SFO Community Newsletter
Spring 2020

A Message from Ivar C. Satero, Airport Director

SFO Night Aircraft Departure Exposure

I hope this newsletter finds you and yours healthy, safe and supported while managing through this crisis. As critical infrastructure, SFO remains open to ensure that supplies and those who need to fly can make it safely to their destinations. Not surprisingly, however, as people across the country stay at home, the number of air travel passengers in the United States has decreased by more than 90 percent.

While the passenger loads have reduced, we are seeing an increase in cargo shipments of critical medical and cleaning supplies, food and more. You can read more about special SFO cargo shipments below. 

SFO is able to remain open through the hard work of essential employees who are on-site every day ensuring safe and secure Airport operations. I am so grateful to the 900+ SFO employees who are working 24/7 to keep the airport clean, maintain our terminals and facilities, and keep us ready to come back online as quickly as possible when the crisis subsides. Likewise, I am grateful to the restaurants and shops who have stayed open during this time serving our community. Each day brings a new challenge, and our SFO family has stepped up to serve in a big way.

Throughout the haze of unsettling news, we have been inspired by the many acts of kindness and care around us every day. SFO employees have coordinated donations of hundreds of masks and toys and two blood drives. They also just launched a homemade mask-making activity to make sure that all airport workers who need them can have a homemade fabric mask, freeing up surgical and N95 masks for frontline workers.

Thanks to all who are doing their part every day to get through this and help others. Please take special care of yourselves and your families as we push through this together.

Thank You, Essential Workers

From frontline workers to first responders and health care workers to the hospitality industry, so many people are critical to the fight against COVID-19 and to providing essential services to the public. In recognition of their dedication and hard work, we continue to light the façade of our International Terminal in their honor:

  • First responders: red, white and blue (most Thursdays)
  • Front-line workers: gold (most Tuesdays)
  • Health care workers: blue (most Wednesdays)
  • Hospitality workers: purple (most Mondays)

Our sincere thanks to you all.

View our upcoming lighting schedule

Keeping our Passengers and Employees Safe

Safety & Security is the Airport’s first priority, and at the core of everything we do. Here are a few of the actions we’re taking to help protect the health of our passengers and employees during this time:

  • Our Custodial team has increased the cleaning of touch points such as handrails, buttons and door handles with an EPA-approved and CDC-recommended germicidal agent that kills all coronaviruses.
  • We have deployed battery-operated sprayers and all-surface cleaning equipment for specialized and as-needed cleaning requirements.
  • There are now more than 350 hand sanitizer stations located throughout the terminals.
  • Social Distancing practices are in effect at the Airport. Everyone is reminded to keep at least 6’ of distance from others. To help maintain proper spacing, we’ve installed more than 4,000 social distancing dots in queuing, seating and common areas.
  • Every passenger and employee must wear a mask/face covering while at the Airport. 
  • We’re maintaining a high level of interaction with local, state and federal health officials regarding measures to protect against COVID-19.

Airports are Essential Infrastructure

SFO is essential infrastructure, which means we remain open for essential travel and the movement of cargo. Every day, we see our partners’ efforts to make sure people and much-needed supplies get to where they need to go. A few examples include:

  • United Airlines transported a group of 20 University of California San Francisco (UCSF) health care workers on April 13 to Newark Liberty International Airport to volunteer for a one-month assignment at New York Presbyterian Hospital.
  • Amazon Air, which began service at SFO on March 12 and now has 14 weekly flights, is transporting supplies for residents, businesses and hospitals.
  • Atlas Air Cargo transports medical and other supplies, including a flight on April 1 with 65 tons of medical equipment for UCSF Medical Center. 
  • On April 9, Mountain Lion Aviation in Truckee donated the use of a PC-12 plane to deliver hand sanitizer from Old Trestle Distillery for the San Francisco Police Department. Truckee Tahoe Airport donated fuel for the flight and Signature Flight Support at SFO waived handling fees.

We are truly proud of the role our entire airport community is playing in the fight against COVID-19!


Stay at Home with our Video Arts Collection

Looking for something new to watch while staying at home? Check out SFO Museum’s Video Arts program.

Travelers to SFO may be familiar with the program through our Video Arts Screening Room where, each month, four videos by contemporary artists and filmmakers at the leading edge of their craft are showcased. Although the screening room is temporarily closed, we invite you to watch our most recently featured videos and to browse our online history of over one hundred films at home. And, when the Video Room is able to reopen, we hope we’ll see you there.

Enjoy our current features:

How Mr & Mrs Gock Saved the Kumara 

A New View of the Moon

3,000 Miles

Through You


View our previous collection

New Mask/Facial Covering Requirement

On April 21, 2020, the San Mateo County Health Officer ordered that members of the public must wear a mask/facial covering while waiting to enter, inside of, or receiving services from essential businesses or government services. Airports are essential government services. Please remember to bring your mask/facial covering with you.

Learn more about acceptable masks/face coverings

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E-mail your comments and suggestions to SFOnewsupdate@flysfo.com.