades to come.

The airport employs 11,000 people and has a yearly payroll of $442.5 million. It contributes approximately $4 billion to the local economy annually. During the design and construction of the terminal, an estimated 2,400 jobs were created, including more than 200 permanent jobs, and the economic impact is estimated at $2.1 billion throughout the region. This is critical at a time when the economy continues to struggle and unemployment exceeds 10 percent. Notably, the terminal was completed more than $60 million under budget.

The new terminal is not only beautifully constructed and state-of-the-art, but it was constructed to be sustainable and energy-efficient. It was the first two-building terminal to receive a LEED Silver certification. There are plans to extend light rail to the airport to allow for a more economical, convenient and green option for travelers.

We can be proud that when a new visitor arrives, Terminal B is their first impression, introducing visitors to all that Sacramento has to offer. It provides travelers with more options at the airport and celebrates our wonderful local chefs and cuisines. Our terminal now more accurately reflects the beauty and culture of our region.

Infrastructure projects, such as Terminal B and high-speed rail, are vital to job growth and economic development for California's economy. The terminal has brought tremendous job growth to the region and boosted the local economy.

High-speed rail can do the same for our state. It is a historic and long overdue infrastructure investment that will have lasting economic benefits, employ hundreds of thousands of Californians, and improve mobility throughout our state – linking our communities for generations to come. The future of California relies on multiple modes of transportation, including necessarily updated airports and the promise of high-speed rail.

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