Dotted throughout the Greater Sacramento region are four airports that play a major role in the economic development and international connectedness of the area.
Owned and operated by the County of Sacramento, the County Airport System is made up of the Sacramento International Airport (SMF), Mather Airport (MHR), Sacramento Executive Airport (SAC) and Franklin Field (F72).
“The airports are each very distinct, but together they are at the center of economic development in our region,” says Stephen Clark, deputy director for airport commercial development. Clark says local airports are places where culture and business thrive and he is proud of the legacy they lead.
“Whether a family is reconnecting, a locally headquartered business is making use of cargo opportunities or future pilots are enrolled in flight school at Mather or Sacramento Executive, we connect the community in ways other public infrastructure rarely can,” Clark says.
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, local airports also played an integral role in the global supply chain, delivering Personal Protective Equipment and vaccines to the region.
Over the next five years, travelers and businesses alike will see many airport developments, including the $1.3 billion SMForward development project, which will improve SMF’s existing infrastructure to create additional capacity to meet the growing region. The project will add additional aircraft gates, a new pedestrian walkway, a new parking garage, a centralized ground transportation center and an upgraded rental car center.
By July, the department will release a public bid to fill 35,000 square feet of concessions space in both concourses, transforming the existing food and beverage program to provide options for everyone. On June 3, the first nonstop flight to Toronto will take off, which Clark says will seamlessly connect travelers with flights to the Middle East and Europe.
“We offer the nonstop connection to the future.” Stephen Clark, Deputy Director Airport Commercial Development
Clark is proud of the legacy of the County Department of Airports and is especially grateful for the nearly 400 county airport employees and the countless community stakeholders who have played a part in it. “We take our jobs very seriously and we all want to do what’s best for the community,” he says.