San Diego International Airport

Fresh Art at San Diego Int’l Airport

Artist: Beliz Iristay

Are you sick of staying at home? Or maybe still trying to get home after being stuck somewhere due to the pandemic?

Perhaps some art will help.

In a new temporary exhibition at San Diego International Airport (SAN), 16 artists explore the concept of home.

From the exhibit notes:

Home is a lens through which people explore memory, identity, and belonging in an increasingly nomadic world. More recently, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, home became a safe haven–an all-in-one workplace, classroom, and living space for millions of people around the globe. The term also took on significance as a desired destination that was not possible to reach for some, whether due to travel restrictions or health limitations.

Artist: Cheryl Tall

Make Yourself at Home, located pre and post-security in Terminal 2 at SAN through May 2022, includes sculpture, painting, photography, video, woven textiles, ceramics, site-specific installation, and more.

[The] “exhibition takes on new and imaginative ways to view the concept of home,” says Kimberly Becker, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority President and CEO. “We hope passengers traveling through San Diego take a moment to embrace the art and find new meaning in what home means to them.”  

Here are few more selections from the exhibition.

Artist: Judith Christensen
Artist: Jane Brucker
Artist: Nasem Navad

Seasonal news from PIT, LAX, BWI, MKE, PHX & SAN airports

Whether or not you’re flying during the holidays, it pays to keep up to date with what airports are doing to serve passengers during what is sure to be another unusual season.

Here are some tidbits we’ve already spotted this week.

PIT has its holiday tree up

Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) won’t be having its annual Holiday Open House this year. And local choirs and bands won’t be offering holiday performances.

But PIT is setting up a holiday-themed selfie station in the Airside Center Core and hosting distanced (instrument-only) performances by local musicians. And there will be terminal visits from the PIT PAWS airport therapy dog team.

The holiday tree is already there. Here’s a fun time-lapse video of it going up. PIT reports that 20 people worked to raise the 26-foot-tall tree over a span of eight hours and that this year’s tree has 538 ornaments, 42 yards of fabric, and 166 strands of lights.

Take a 360 Virtual Tour of LAX

Missing airports? Us too. So we’re excited as all get out a new virtual 360-degree of the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) airfield.

This is the same airfield tour that used to be offered to students, community groups, and others curious about LAX operations before COVID-19 arrived. Now anyone can access the immersive, high-resolution 360-degree video experience online using a smartphone, tablet, computer, or VR headset.

Coat check reopens at MKE

If you’re flying from Milwaukee to Hawaii, Florida, or some other warm spot, you probably won’t need your winter coat when you arrive.

So, for the second winter in a row, Wisconsin’s Milwaukee Mitchell Internation Airport (MKE) has opened it popular coat check service.

The Coat check program operates in partnership with retail partner Paradies Lagardère and is offered inside the Summerfest Marketplace store, which is located pre-security. Each coat is wrapped in protective plastic and the charge is a very reasonable $2 per day, or $10 per trip.

As far as we know, this is still the only U.S. airport offering this service.

Fresh art at PHX

Fun and games from BWI

New experiences from SAN’s artist-in-residence

And, thanks, LAX for reminding us that it is December. Already.

SAN: 5 Things We Love About San Diego International Airport

SAN: Five Things WE Love about San Diego International Airport

Our “5 Things We Love About…” series celebrates features and amenities at airports around the country and the world.

Today we land at San Diego International Airport (SAN), North America’s second-ever carbon neutral airport.

We know that due to health concerns, some amenities we love may not currently be available. We’re confident they’ll be back.

5 Things We Love About San Diego International Airport (SAN)

1. The art at San Diego International Airport

San Diego International Airport has a robust art program with great permanent public art pieces and temporary exhibitions.

Above are some snaps of The Journey by Jim Campbell. The light ribbon is both the Airport Authority’s largest commission and largest scale artwork and is made up of 38,000 suspended LED pendants spanning six feet wide by 700 feet long. Located in Terminal 2, the artwork has images of people swimming, dancing and walking, and birds in flight, fluttering throughout the sculpture.

2. SAN is home to the California Least Tern

The San Diego International Airport is home to the California Least Tern (Sterna antillarum browni, “CLT”), a federally listed endangered seabird species. The airport provides the tern with a nesting habitat and easy access to foraging opportunities in nearby San Diego Bay.

3. SAN has its own beer

San Diego International Airport (SAN) partnered with local brewery Ballast Point and industrial water purification company, Water Works, Inc., to brew a beer – called SAN Test Pilot.

The water for SAN Test Pilot comes from condensate that drips from the bottom of air conditioning units attached to jet bridges. The Airport’s Environmental Affairs team began collecting the dripping condensate in 2014 and currently captures about 100,000 gallons per year from 18 of the most heavily used jet bridges at terminals 1 and 2.

In addition to making beer, the water is used to wash sidewalks, equipment, vehicles and building exteriors and in the cooling towers that control the temperature in the terminals.

4. SAN’s artist in residence program

In addition to a performing arts program, San Diego International Airport has a performing arts residency program that gives area groups space to develop new work and the opportunity to perform.

The program kicked off in 2016 with the Fern Street Circus and since then has hosted a wide variety of performance groups, including an aerial dance theater.

5. SAN’s Innovation Lab

SAN’s Airport Innovation Lab is a 16-week accelerator program that helps entrepreneurs, start-ups, and other businesses get a healthy foothold in the airport industry.

The program provides testing for the ideas and a one-year technology-intensive collaborative program. 

Past Innovation Lab start-ups you may recognize include Fuel Rod and At Your Gate.

 Did we miss your favorite amenity at San Diego International Airport (SAN)? If so, drop a note in the comments section below.

And please take a look at the other airports featured in the ‘5 Things We Love About..” series. Let us know which airports you’d like to see added.

Free recipes, a flower class & audio-visual art from DEN, DAL and SAN Airports

We may not be flying much, or at all, right now but airports are still doing their thing with music, art, and tasty food and drink.

We appreciate that. And we’re paying attention.

Denver International Airport (DEN) has launched the Taste of DEN series offering recipes from the chefs at popular restaurants at the airport.

In the first episode, Tom’s Urban Kitchen & Brewery Chef Robert Garton cookes up a Prime Rib Dip Sandwich. A video from DEN’s Root Down Kitchen is promised next.

To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, Hortencia and Rachel from the art and programming team at Dallas Love Field (DAL) Airport were kind enough to put together a video showing us how to make traditional paper flowers.

And the San Diego International Airport (SAN) Arts Program has a new artist in residence for Fall 2020.

Throughout her Performing Arts Residency at SAN Margaret Noble is offering a series of downloadable audio-visual works as part of her [Sky][Muse] collection.

The first set is called ‘Compass’ and includes two ‘experiences:’

One has interactive visual music; the other a ‘silent graphical score.’

Signs of the times: cool social distance signs at airports

Signs and floor stickers reminding travelers to keep their distance in airport terminals are necessary right now.

We get that.

But at least some airports are giving their signs some local character.

In the sign above, you’ll see that Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) is using Chinook salmon as a measuring tool. The airport has also enlisted the help of a moose and a Bald Eagle

These are animals locals will listen to.



Harrisburg International Airport (MDT), which is nearby Hershey Park in Pennsylvania, uses Kisses chocolates as their measuring tool.

We’re curious about how they figured out that 72 Kisses chocolates equals six feet and hope whomever was asked to lay the candies out to figure this out got to eat them.

Springfield-Branson National Airport (SGF) has a long-running thing for plastic pink flamingos. So it makes sense that a flamingo pops up in the airport’s social distancing signs.

In Chicago, they use these cute floor stickers at O’Hare and Midway Airports to remind people to keep their distance.

And at San Diego International Airport (SAN) it makes sense that the measuring stick is a surfboard. Passengers are urged to stay at least one surfboard apart.

We’ll keep adding to this collection of creative airport social distance signs and stickers as new ones arrive.

If you see a one in your travels that you think fits, please snap a photo and send it along.