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Rancho Cordova Independent

SMF Launches $1.3 Billion Expansion Project

Feb 08, 2023 12:00AM ● By Sac County News Release

Over the next five years, this transformation will create world-class facilities that will enhance our customer's travel experience while improving crucial infrastructure to meet our growth. Photo courtesy of Sac County

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento County Department of Airports, which operates Sacramento International Airport (SMF), announced on February 1, SMForward, a $1.3 billion expansion project that will reshape the Airport to accommodate projected passenger growth over the next seven years.

SMForward is embarking on a transformative journey, with the launch of six ambitious projects in 2024, including the construction of a stunning $140 million pedestrian walkway. This state-of-the-art walkway will seamlessly connect Terminal B to Concourse B, empowering passengers with the flexibility to choose between a leisurely walk to their gate or utilizing the Airport's efficient train system.

Additional SMForward projects include expansions to both Terminal A and Concourse B, which will add gates and new amenities; a new Terminal B parking garage; and a consolidated ground transportation center that will centralize taxi, rideshare, and off-site shuttle providers into a single area that is walkable from both terminals. SMForward is expected to conclude in late 2027 with the completion of a new $400 million consolidated rental car facility, allowing passengers access to the Airport's rental car providers without the need to ride a shuttle bus.

SMForward is a major milestone for Sacramento, representing the largest construction program in the airport's history. This ambitious project is not just an expansion, but a complete transformation of the airport experience for the people of Sacramento and its visitors. The project will bring about significant improvements and upgrades that will enhance the convenience, comfort, and accessibility of the airport for all.

“The airport experience is the first impression many people see when they arrive in Northern California – and the last as they leave," said Cindy Nichol, Director of Sacramento County Department of Airports. “SMForward will change the airport's skyline, but it also sets the stage for the airport's growth and our region's as a whole."

SMFoward creates jobs and economic opportunities for local businesses and serves as a catalyst for further development in the region. The project will help Sacramento to be more competitive as a destination, attract more visitors and businesses, and ultimately contribute to the growth of the region.

SMForward is a visionary project that will be financed through a combination of federal and state grants, municipal bonds issued by the airport, and user fees. This means that the burden of financing will not fall on the local taxpayers.

“Over the next five years, this transformation will create world-class facilities that will enhance our customer's travel experience while improving crucial infrastructure to meet our growth," said Nichol. “Our airfield has plenty of capacity, but our parking, concourses, and roadways have several choke points. SMForward will address these issues and create an airport ready to serve the modern passenger."

SMForward comes as air travel demand in the Greater Sacramento region continues to exceed peer airports in the region after unprecedented impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2022, SMF nearly returned to pre-pandemic levels with six consecutive years of year-over-year record-breaking passenger growth through 2019. Forecasts show steady passenger growth averaging 4.3 percent annually through 2041, underscoring the need for expansion.

"With record numbers of people traveling through SMF and the region's growing economy that continues to create new opportunities, Sacramento International Airport is at a crucial intersection," said Sacramento County Supervisor Phil Serna, “It is critical to invest in our aviation infrastructure to ensure we can meet the needs of residents and travelers who will make the region an even better place to live, work and visit."

“SMForward represents the continued implementation of SMF's master plan, which the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors approved in February 2022. The plan evaluated past and projected passenger growth along with infrastructure needs as a basis for developing a plan to accommodate that growth," said TJ Chen, Deputy Director of Airport Planning and Development. “In addition to roadways and gates, the master plan anticipates the additional facilities and airfield infrastructure needed to meet the growing demand for air travel."

“A lot of hard work and planning has gone into ensuring the success of SMForward," Nichol said. “I want to thank the SMF team and Sacramento County leadership for their dedication and support in helping shape this project."

Additional information and business opportunities within SMForward can be found on the newly launched website at The website provides a wealth of information on the projects, timelines, and opportunities for businesses and individuals to get involved and be a part of this exciting journey of shaping the future of travel. Stay informed, stay connected, and be a part of the revolution.

The Sacramento County Department of Airports is responsible for planning, developing, operating and maintaining the county's four airports: Sacramento International AirportExecutive AirportMather Airport and Franklin FieldSacramento International Airport offers more than 155 daily nonstop flights on 12 domestic and international carriers to 36 destinations. The regional economic impact of the Sacramento County Department of Airports is more than $4 billion annually. For more information, visit