"Can you do a whole boarding area?" asked San Francisco International Airport (SFO) architect Mauricio Avella. "I don't know, how big is it?" I answered. We have been doing work at SFO for a decade, having signed three multi-year contracts that required us to perform flooring installations and repairs all over the airport and its many satellite buildings. We were familiar with the challenges of working at SFO - FBI background checks for every member of our team, regular security training, dealing with airport duty officers (whose function is to make everything flow smoothly for passengers and employees), and the massive flow of tens of thousands of people.
Our last large contract provided for the supply and installation of carpet on fifty jet bridges in the International terminal. A jet bridge is the tunnel that leads from the terminal to the plane. It was a challenge to say the least. Just getting full rolls of carpet to the bridge was a difficult task. All work had to be performed at night, after the last plane had left the gate. Flight delays had to be accounted for, as planes take priority over everything at SFO. We were successful, which was why we got the call for Boarding Area C.
How big? 40,000 sq.ft. Manageable, but definitely a challenge. We were fortunate to be working with a great manufacturer, Bentley Mills ( who designed a custom carpet tile for the project. Bentley is one of the top commercial carpet manufacturers, and one of the few who produces carpet tile in California. They have a fantastic team of sales reps who assisted throughout the project. They produced a flawless product and delivered it on time. The four color design simulated two rivers intersecting through the middle of the terminal.
We called upon two of our best mechanics, Erick Canas and his son Kevin Canas, to perform the installation. Before they could begin, they had to remove the existing glued down carpet. This was no easy task, and required the use of two carpet removal machines. One of the machines gave up after a week on the job, and with the help of local flooring supply shop Pacific Flooring Supply, was quickly replaced.
All work had to be completed between the hours of 11 PM and 4 AM, and they could only pull up what could be replaced each night. They dealt with flight delays, the TSA, airline personnel, restaurant and shop operators, and thousands of passengers. For two men to complete the entire job was really a herculean task. And as they had done the previous year with the jet bridges project, they persisted and succeeded.
Next time you fly Delta out of SFO, take a look down, take a look around, and you'll be surprised, maybe even amazed, at what two men can accomplish. We are extremely proud of the work they did, and felt a deep sense of satisfaction at the successful completion of this amazing opportunity to showcase the capabilities of our firm.
A very big thank you to your installers, Erick and Kevin Canas, for their skill and professionalism on this project.