Airports are ever-changing and evolving.
Many of MSP Airport’s projects happen behind the scenes. But some are very public.
In this section you’ll find information about projects that will enhance your experience at MSP – like our new restrooms, lactation and nursing mothers’ rooms and service animal relief areas.
Recently, the federal government mandated certain sized airports to provide post-security service animal relief areas (SARA). The Federal Aviation Administration defines service animals as a dog (or miniature pony) that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability.
While MSP opened its first inside-security SARA in 2011, the space was small and not as well-equipped as are the new spaces currently in the works.
The new SARAs feature artificial turf, a large “turn around” space, and a flush and wash system that cleans and sanitizes the facility for the next customer.
While these spaces are designed to be a SARA, they are open to any animal.
The first two facilities at Terminal 1 are now open; one is at the entrance to Concourse E and the second is on the concourse connector bridge above Concourse C. Take the elevator up one floor from the concourse level.
An indoor SARA is also now available at Terminal 2-Humphrey, which was included as part of the expansion project that added four gates to the building.
The construction of a new outdoor service animal and pet relief area at Terminal 1 is part of an ongoing effort to create a more pleasant space for people waiting to be picked up on the arrivals level, as well as providing a second location for outdoor animal relief.
The new space – located at the far south end of the arrivals level – will also include a designated space for smoking that is away from the terminal doors.
Lactation and nursing mothers rooms can now be found in all manner of public spaces: airports, shopping malls, theatres, and sports arenas are just a few. With 60 percent of our travelers being female, it’s fitting that MSP has been a leader in this area, first offering a nursing mothers room in 2007.
In 2015, we opened a lactation room at Terminal 1 at the entrance to Concourse F and two additional nursing mothers rooms, one near Gate C12 and the other at the entrance to Concourse E.
In 2017, we added a second lactation room at Terminal 1 near Gate E1. We also introduced both a nursing mothers room and a lactation room at Terminal 2 as part of the gate expansion project completed in October 2016.
Lactation rooms are specifically designed for women who need to express milk while traveling and are away from their babies. Outfitted with a comfortable chair, easy access outlets, a deep sink for washing equipment, and adjustable light levels, MSP’s new lactation rooms have garnered praise from around the world.
Nursing mothers rooms are meant for women traveling with their babies who desire an out-of-the-public-view space to nurse. Comfortable and inviting, these spaces provide new mothers and their babies with an unhurried, low key environment in which to bond.
Eight new sets of restrooms have been constructed at Terminal 1. And three at Terminal 2. Some were redesigned and others were newly constructed. But all feature:
We’re quite proud of these new standard-setting restrooms – and so, apparently, is the public. In 2016 we won Cinta’s America’s Best Restroom award. Read more here…
At MSP, the installation of public artwork is part of an overall goal to provide travelers with a memorable experience and sense of place.
So when our designers began contemplating a new restroom prototype, they decided to include, when possible, something bold, beautiful and durable—mosaic art walls.
Typically about 10 feet wide by 9 feet tall, these highly visible spaces are just inside the facility so that anyone walking by can also view the work.
Working with the ARTS@MSP program, mosaic artists were chosen to provide designs for each of the new restrooms. The newest located at Terminal 1 are in the Airport Mall (a set on either end), near Gates C1, C7 and E3, and pre-security on the Tram Level. At Terminal 2, you can find a set near Gate H10. (Watch our video about how Mercury Mosaics created mosaics for one of the Airport Mall restrooms. A must-see!)
But this isn’t our first foray into public restroom art. In 2012, the remodeled restrooms near Gates E8 and F8 included mosaic artwork, one of which can be seen in this photograph.
Be sure to check these out next time you travel through MSP’s Terminal 1.
Artist: Barbara Keith