SAN FRANCISCO— The San Francisco International Airport is putting into practice the “Quite Airport” program in order to reduce background noises at the terminals and make travel less stressful, according to a statement released Monday, September 14.

Besides the changes that passengers will experience inside the SFO due to the COVID-19 guidelines that are being enforced such as the mandatory use of face coverings, now people will also notice that terminals will be more silent than before. 

“Quiet Airport” was officially launched in 2018 with new policies that encouraged airport tenants to reduce the noise level in their areas. These policies also instituted guidelines to regulate the use of music in those spaces. In 2019, SFO Customer Care reorganized the places where public announcements are made to ensure they are only broadcasted in necessary areas.

Similarly, in March 2020, airport staff started working with airlines to prevent departing flights from being announced all around the airport. Now, those are only broadcasted in relevant areas such as gates and nearby places. News about gate changes will now be handled by SFO communications staff who will announce them in pertinent areas from behalf of the airlines.

Airport officials said the goal of the program is to remove unnecessary and unwanted background noise so that SFO passenger can have a better travel experience.

“We’ve invested a great deal in making the airport experience at SFO more relaxing and enjoyable,” said Ivar C. Satero, SFO director. “Every step of our passengers’ journey, from curbside to airplane, needs to support that effort.” 

According to the release, as a result from the program there has been a 40% decrease in announcements at departure gate seating areas and a 90 minute reduction in broadcast messages at the International Terminal. Airport staff is looking for ways to remove noises from moving walkways and escalators as well.

“With our Quiet Airport program, we’re creating something unique and unexpected, by tackling an issue that might be less obvious, but just as impactful to how people feel when they spend time at SFO,” Satero said.