Saturday, October 1, 2011

Pair of parties planned for airport's new Terminal B. Sacramento International Airport (KSMF), California.

Nearly 6,000 Sacramentans are expected to attend two sold-out grand opening parties this weekend for Sacramento International Airport's $1 billion expansion.

Some 1,200 people have purchased $75 tickets to a party tonight at the new four-story Central Terminal B. Another 4,500 will attend a free open house Sunday at the new terminal.

Both events filled several weeks ago, soon after they were announced. Officials said they will not be allowing visitors who don't have reservations.

The events will showcase the airport's steel-and-glass terminal, the separate 19-gate jet concourse and the automated people mover system. Docents will be on hand to describe the public art. Several of the airport's new food outlets and stores will be open for business Sunday.

"We want to give people who don't fly all the time the chance to check out the terminal," said Karen Doron, airport spokeswoman. "For people who do fly and are curious how the experience will be, this will give a sneak preview of how to use the facility."

The new facilities will replace the old Terminal B complex, which will close Wednesday night. Terminal A will remain in operation.

Flights out of the new terminal and concourse building will begin Thursday morning. The first flights into the new facilities will take place about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Most airlines will be switching terminals. The airport's leading airline, Southwest, will move to the new terminal. Joining it will be Aeromexico, Alaska/Horizon, American, Frontier, Hawaiian and JetBlue.

The airlines that will fly out of Terminal A beginning Thursday will be Continental, Delta, United and US Airways.

On Sunday, The Bee and will publish a detailed airport users' guide and a two-page cut-away drawing of the new airport's interior. will feature an interactive graphic showing the building's interior. Sunday's newspaper also will include stories about the project's architecture, and its restaurants and shops, as well as a story assessing the potential economic effects of the expansion program.

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