In 1982, CAI ,with grants from the Rockefeller Foundation and the San Francisco Foundation, established a museum at San Francisco International Airport in co-operation with The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. The museum, the first of its kind in the United States, consisted of seven exhibition galleries and eventually required developing 40 museum-quality, rotating exhibitions each year.
The program proved to be very popular and was absorbed into the budget of the City and County of San Francisco in 1985. CAI remained involved in the program until 1999. CAI has subsequently advised other airports in starting museum exhibition programs.