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SFO to pay $7.3 million to help lost passengers find their way

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San Francisco International Airport. (Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner file photo)

If you’re prone to getting lost in the 2.5 million-square-foot San Francisco International Airport with more than 90 gates, you’re in luck.

SFO is set to soon to revamp signage throughout the airport, making it easier for travelers to figure out where they are and where they’re going.

The San Francisco Airport Commission voted Tuesday morning to approve a $7.3 million contract with Fisher Development, Inc. of San Francisco for its Wayfinding Enhancement Program.

The program will task Fisher Development with creating an airport Wayfinding Master Plan and signage guidelines and standards. 

Airport Commissioner Eleanor Johns seemed incredulous before voting on the measure. “Do we get complaints from people who say, ‘We can’t find our way?’” she asked airport staff.

Judi Mosqueda, SFO director of project management, answered, “Yes, we do get comments from passengers” who find themselves lost, leading to SFO studying the possibility of signage updates for about five years.

Signage of airport gates will change under the program, Mosqueda said, but the improvements may only be “high level,” meaning some minor changes may be left on the drawing board.

“If we were to do every improvement recommended it would be many more millions,” she said, and the changes made would only be ones that are top priority.

Mosqueda also said new digital means to aid passengers navigating SFO through their phones may be developed.

Fisher Development has four years to finish design and implement new signs and wayfinding efforts, according to an Airport Commission staff report.

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