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At the Controls

A new facility with the latest technology promises a smooth ride for customers at SFO

Author A. Averyl Re


United’s hub at the San Francisco International Airport has more than just new lounges to brag about. It also has a new Station Operations Center (SOC) to centralize the airline’s operation at the airport.

The new SOC has 7,415 square feet of space—nearly double the old 4,223-square-foot facility—with 47 desks where United personnel from airport operations, line maintenance control, cargo and other areas collaborate to keep flights moving. Having critical personnel in one location helps speed up communications, especially in situations where decisions need to be made quickly.

“This new SOC is a huge plus for a premium hub like ours,” says Station Operations Director Lori Augustine, who is the San Francisco hub’s go-to person for the new center.

In addition to more space, the new center also has windows (which the old facility lacked) that allow line-of-sight tracking for runways and gates (pictured above).

But the biggest improvement, according to Augustine, is the state of-the-art equipment coming online, including an integrated voice/radio system and upgraded cameras with recording capabilities. In addition, the hub now has technology that provides real-time airport surveillance data.

“We will know where every plane is at any given time, so if there are any challenges, we can handle them quickly,” Augustine says. “We look forward to having improved on-time performance all around.”

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