San Francisco International Airport has welcomed the opening of Harvey Milk Terminal 1.
The $ 2.4 billion facility seeks to set a new standard in travel experiences.
The first airport terminal in the world named after a member of the LGBTQ+ community, it has floor-to-ceiling windows that darken and lighten according to sunlight as well as circular openings in the ceiling – called oculi – that let light in.
Gate areas in the terminal are fashioned as lounge rooms, with 2,134 places to sit on 34 types of seating – including leather, plastic, metal and fabric chairs, sofas and banquettes
Harvey Milk was the first openly gay elected public official in California.
He served on San Francisco’s board of supervisors for 11 months before he and mayor George Moscone were assassinated in 1978.
Airport director, Ivar Satero, stated: “Harvey Milk Terminal 1 sets a new benchmark for the airport experience, and serves as a tribute to the life and legacy of a pioneering civil rights leader.
“For millions of people around the world, San Francisco International Airport is the first impression of the San Francisco Bay Area, and Harvey Milk Terminal 1 showcases what makes our region great: a spirit of innovation, a focus on the environment, and most importantly, a commitment to diversity, equality, and inclusion.
“I hope travellers around the world are inspired by the story of Harvey Milk in the terminal at San Francisco International Airport that bears his name.”
The focal point of the new terminal is the exhibit, Harvey Milk: Messenger of Hope, honouring the civil rights leader and his impact on LGBTQ+ rights.
Spanning nearly 120 metres, it includes 100 dramatically blown-up images of Milk – many crowdsourced from the public – as well as art, mementos and ephemera.
San Francisco International Airport offers non-stop flights to more than 50 international cities on 42 international carriers.
The San Francisco Bay Area’s largest airport connects non-stop with 86 United States cities on 12 domestic airlines.