Home Airport News San Francisco Airport Observation Deck Opening Soon

San Francisco Airport Observation Deck Opening Soon

by Matt Falcus
san francisco observation

SFO Observation Area

This month the old control tower overlooking the terminal area at San Francisco International (SFO) airport will be removed.

This building has existed since the 1950s, and was replaced recently by the new control tower.

In its place, a new building of offices, a cafe, and an indoor observation area with views over the central terminal area, gates, and all four runways beyond.

This is a big deal for enthusiasts in the USA, as very few airports still have public observation areas for watching aircraft like those seen in Germany and Japan for example.

Eventually a new rooftop observation area will also be opened at the new Hyatt Regency hotel being developed in the central terminal area at SFO, which may be better for photographers. As a side note, this will also make a great spotting hotel!


The work is expected to be completed by January 2019, but you can probably expect the observation area to be opened before then. Watch this space!

Speaking of which, SFO Airport has a webcam overlooking the works on the former control tower site. You can view it here.


[Here’s a Guide to the Airports of San Francisco Bay]


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Daniel Stanislaus Martel May 16, 2019 - 3:25 pm

Dear Matt,

That really sounds great.. or is it for departing passengers only! I heard this.

Apparently there seems to be another facility opening in 2020 for stay-behinders. What do you know?

Thanks for your update.



Matt Falcus May 16, 2019 - 4:10 pm

Hi Daniel, yes the observation area is airside, so only for departing passengers. Haven’t heard about another one, so let me know if you hear anything!


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